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People can go for weeks, months, or even years without thinking about the toilet. The toilet, on the other hand, becomes the focus of attention the moment it clogs. Plunging a toilet bowl, believe it or not, demands an appropriate technique, even though it appears to be one of the most straightforward jobs.
Whereas most people store a plunger somewhere in the house—if not in your bathroom, then in the linen cupboard or basement—a surprising number do not comprehend how to use it to plunge their toilets. The proper method is simple to learn. True, practice makes perfect, and almost anybody can do the work competently. Simply follow the instructions below.
Tools Required When Plunging Your Toilet
Rubber gloves are required. Wear safety goggles and rubber gloves when plunging to keep water out of your eye and off your unprotected skin. Rubber gloves can be unsupported (rubber alone) or supported (rubber and leather) (rubber coating of textile gloves). Their primary use is to protect the hands when conducting chemical-related jobs or unhygienic tasks.
On the other hand, goggles defend against collision, dust, and splashes. Safety goggles, like safety glasses, are significantly force resistant. Furthermore, they create a tight barrier around the whole eye, protecting against dangers from all directions.
Types Of Plungers
Before you start plunging your toilet, be sure you have the proper plunger for the task. There are numerous sorts of plungers for various types of plumbing fittings, and they include:
A cup plunger, often known as a sink plunger, is the most basic kind. It incorporates a flat bottom and a dome-shaped rubber cup. The flat bottom provides a seal around the somewhat level sink or tub basin, making it ideal for sink and bathtub drains.
A toilet plunger, which can also be known as a flange plunger, is the correct instrument for plunging a toilet. The cup on this plunger is higher than the cup on a sink plunger, and it has a sleeve-like projection, the flange, on the base. For a proper seal, the flange fits into the hole of your toilet bowl. The flange folds up into the cup, allowing the plunger to be used in the basins and tubs.
A cup plunger is significantly less efficient in clearing toilet blockages. Thus a flange plunger is required for this purpose.
Steps To Follow To Plunge A Toilet
Step One: Pick the right plunger for the job
As mentioned above, there are several types of plungers, so ensure that you pick out the right one for the job. To plunge a toilet, use a toilet plunger as it has a more extended flange. The flange is designed to fit tightly into the drainage hole, resulting in a tight seal and better suction power.
Step Two: Use rags to cover the floor area
Plunging a toilet may be a dirty job. Reduce cleaning time by stacking filthy rags or old towels at the foot of the toilet. Any liquid that spills out throughout the procedure will settle on that fabric.
Additional Cleaning Tip: Before plunging a toilet with a full bowl, put on a pair of protective rubber gloves and use a bucket to remove half of the wastewater.
Step Three: Use petroleum jelly to improve plunger suction
You might plunge and plunge, dripping sweat. However, if there’s no tight seal between both the tool and the toilet’s drainage opening, you will not be able to dislodge the clog. Apply petroleum jelly over the lip of the flange—the part that ends up going into the drain hole—to improve plunger suction.
It is suggested that you block any other drains in the washroom before plunging (for example, the sink and shower drains). This is not crucial, but it does improve the plunger’s effectiveness.
Step Four: Ensure the plunger flange is inserted correctly
While placing the plunger into the bowl, ensure the flange is inserted into the drainage hole. Likewise, the plunger’s rubber lip must be positioned around the toilet’s drain opening. Hold the instrument vertically, with the handle facing straight up. While holding the plunger at an angle might seem more comfortable, it will damage the seal in between the plunger and the drain.
Step Five: Plunge the toilet
Now, for around 10 or 20 seconds, aggressively move the plunger up and down. That should be enough time for the water pressure and air flowing backward and forth through the drain to remove the blockage.
As previously said, plunging into a toilet may be messy. Therefore, it is not a good idea to try to plunge after using a drain-clearing chemical. If that chemical escapes from the toilet, it might irritate your skin or erode things in the toilet or within the bathroom.
If the blockage does not clear after around 30 seconds of continuous plunging, you can call a plumber—unless you happen to have a few plumber’s tools on hand. What is most likely required now is a snake, which is a bendable auger used to remove blocked pipes. It is preferable to use a toilet-specific auger to protect the finish of your toilet.
How To Avoid Toilet Clogs
Clogged toilets can be pretty inconvenient. The incredible thing is that you can keep your toilet from clogging. Here are a few suggestions that you can apply to prevent toilet clogs:
Be Mindful of What You Flush
When flushing the toilet, resist flushing non-flushable hand towels, face tissues, dish soap, napkins, baby wipes, floss, feminine hygiene products, hair, diapers, medicines, cotton swabs, grease, and oils. These things accumulate in your pipes and obstruct anything you flush down later, resulting in a blockage.
It is worth noting that toilet tissue is one of the leading causes of toilet blockages. When you put toilet tissue in water, it does not always disintegrate right away. Therefore, as a result, you can flush the toilet repeatedly to guarantee that the toilet paper does not cause a blockage.
Keep Your Main Sewage Line in Good Condition
Tree roots can cause a lot of costly damage to your drainage system, enabling soil and blockage-causing debris to enter your drainage system. To prevent this, get your sewer lines checked at least twice a year by a skilled plumber. The inspection allows you to spot possible issues before they become serious.
Store Objects Away from the Toilet Bowl
Most people have cabinets above their toilets to store objects such as soaps, combs, toothbrushes, decorations, and extra toilet tissue. These objects are readily knocked into the bowl and flushed. Ensure that you keep the space surrounding the toilet bowl free of any things that can fall into it unintentionally.
If Plunging Is Not Working
If you are unable to fully remove the clog after many bouts of plunging, you can try these methods or use a toilet auger before calling a plumber. A toilet auger, also known as a closet auger, is a type of drain snake mainly built for toilets. It consists of a telescopic metal tube with a crank handle on one end and a cable running through it.
To remove the clog, insert the cable end (with a corkscrew tip) into the toilet and crank the handle while pulling the cable down into the toilet trap. In addition to pushing through it and breaking up a stubborn clog, the cable’s corkscrew tip may latch onto obstacles in the toilet trap and yank them out. When a sponge or other improper object is flushed down the toilet and remains trapped, this is frequently necessary.
Reasons Why You Cannot Unclog Your Toilet
Your toilet has a blockage, and you have to rush to unclog it. At times you are able to unclog your toilet correctly, but not others. Perhaps we can assist by outlining three typical blunders that people make while attempting to unclog their toilet.
Mistake One: Using the incorrect type of plunger
As previously mentioned, plungers are classified into two types: a cup plunger and a flange plunger. The extension flange is located on the bell-shaped rubber end of the flange plunger. This design aids the plunger in building a better seal on the drain, allowing you to exert more pressure when plunging. So, no flange = little pressure = trouble unclogging the toilet.
Therefore do the following: always ensure that you use a flange plunger to plunge a toilet and save yourself some trouble.
Mistake Two: Improper use of the plunger
Suppose you are working with a flange plunger, but you are not getting the desired results. You may be utilising it the wrong way. When you get a blockage in the future, use your plunger as follows:
- Check the plunger: Check that the flange lip is unfurled.
- Create a tight seal: Create a better seal on the toilet drain (that is, make sure you cover the whole drain, or you will not have enough pressure to remove the clog).
- Place the plunger into the toilet: Submerge the plunger into the water. Water pressure, not air pressure, is required to dislodge the blockage. Pour in enough water to cover the plunger if your toilet is dry.
- Begin plunging: Begin with a moderate plunge since a strong one would drive air back around the seal, causing water to splash on you and the bathroom floor.
- Keep the seal tight: Now, forcefully plunge in and out while keeping the seal in place. This should work for the majority of blockages.
Mistake Three: Ignoring the possibility of a deep clog
What’s farther down the drain in the sewage system might sometimes produce a particularly tenacious clog. Clogs in the sewage system are frequently caused by items that should not be flushed down the toilet, such as hand towels, floss, hair, non-flushable wipes, pads, tampons, cotton balls and swabs.
If it is neither toilet paper nor human waste, do not flush it down the toilet. A plumber can also help if you have a problematic blockage that you believe is farther down the drain. They could use a camera to locate the cause of the problem and repair it.
Use A Trustworthy Plumber To Unclog Your Toilet
A weak flush indicates that your toilet drain is partly or entirely clogged. The majority of blocked toilets are “slow drainers”. In other words, flushing water partially fills the bowl, but it does not rush out to clear away the waste. The water level stays high for a few moments before draining to a reasonable height. You might not even realise that your toilet is blocked until you flush it.
Therefore, if you sense an issue with your toilet, first test the drainage before reaching for the toilet plunger. As a last resort, you can contact a plumber to help you out if things seem hopeless.