Monday, February 1, 2010
No matter how you look at it, a clogged toilet is no fun, but you might not need a plumber to unclog it.
Step 1: Remove as much water as possible from the stool. If the water is not draining at all, scoop the excess water into a bucket — not into the sink or tub.
Step 2: Try a plunger first. Use a dome-shaped plunger, preferably with a flange. The red cup shape plungers are designed for flat sink surfaces, not curvaceous stools. Seat the plunger completely into the stool drain to maximize its suction ability. Firmly press the handle of the plunger down and up a dozen times or so to unclog the drain.
Step 3: If the plunger does not unseat the clog, try pouring a half-full bucket of warm water into the stool from waist height. The warmth coupled with the pressure of the falling water will sometimes dislodge objects stuck in the stool drain.
Step 4: If the toilet is still clogged after plunging and pouring warm water into the stool, it is time to invest in a toilet drain auger. These augers are about 3 feet in length with a curved shaft, a flexible cable and a crank handle. They are readily available at your local hardware store or home center.
Step 5: Pull the crank handle up to retract the flexible cable into the curved shaft. Place the curved shaft into the stool facing the curve in the direction of the drain. Be careful not to scratch the porcelain.
Step 6: Rotate the crank handle clockwise while gently pushing down to feed the flexible cable into the stool’s drain. The drain makes a dramatic curve rather rapidly, so it will take a little perseverance to maneuver the cable down and to the clog.
Step 7: Continue to rotate the handle clockwise, occasionally pulling back on the handle to loosen the clog.
Step 8: Once the obstruction has been removed, pull the crank handle back to retract the flexible cable into the curved shaft. Flush the toilet to assure everything is working properly.
Pour any excess water into the unclogged stool, flush and close the lid on yet another job well done.