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How to plunge a clogged toilet


TOOL TIP

A flanged plunger fits into the mouth of the toilet trap and creates a tight seal so you can build up enough pressure in front of the plunger to dislodge the blockage and send it on its way.

 
 

Step 1. Plunging is the easiest way to remove “natural” blockages. Take time to lay towels around the base of the toilet and remove other objects to a safe, dry location, since plunging may result in splashing. Sometimes, allowing a very full toilet to sit for twenty or thirty minutes will permit some of the water to drain to a less precarious level, or you can bail it out. WARNING: Don’t use a plunger if the toilet is plugged with a diaper, washcloth, or other object that could get pushed into the drainpipe. It may create a worse clog in a pipe that’s beyond your reach. Try to remove the object with a closet auger.

 

Step 2. There should be enough water in the bowl to completely cover the plunger. Fold out the skirt from inside the plunger to form a better seal with the opening at the base of the bowl. Pump the plunger vigorously half-a-dozen times, take a rest, and then repeat. Try this for 10 to 15 cycles.

 

Step 3. If you force enough water out of the bowl that you are unable to create suction with the plunger, put a controlled amount of water in the bowl by lifting up on the flush valve in the rank. Resume plunging. When you think the drain is clear, you can try a controlled flush, with your hand ready to close the flush valve should the water threaten to spill out of the bowl. Once the blockage has cleared, dump a five-gallon pail of water into the toilet to blast away any residual debris.

 

 

 

 

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