There is almost nothing more annoying, frustrating, or horrifying than clogging a toilet- especially during a family gathering when toilet use is high, or at a friend’s house or in a restaurant. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to plunge your toilet. You’re welcome.
Plunger (flange or ball type, not the cup type which is used for bathtubs)
Toilet (a.k.a. Closet) auger
- Don’t try to flush the toilet. It’s tempting to consider that perhaps by some miracle the toilet will unclog itself, but more often than not, this isn’t the case.
- Grab your plunger and slowly push it into the water to the bottom of the bowl. Fit the plunger around the water drain (hole) at the bottom of the bowl and push the handle up and down rapidly until you feel the stoppage release or see the water level drop in the toilet.
- Don’t flush the toilet yet. Remove the lid from the tank portion and very slowly lift the flapper seal at the bottom of the tank to allow some water to enter the toilet bowl. Be careful not to lift it all the way though as this will cause the toilet to flush. If the water in the toilet bowl leaves the bowl easily then your job is done! If not, move to step 4.
- Turn off the water supply to your toilet.
- Making sure the auger cable is fully retracted into the handle, put the auger into your toilet so that the curved part where the cable comes out of the handle is facing in the same direction that the toilet drains- either the front or back of the toilet bowl.
- Advance the auger cable into the toilet drain by cranking with gentle pressure until you feel the cable tighten or the handle stops turning as you’ve likely located the stoppage.
- Quickly crank the auger to break the stoppage up. If you get to a point where you can’t crank it anymore, crank in the reverse direction. Continue cranking until the auger cable has been inserted all the way. Be careful not to be forceful as it may damage your toilet and cause a bigger problem!
- When the stoppage has broken up and you’re able to run the entire auger cable into the toilet, remove the auger and plunge the toilet again.
- Don’t flush the toilet yet. Repeat Step 3 first. If the water leaves the bowl easily, then try flushing the toilet to see what happens.
- If your toilet flushes normally, turn the water supply back on then clean your toilet auger outside to avoid contamination. You can spray the cable with a lubricant like WD40 to get rid of remaining water/moisture after it has been cleaned to extend the life of your cables. Finally, hang it by the handle in a warm place to dry.
SPECIAL NOTE: If your toilet still won’t flush after you’ve used the hand auger, this means that the blockage is further down your pipes and requires some advanced tools & techniques to clear. Have no fear, give us a call and we’ll get your toilet back in working order!