Proper Plunging

Plumber repairing toilet with hand plunger.

You may think there is only one way to plunge a toilet. Well, there is only one right way. Clearing a clogged toilet isn’t just as simple as thrusting a plunger at the problem. There are certain techniques that can really make a difference. Learning the proper way to plunge can help ease the anxiety of watching toilet water rise above normal (especially if the toilet does not belong to you).

Beware the DIY

It is always great to use prevention strategies and to know the first steps of addressing a plumbing problem. However, we need to not put so much faith in baking soda and vinegar alone. While they have been proven to be good cleaning agents, the combination does not clear toilet clogs.

Don’t forget the “Do It Yourself” motto all together, though. One trick has been known to be helpful when used along with proper plumbing techniques. Hot water. Hot water can help break up a clog while plunging.

Plunging Technique

First and foremost, you need the right equipment. Now, we don’t expect you to have all the bells and whistles. Honestly, it’s better that you don’t because a clog that requires bells and whistles should really be handled by a professional. What you want is a funnel-cup or flange plunger. These plungers help create the suction necessary to flush a clog.

The level of the water is important when plunging. Do whatever you must to stop the flow of water. If you have to lift the top off the back of the toilet and close the flapper- by all means do so. You may even have to extract water from the bowl yourself. Ideally, the bowl should be half full of water for a proper plunge. This way you have enough water to help pressurize the seal without having too much to block the strength of your plunge, and frankly make a huge mess.

Now that you have the right equipment and proper circumstances, it’s time to plunge. Making sure your seal is tight, you can begin controlled downward strokes. These strokes should be powerful and rapid. And remember, the pullback is just as important as the downward motion. Continue this for about 20 seconds, then you can try to flush. If this technique isn’t working, it may be time to consider the possibility of a larger problem and bring in the pros

Know When You Need the Pro

It’s always good to know your limits. Know the signs of minor vs major clogs. Big red flags of major clogs include water back up in sinks or tubs and gurgling toilets. Once you have exhausted all your efforts using proper equipment and technique, it is time to call in the big dogs.

A Pro Plumbing is home to your local plumbing professionals. They are available for your emergent situations 24/7. Don’t hesitate to call on something that may seem as simple as a clogged toilet. It is always better to avoid disaster and take care of the situation at hand properly. Call us for a free estimate and request your appointment online!