Wednesday, July 5, 2017

How to Unclog and Plunge a Clogged Toilet

Of all the rooms in a home or business, the last one you want to have drainage issues with is the bathroom. By virtue of the business we perform there, backups can be a serious mess full of bacteria and fecal matter, not to mention expensive to have cleaned up.

If you experience a clogged or overflowing toilet, follow these steps to clear the line and restore your toilet to working function.

Using a Plunger to Clear the Clog

In the majority of cases, clogged toilets can be remedied with a plunger. If the toilet is clogged, do not flush it. This can cause an overflow taking bacteria and fecal matter to the floor of the bathroom.

1. Make sure there is enough water in the bowl to completely cover the bell of the plunger.

plunger in a clogged toilet that was overflowing
2. If necessary, use a bucket of water to fill the bowl – again, don’t flush.

pouring water to cover a plunger inside a clogged toilet bowl
3. Submerse the plunger and depress slowly to expel the air in the plunger’s bell

depressed plunger in a clogged toilet bowl
4. Then using strong and fast strokes, plunge until the water level in the bowl drops to the middle of the bell (refill and repeat this process if necessary).

fully depressed plunger in a clogged toilet bowl
plunging a clogged toilet drain that was overflowing
5. When using the plunger correctly, the suction pressure that is created clears the obstruction. You may hear bubbling as the drain is cleared, and the water will flow freely down the toilet bowl.

cleared toilet drain after using a plunger

Best Plunger & Another Tool to Clear Your Drain

The best use of a plunger is when a drain has been stopped with toilet tissue and soft matter. The force created can clear other materials.

Watch this video for an explanation of plungers and the best technique depending on what is clogging your drain:

However, for hard materials like a toothbrush or a comb that are in your toilet bowl drain, you may need a snake or drain auger.

This device is made of metal and has a claw like attachment to pierce and force anything through the drain. If unsuccessful with a plunger, snakes can be purchased at your store, or professional versions can also be rented.

When to Call a Professional Plumber

If the clog persists after plunging or using an auger, it is time to consult a plumbing professional. Some clogs build up over time and can be located much further into the waste pipe which a typical auger may not be equipped to handle.

Call in a professional to assure the drain will be properly unclogged without creating an overflowing “biohazard” mess on your floors.

Visit for more plumbing articles, resources and how-to tips.

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