It has happened to all of us at one point. We’re using the bathroom at home or (even worse) at a friend’s house, and when we flush, instead of going down, the water starts to come up. The immediate reaction is panic. You definitely don’t want the water to overflow onto the bathroom floor but you also have no idea how to use a plunger.
You can breathe easy. We’re going to outline the simple steps for unclogging a toilet, so in the future, you can feel like a plunger-wielding superhero.
Okay, we know unclogging toilets isn’t a very glamorous superpower – but someone’s got to do it. And imagine never having to panic in the face of malfunctioning toilet ever again!
Stop the toilet bowl from filling up
Instead of immediately reaching for the plunger, start by stopping the flow of water. Lift the lid off the tank of your toilet and quick as possible and close the toilet flapper.
The flapper releases water from the tank and into the bowl, and by closing it you can stop toilet water from overflowing onto your bathroom. You don’t want to deal with a clogged toilet and a smelly, flooded bathroom.
Use the correct plunger
What is the right plunger, you ask? You need a funnel-cup plunger to effectively create a good seal between it and the toilet bowl. Often people have cup plungers instead, which don’t have the necessary added piece that extends off the bottom of the rubber cup.
Heat up your plunger
Pliant plungers work much better than hard, stiff ones. Run yours under some warm water before using it. We know it’s an extra step, but it’s the difference between a plunger that works the first time and one that doesn’t.
Use the right plumbing technique
Chances are you’re not an expert on plunging, or you wouldn’t be reading this! Push you plunger into the toilet, until you have formed a seal. Give a few up and down strokes and the flush the toilet. If the water drains, your toilet is unclogged. If it begins to rise, close the flapper again. Repeat the process until you fix the clog.
Hot water and dishwasher detergent is your secret weapon
If your toilet is still clogged, turn to dishwasher detergent and hot water. The combination helps to break up whatever is clogging your pipes. Also, if a plunger isn’t on hand at a friend’s house and you’re too embarrassed to ask, the hot water may be enough to clear the clog without the use of the plunger.
Know when to call the plumber
Simple clogs can be fixed at home, but if you see backed up water appearing in the shower or sinks when you flush, it’s time to call a plumber. That is an indication of a blocked main line and will require more than a plunger.
Need a plumber? Contact the experienced plumbers at Legacy Plumbing.