It happens to us all.
Your toilet gets clogged and now you’re scrambling to unclog it before you’re discovered.
Problem: You’re failing spectacularly.
Why? You can seem to unclog the toilet fine sometimes, but not other times.
Maybe we can help by highlighting 3 common mistakes homeowners make when trying to unclog their toilet.
Mistake 1) Using the wrong kind of plunger
A plunger is a plunger is a plunger, right?
There 2 main types of plungers:
- Cup plunger — Loosens clogs in sinks and other drains with a flat surface.
- Flange plunger— Loosen clogs in toilets and others drains with a curved surface.
The flange plunger has the extension flange on the rubber bell-shaped end. This design helps the plunger create a better seal on the drain so you can create more pressure while plunging.
So no flange = Little pressure = difficulty unclogging the toilet clog.
Do this: Save yourself some hassle and make sure you’re using a flange plunger.
Mistake 2) Using the plunger incorrectly
Let’s assume you’re using a flange plunger. You may just be using it incorrectly.
Do this: Next time you have a clog, use your plunger like this:
- Ensure the flange lip is unfolded
- Get a good seal on the toilet drain (that is, make sure you’re covering the entire drain or you won’t have enough pressure to loosen the clog.)
- Cover the plunger in water. You need water, not air, pressure to loosen the clog. If your toilet lacks water, pour in enough water till the plunger is covered.
- Use a gentle plunge initially since a hard one will force air back around the seal, blowing water all over you and your bathroom floor.
- Now, plunge vigorously in and out while maintaining the seal. This should work for most clogs.
Mistake 3) Failing to think the clog is farther down
Sometimes, an extra stubborn clog can be caused by what’s farther down the drain in the sewer line.
Clogs in the sewer line are commonly caused by things you should NOT be flushing down your toilet, including:
- “Flushable” wipes (Consumer Reports shows that they’re not as flushable as advertised)
- Tampons and pads
- Cotton balls and swabs
- Paper towels
Do this: Always remember, if it’s not toilet paper or waste, don’t flush it down the toilet. And if you have a stubborn clog you suspect could be further down the drain, contact Mr. Plumber. We can use a camera to find the source of the problem and get it corrected.