A blockage in the toilet waste line can be a frustrating and messy experience, particularly if the toilet backs up and overflows all over the bathroom floor.
Common causes of clogs include hair, too much toilet paper flushed, and flushing food and items like cat litter.
However, there are things you can do to try to clear the toilet before you call a plumber.
One such tool you can use is the plunger.
Table of contents
The following is a list of tips on how to use a plunger effectively
Choose the Best Plunger
You might think any plunger will do the job, however certain plungers are better than others.
For instance, sink plungers are not effective for toilets as they are not as powerful because you cannot get the strong suction you need for a toilet.
Cheap plungers are not as good either. You can get a plunger like the ones plumbers use at a hardware store or plumbing supply store.
The plungers have a very thick rubber end and hole in the middle of the bell where you securely fit it over the drain hole.
The rim will also be thick to create strong suction. The handle of the plunger is around 2 feet in length.
Covering the Drain Hole
Place the rubber end of the plunger over the toilet drain hole.
For a more secure fit, line the rim of the plunger with petroleum jelly.
Make sure the plunger head is completely covering the hole.
Before completely covering the hole, leave a small space to allow water from the bowl to fill the inside of the plunger head.
Once filled, secure it over the drain hole. Make sure it is completely sealed.
Position your hands by making a grip around the other end of the plunger.
Using forceful thrusts, push as hard as you can on it so that you are pushing high pressure water through the waste water line.
The purpose is to try and dislodge the clog and push it through. Keep pushing for around 10 to 15 times fast and with forceful pushes.
You may start to see bits of debris coming up into the toilet bowl.
Clearing The Clog
As you plunge you should notice a whoosh and feel the pressure reduce when plunging.
This is a good indication that you cleared the clog.
As well, the water in the bowl should have flowed down the line.
Once the blockage has been cleared, take the plunger out and flush the toilet.
When clearing a clogged toilet, you should always try the plunger first.
As well, it can be hazardous to use a chemical cleaner while plunging as it might splash in your eyes.
It is also important to use a plunger that does not have cracks or other damage.
After clearing and flushing the toilet, you may want to add a bacterial enzyme which will help keep the pipes clear and clean.
If you are unable to clear the clog, you may have a more serious problem so it would be wise to call a plumber who will have the tools and equipment to identify the problem and make the correct repair.