How to Plunge Your Toilets Correctly | Roto-Rooter Blog
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How to Plunge Your Toilets Correctly

March 18, 2015

Plunging your toilet is a quick and effective way to deal with even the worst sudden clogs. Toilet clogs are one of the most common plumbing problems, but mastering the technique of plunging can help you quickly deal with the issue.

Choose the Right Plunger for the Job

In most cases, it is best to use a flange type plunger for a clogged toilet and a standard cup plunger for the sink, tub, or shower. It is advisable to have separate plungers for the toilet and sinks to prevent contamination. You may also consider wearing gloves throughout the process to protect your skin from any back-splash.

Choose a quality plunger with soft rubber to provide a better seal. You can also soften the plunger by running it under hot water. If the toilet is not draining properly or is filling up with water, prevent overflowing by turning the water off using the valve behind the toilet. Make sure to also drape a towel over and around the toilet bowl and place paper towels or newspaper on the floor to catch any water that may spill out.

Use Firm Pressure on the Upward and Downward Motion

Make sure to have the rubber flange pulled out to get a better seal on the drain. The upward and downward motion of the plunger is equally important. You are forcing water in both directions to loosen the clog so you need to use firm pressure and quick, forceful thrusts throughout the entire process.

After about 15 to 20 seconds, check to see if the problem has been corrected. You may need to plunge several times to get the results you need. You may also consider pouring several cups of hot (not boiling) water from waist level into the toilet bowl. This is often effective in helping to break up the source of the clog and it can make it easier to get a good plunge.

Take Preventative Measures to Avoid a Future Problem

The only thing worse than a drain clog is having the same problem again soon after. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can prevent toilet clogs from happening again, such as routine maintenance, effective enzyme treatments, using toilet paper that dissolves thoroughly, and avoiding flushing anything besides toilet paper and human waste. Roto-Rooter can provide you with more information and solutions to help you prevent the problem from happening again.

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