How to Unclog a Toilet If You’ve Never Done It Before

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It happens, toilets clog for one reason or another. Knowing how to quickly and easily unclog it isn’t necessarily a skill that everyone has, but it can be learned. In some instances, unclogging a toilet only requires an inexpensive plunger and some gloves.

Talking to plumbing experts in San Diego, we felt that this simple skill is valuable enough to share with the world. Naturally, if this simple guide doesn’t provide results, consulting experts is a better option than forcing the issue. Here’s what you need to do.

Partial Blockage

In some cases, the blockage in your pipes will not be total. That means that when you flush, the water level rises (maybe even spilling over), but it gradually drains and returns to the normal level. If you experience this issue, you should be aware that the blockage in the pipes, even though not complete, is no less problematic, and can lead to a lot more problems if not handled now.

Using a Plunger

If you’re buying a plunger, it helps if you buy one with an extension that folds into the regular bell shape. This extension will enable it to get a tighter seal with your pipes. However, if your plunger doesn’t have it, it will still be useful. It may take a bit more effort, but you will get there.

In order to get a proper seal, make sure that there’s enough water in the toilet bowl and then simply push the plunger down and pull it up again. Repeat this until you get the result you’re looking for.

Useful Tips for Plunger Use

One of the first things that an experienced plumber will tell you is that using a plunger can get messy. No matter what caused the clog, the chance for splashes is high, so you certainly should use gloves. Oh, and have a mop and towels around to clean the mess from the floor as well.

When you are creating the initial seal with the plunger, don’t press on it too hard and too fast. The plunger is full of air and it will be expelled out of the toilet, creating a lot bigger mess than is necessary.

However, once the seal has been created, some force is required. Basically, you will be moving water on both sides of the seal and hopefully dislodging the blockage. That means that you will typically need to repeat the motion 10 or more times.

Don’t let air break the seal you’ve created in the toilet. Air creates much weaker pressure than water, so your plunging will be that less effective.

What If It’s Not Working

If you’ve been going at it for a while and not achieving the desired result, perhaps it is time to give up. In certain cases, the plunger is not going to be enough. If you have a toilet snake and know how to use one, it is time to try this technique.

However, if your plumbing skill and knowledge are limited, it may be a good time to call it quits and consult a professional. Not only will you save yourself some time and effort, but you may also avoid damaging your toilet.

Having your toilet clogged is never a fun thing to experience, but the solution to this problem can be fairly simple – all you need is a simple tool and a bit of effort. However, knowing when to quit and call in the pros is also a valuable skill, in plumbing and in life.

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