Not only are blocked toilets every human being’s worst possible fear, but they also seem to happen at the absolute worst times.
For example, you’re at someone’s house, and you’ve just gone about your business. You instinctively flush and lo and behold! The toilet’s clogged. This is probably as embarrassing as it gets at someone else’s house. Not only are you standing there panicking over what to do, but you also can’t ask for assistance. I mean, you can actually ask for help. However, I doubt any sane human being would let another man flush his business.
Like I said, the worst possible times! Hence, learning how to unclog a toilet comes as not only a feat but a necessity. You might even have a clogged toilet at your own home. Now, instead of calling the plumber and waiting a day or two for him to show up. You could just as easily unclog the toilet by yourself. You’re human, and you’ll have to use the toilet sooner or later. Pretty sure you can’t go over knocking on your neighbor’s door to relieve yourself.
Here are some useful tips on unclogging a toilet
Stop The Toilet Bowl From Filling Up Before It’s Too Late:
A tell-tale sign for a clogged toilet is that the water level in the toilet bowl will rise up. Instead of it flushing away, it’s still there. Added to the fact is that the flush water is now rising into the bowl. If you feel like the water level is rising gradually and might overflow, you’ll have to take care of it first. To do this, you’d have to release the flapper.
From the name, you can pretty much conclude what it looks like. The flapper is the piece attached to the toilet that releases water into the bowl from the tank. If you remove the lid of the tank, you’ll notice the flapper. The flapper is essentially a circular, rubber material attached with a chain. Some people suggest that before you block the flapper, you’ll check for flushing. For example, raise the flapper first to see whether water goes down or not.
After you’ve done this, you’d have to turn the valve for the water off as well. Oh, and don’t shiver at the thought of putting your hand in the tank with the water. That water isn’t dirty at all.
A Plunger Is A Life Saver
The characteristic look of a plumber is a man in overalls with a plunger as his trusted tool. Well, you can get a plunger just as easily from any convenience store. The plunger is the first thing you’d reach for after stopping the toilet from overflowing. It’s essentially a tool with an extension on one end and a bell-shaped rubber part on the other.
Another helpful tip before using the plunger is to make sure that the plunger is soft. If yours has been sitting out for a while, it’s probably gone hard. Not to worry! Just run the end through some hot water, and you’re done. The softer and more pliant plungers are better to form a seal on the toilet bowl.
Next, you’re down to business. Insert the rubber end of the plunger into the bowl so that it completely covers the hole. You have to use a push-pull motion to unclog the toilet effectively. Make sure you feel the water pushing from the plunger and not just air. After a slow start, start gaining momentum. It usually takes around fifteen to twenty motions to unclog the toilet.
How do you make sure you’ve done the job? Flush the toilet and check the drainage. It’s an obvious sign of an unclogged toilet that the water starts going down. That is, flushing is effective again. However, there might be a slight chance that the clog isn’t as broken as it should be. Before using the toilet again, make sure it’s completely unclogged. For this, you’d have to fill it with water again and continue plunging.
It’s important that you use a high-quality plunger. Simply put the plunger in the bowl and make it work well. Pump it over the hole by starting slow at first and gradually increasing pace. Once you’re done, you must check the drain by flushing the toilet.
Tips For Quicker Plunging
Anyone can unclog a toilet bowl, not just a plumber. It’s really that easy. In fact, you can simplify your load by using a few items that are in your kitchen cabinets. If you were to add hot water with a little detergent, it would break down the clog faster. Hot water has to sit for a minute or two before doing its work. Hence, sometimes you don’t even need to plunge. The water does it all for you.
Furthermore, another useful trick employs something you’ve probably learned in an elementary science experiment. By using baking soda and vinegar. The mixture slowly creates a reaction that’s adequate enough to break down the clog.
No Plunger? No Problem
Let’s say you don’t have a plunger lying in your bathroom. Or, the friend who’s the house you’re at doesn’t own one either. While you’ve made it a mental note to get them one for Christmas, you have to deal with this first. In case you don’t own a plunger or it isn’t working, you don’t need to panic. Remember, the very last resort here is to call the plumber, and we’re not there yet.
Try reaching for the toilet snake. This is a long wire with a corkscrew tip at its end. It’s used to feed into the pipes until the clog clears up.
Another useful device is the closet auger. This is a specially designed piece of equipment to spin its coil and hook onto foreign objects in the toilet bowl. If you don’t have any of this equipment at hand or close by, you could start getting a little more creative. Unhooking a metallic hanger will work exactly the same way as a toilet snake. Just prod onto the clog until it clears up and you can sufficiently flush again.
Similarly, you could create water pressure into the bowl by using a plastic bottle. Anything that does the trick!
Toilet clogs come at the worst possible times. Not to say there’s ever a right time for a clogged toilet, but you get it. A clogged toilet can make you feel like you have no escape. In fact, you’d be reaching for the phone to call the plumber without any second thought. In hindsight, that’s what you would’ve done had you not known these tips!