5 Mistakes To Avoid When You Plunge Your Toilet

Posted on: 28 February 2017

If you have a bad clog in your toilet, you're going to want to be able to handle it yourself and not have to wait for the plumber to arrive. Of course, a plunger is a great tool for removing clogs, but it doesn't always get the job done unless you know how to use it right.

The following are five mistakes to avoid when using a plunger to get your toilet unclogged as quickly as possible:

Not turning off the water supply when there's a clog and you're plunging

If you have a clog you probably want to turn off the water supply to your toilet before you do anything else. Your toilet bowl may begin to overflow if the water is left on, and this can create a mess in your bathroom. Shut the water off by turning the valve at the bottom of your toilet before you proceed with plunging.

Using a plunger that's not the right size or type for the toilet bowl

A plunger needs to be the right size to maximize its effectiveness. The diameter of the plunger you use should be just a little bit larger than the size of the drain at the bottom of the toilet. 

Size isn't the only important consideration to take into account. You also might want to consider what type of plunger you have. There are two major types of plunger: standard and flange. A flange plunger has an extension on it so that it is not just a simple half sphere like a standard plunger.

Flange plungers are generally more forceful when you're plunging and more effective at removing clogs. 

Not achieving a good seal 

A plunger works by forcing water down into the clog so that it hopefully breaks through. However, a plunger will not be effective if a strong seal isn't achieved when the plunger is pushed down that doesn't allow water to simply come up the sides.

One way to maximize the effectiveness of the seal when you plunge is to coat the edge of the plunger with petroleum jelly. 

Allowing water to overflow

It's easy to make a mess in your bathroom when you're plunging your toilet. When you put the plunger in and push it down, the water level will rise. Before you begin plunging, check to make sure the water level is low enough so that it won't overflow to prevent a mess.

Trying to plunge right away without prepping the water and clog

Plunging will be most effective if you prep your clogged toilet by putting some hot water mixed with detergent in before you begin plunging. The hot water and detergent will help to break down the clog so that it will be easier to plunge it away.

For more information, talk to a professional like O'Brien Plumbing.

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