Clogged toilets are a pain to deal with, but they aren't the type of plumbing problem that necessarily requires a plumber. If you've got a clogged toilet, you should try to clear it with a plunger first. Using a plunger can be a quick and effective way to clear a clogged toilet – if you do it right. Here are some simple steps to get the most out of your plunger. Before you get started, you'll need to gather the plunger, an auger, a pair of gloves, a small bucket and some newspapers.
Do the Prep Work
Clearing a clogged toilet can be messy work. Before you start using your tools, you'll need to do some basic prep work. First, put your gloves on. This is particularly important if there's raw sewage in the toilet bowl. Raw sewage contains organisms that can make you sick if you come in contact with it. Next, you'll want to lay newspapers on the floor around the toilet.
Finally, use your bucket to bail out as much of the excess water – and waste – as you can. If the other toilets in your home are working, you can flush the water down those. If not, place a plastic bag over the bucket and flush it after the toilets are working again. Leave a few inches of water in the bottom of the toilet. You'll need it for the plunger.
Work the Plunger
To get the most force behind your plunger, the cup end of the plunger needs to cover the entire drain portion of your toilet. Place your plunger in the toilet and make sure it's covering the drain and the water remaining at the bottom of the bowl. Push down on the plunger handle in a firm and steady motion. Once the plunger cup is pushed down as far as it will go, pull up firmly on the handle. Repeat several times.
Call the Plumber
If your plunger fails to clear the drain, it might be time to call plumbing services. Your clog may be located further in the drainage system, which will require the plumber to remove the toilet or work from the other end to clear the problem.
If your toilet is clogged, don't panic. In most cases, you can use a household plunger to take care of the problem for you. The simple tips provided above will help you get your toilets flushing again.