Whether you are safely at your home toilet or living out your worst fear at someone else’s house, knowing how to properly plunge a toilet is essential for a peaceful life. Instead of being paralyzed in the moment, jump into action. By knowing the proper plunging techniques that your friendly neighborhood plumber employs every day, you can fix even the most challenging clogs without a really embarrassing call for help.
Have the Right Tool for The Job
Any old plunger will work, right? Yes and no. When effectively plunging, you need a good seal between the toilet bowl and the plunger. The best tool for this particular job is a plunger with a funnel cup. Even if you don’t have access to a handy funnel cup plunger, be sure to warm up whatever plunger you do have by running it under hot water first. This makes the rubber more pliable so that it will form a better seal.
Focus on Thrust and Pull Back
When plunging, novices tend to only focus on the downward force, but in reality the pullback on the plunger is just as important. Let the pullback be slow and controlled, never let the plunger just bounce back on its own. It is not as effective and it will likely result in a splashy mess.
After giving the clog a few up and down strokes, powerful on the downward push and controlled when pulling back, give the toilet a flush. If it unclogs, then your job is done. If it doesn’t, then it is time to get serious.
Try Hot Water and Detergent
It is not quite time to call in the professionals yet, there is still one more secret trick you can try when plunging. If you can get the toilet down to a manageable water level, add in a mixture of hot water and dishwasher detergent. The heat from the water and the detergent is very effective in breaking clogs up. Sometimes it can work so well that you won’t even need to plunge.
When to Call the Plumber
Sometimes your professional plunging efforts just aren’t enough. Sometimes you get a clog that is so solid that you will need an auger to remove it. If you don’t have one, your plumber does. However, you know it is really time to bring in a plumber when you flush your toilet and water begins to burble up your sink or in your shower. This means you have a clog in your main line.