No matter how expensive the tank or bowl, clogged toilets are inevitable. If you live long enough, you will invariably experience the horror of flushing – only to watch in horror as water builds and threatens to run over the top of the bowl. If the clog signals a larger problem, which is sometimes the case, your Diamond Bar plumber, JB Plumbing, will be happy to help. But, in some cases, clogged toilets are a job you can take care of yourself, taking a few tips about how to unclog a toilet from plumbing professionals.
The great thing about plungers is that they are inexpensive and readily available. Since toilets tend to overflow without warning, we recommend you splurge for one per toilet. This is helpful, because it eliminates the need to run from one bathroom to another while Mt. St. Helens threatens to erupt.
How to plunge your toilet (What you don’t know may surprise you!):
- Keep the toilet from overflowing. If your toilet doesn’t flush properly after one flush, resist the urge to flush again. Flushing a clogged toilet could flood your floor. Instead, remove the lid and close the flapper, to keep water from entering the bowl. (The flapper looks like a circular drain stopper attached to a chain.) Don’t worry about germs. Since the water in the tank isn’t dirty, you can safely stick your hand inside to close the flapper. But, just to be safe, use rubber gloves when handling anything in your home that’s toilet-related.
- Clear Visible Obstructions. In some cases, you will be able to spot the source of the clog, be it hair, barrettes or other small objects.
- Buy the right plunger. Extension flange models with a rubber bell-shaped fit toilets are the best choice, since they provide the tightest seal. These models also work to unplug sink and tub drains if you fold the flange back into the bell.
- Once you are sure something is preventing the toilet from properly emptying and filling, plunge vigorously to force water in both directions, to loosen most clogs. Stick with it, plunging up to 20 times, if necessary. Make sure water in the bowl continues to cover the plunger. Keep towels at the ready, to wipe up water that spills out in the process. In many cases, this will unclog the toilet.
- Spread Vaseline around the rim of the plunger to ensure a tight fit that will make secure contact at the bottom of the bowl. Or, run the plunger under hot water to soften the rubber for more flexibility.
- Flush. Even after plunging has drained the bowl, the clog could still block the free flow of water down the drain. When this occurs, leave the plunger in the bowl and fill the bowl with water. Use a bucket to restore water level. Then, plunge again. Stubborn clogs might require several repetitions of this process.
- Turn to an anti-clogging product. Instead of buying costly toxic toilet chemicals, boil a large pot of water and mix with one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar. This environmentally-friendly option should be allowed to work for several hours. In many cases, this will clear the clog.
- Another inexpensive yet effective method is dish soap. Heat a large pot of water. As it cools, our liquid dish soap into the bowl. Then, carefully pour the cooled water into the bowl.
- Snake it. A plumbing snake is a great tool for tacking stubborn clogs. While you will not be able to buy the heavy-duty commercial snake that plumbers use, you could purchase a basic model at most home improvement store. Feed the flexible end of the snake into the toilet drain until you meet with resistance. Then, twist the snake handle to dislodge the obstruction. Once the clog clears, carefully remove the snake so you won’t whip dirty water into your bathroom during extraction.
- Call a Pro. One of the best things about plumbers is that they happily handle the dirty work, so you won’t have to. If the above methods fail to work, it’s time to call a professional. JB Plumbing in San Dimas is a licensed general contractor. We are qualified not only to eliminate clogs, but also to repair any resulting damage.
About JB Plumbing
If you need assistance with a clogged toilet or anything related to your plumbing, in and around the San Gabriel Valley, give us a call. With us, you can expect upfront pricing; fast, free estimates; licensed, bonded and insured plumbers who are neat, polite, and well trained. We use state-of-the-art tools and equipment and are proud of the fact our services are free from hidden costs like travel charges. If you contact JB Plumbing today, 24/7, you will speak directly to a plumber instead of a telephone answering service. At JB Plumbing, we are experts in residential and commercial plumbing as well as construction. Call today to schedule an appointment. (909) 593-2194.