How To Unclog A Toilet

Few things can strike fear in the hearts of men, women and children than the rush of water in a clogged toilet. When it comes to urban survival skills, knowing how to unclog a toilet ranks pretty high up there. Of course, we’re plumbers. We’re biased.

The Joy Of A Plunger

Ok, it might be a stretch to use the term “joy” and “plunger” in the same sentence, but there’s something very empowering about being able to use a plunger successfully.

Believe it or not, there are millennials and others among us out there who have never used a plunger and don’t understand the physics. Hard to imagine these sheltered souls, but they exist.

Using a plunger is way easier than it looks, but there is a bit of a technique to remember when you’re under pressure. This is why we thought it’d be a good idea to outline some basic steps to using a plunger to unclog your potty. With that in mind, here goes:

  • Put the business end of the plunger in the water
  • Make sure that the ring of the plunger fits snugly around the hole
  • Push down firmly to establish a seal (this is the “trick” part)
  • Don’t lift up completely, but lift high enough to begin to move water downward
  • Push firmly straight down and let the plunger lift naturally
  • Push up and down until you feel a shift
  • If you don’t feel any changes after a few firm pushes, lift up and see what’s going on
  • Repeat until you get results

When it comes to mechanics, it’s actually easier to unclog a toilet using a plunger than it is to describe it in writing.

How To Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger

This is where we get into the “fear” part of dealing with a clogged toilet- especially if you’re at a friend or relative’s house. The good news is that it’s entirely possible to unclog a toilet without a plunger. In fact, it’s fairly easy, but you’re going to need one item: a bucket.

Now, before we explain, it’s important to remember that many clogs unclog themselves. Depending upon the volume and what’s causing the clog (there’s the one usual suspect), some clogs resolve by a simple double flush.

But, there’s a risk involved in this strategy. If the clog is too dense, the double flush may lead to an overflow, and let’s be honest, that’s a surefire way to wear out your welcome in anyone’s home. The trick here is to watch the flow and be ready to cut off the flow of water quickly.

The best technique for unclogging a toilet is to fill the bucket with seriously hot water. Slowly pour the hot water into your toilet and wait for the magic. The hot water tends to help loosen up the logjam and helps things flowing again. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a few buckets. Some things take more time to loosen than others. Just keep at it, and you’ll be free and clear shortly.

What To Do When Nothing Works

If you tried the plunger and maybe even the hot water technique, but your toilet is still clogged, you may have bigger problems. As a professional plumber, I can tell you stories about all the interesting things I’ve seen that gum up the works of your plumbing- small toys, tools, pumpkin guts…I could go on and on.

If the techniques above don’t get you results, just call a plumber. Trust me, the problem can get worse- a lot worse. It almost always ends up being cheaper to call a plumber than to continue to try techniques that can escalate the problem.

Our Service Area

While we’re located in Loganville, we provide expert plumbing services to homes and businesses all throughout the Gwinnett County area. We have happy customers in BufordBerkeley LakeDaculaDuluthGraysonLilburnLawrencevilleLoganvilleMonroeNorcrossPeachtree CornersSuwaneeSugar Hill, and more. Even if you’re outside of our service area, give us a call and let us show you what customer service looks like from your local plumbing company.


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