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  • Writer's pictureBob Condon

Unclogging the Toilet

How to use the plunger to unclog the toilet

No one likes to deal with a clogged toilet.  If… or rather when you have to deal with it, there is nothing better than the right tool for the right job.  Believe it or not, all plungers are not created equally.  The most common plunger is the typical orange, suction-cup style plunger.  This is actually not the best plunger to use for a clogged toilet.  With the round, flat suction cup, this is more suited for issues in the kitchen than in the bathroom.

Another type of plunger is the ball-shaped plunger.  The ball style is made of thick rubber that provides a great seal and creates a good amount of pressure.  The last one is the fold-out cup.  This is one also creates a good seal, especially in toilets where the drain with a unique shape or is not round.

Toilet Plungers

Now that you know the type of plungers, how do you use the plunger?  Most people think that the point is to plunge down as hard as you can to force in the air to dislodge whatever is blocking the toilet.  This is not correct and can even cause more of a problem, specifically, you could break the seal between the toilet and the floor, then you will have bigger problems to deal with.

Step 1 – Prepare the area.  Put on rubber gloves, lift the seat, and get rags, towels or newspaper and place them on the floor around the toilet.

Step 2 – Place the plunger in the toilet.  Make sure there is enough water so that the plunger is submerged.

Step 3 – If there is not enough water, you will have to add some.  Do not flush the toilet to add water.  It will be uncontrolled and you risk overflowing the toilet.  Take the top of the tank off and slowly lift the flapper.  Don’t let all of the water out, just enough to cover the plunger.  On the other hand if there is too much water in the bowl, you may want to siphon some water off with a bucket.

Step 4 – Let the air out of the plunger by tipping the plunger to the side.  You will see big air bubbles come out.  It is important that you plunge with water, not air.

Step 5 – Put the plunger in place so that it creates a seal on the drain.  Gently push in on the handle.  When it is all the way down, quickly pull up on the handle.

Step 6 – Repeat the pushing and pulling by being gentle with the pushing and quick with the pulling.

Step 7 – Clean up.  If you had to place some of the water in to a bucket, after the clog is gone, pour the contents of the bucket into the toilet and flush.  Clean all of the items you used with disinfectant.

If plunging didn’t do the trick, you may have to us an auger specifically designed for a toilet.  If the clog is persistent and nothing you do seems to clean it, give us a call.

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