Without question, clogged toilets have been and will likely continue to be a fact of life. Nevertheless, some of us still find ourselves confounded when confronting this most trivial problem – and there are still plenty of us who, despite all logic, continue to flush a clogged toilet until it overflows.
Don’t let a clogged toilet become a bigger problem than it is. Follow these steps to get your toilet flowing freely and easily:
- If the toilet is dangerously full, get a bucket and bail water out until it’s reduced to about half capacity. Not only does a full toilet pose the risk of overflowing, it’s also likely to create a mess when plunging.
- Try to create a situation in which there is just enough water to cover the plunger’s cup once it’s been inserted into the toilet.
- Ideally, line the edge of the plunger’s cup with petroleum jelly to create a tight seal.
- Insert the plunger at an angle to prevent air from being trapped under the cup.
- Start pumping the plunger – anywhere from one to twenty strokes. Don’t be afraid to use a good amount of force.
- Repeat this several times to burp the entire clog through.
- Pull the plunger forcefully upwards. If the water disappears down the toilet, you’re plunging job has been successful.
- If it’s worked, use a bucket to pour water into the toilet before flushing it. Do this several times, ensuring the bowl empties each time.
- If you’ve plunged and repeated several times to no avail, it’s probably time to get an auger (or snake) – or recruit a neighbor or plumber if you don’t have one.