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How to Unclog a Toilet Using a Plunger

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A clogged toilet usually happens at the most inopportune times. The good news is, unclogging the toilet is so easy, you might not need to call a professional plumber at all. In today’s post, we are giving you tips on how to unclog a toilet using a plunger:

Step 1: Don’t Let the Toilet Bowl Fill Up

The first thing you need to do to unclog a toilet is to stop water from collecting in the bowl. You can do that by taking the lid off the tank as quickly as you can and closing the toilet flapper. The flapper releases the water from the tank and into the bowl. Once the water stops rising, you are ready to unclog the toilet.

Step 2: Prep the Bowl

When plunging, water could overflow over the toilet and all over the tile floor. Save yourself the mess of cleaning that up by prepping the bowl first before plunging. Get several bundles of old newspaper and spread the paper on the floor near the bowl. The paper will absorb the water in case plunging causes bowl water to overflow.

Step 3: Choose the Right Plunger

There are two types of plungers, the traditional wide-mouthed plunger and a funnel-cup plunger. We recommend opting for the funnel-cup plunger because it creates an effective vacuum that ejects the blockage in the toilet. The wide mouthed plunger tends to let air escape as you plunge, so it is pretty useless when plunging. The key to excellent plunging is to make a tight seal between the plunger and the toilet bowl.

Step 4: Warm Up the Plunger

Don’t just plunge away without prepping the plunger. All plungers turn stiff when not in use so they don’t do a good job of unclogging the toilet. You want to warm up the rubber material of the plunger to create a tight seal. You can do that by running your plunger under hot water before using it. The warm water will soften the rubber, allowing you to make a better seal when plunging.

An even better trick is to mix hot water with dishwasher soap to soften the plunge rubber and clean the bowl at the same time. Just mix a couple of squeezes of dishwasher soap with hot water and run it on the plunger. You can also pour some of the hot water directly into the bowl to break the blockage apart, making plunging easier.

Step 5: Start Plunging

After running the plunger in hot water, stick the plunger into the bowl. You want to create a solid seal over the exit hole of the bowl. With up and down strokes, start plunging. At the end of plunging, pull the plunger quickly to break the seal. If the water goes down the drain, you have successfully cleared the clog. When the water clears, it is a sign that the blockage has been removed. But, if the water is still murky, continue plunging several times until the blockage is removed.

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