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What To Do When A Plunger Won't Unclog A Toilet

December 19, 2023 | Blog

The Common Challenge Of A Clogged Toilet

At Brown Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Hueytown, AL, we often encounter homeowners dealing with the frustrating issue of a clogged toilet. It’s a common household problem, but what happens when the trusty plunger fails to resolve it?

Understanding why a plunger might not work and knowing alternative methods to tackle the clog can save you from a plumbing disaster.

Why Your Plunger Might Not Be Enough

A plunger is often the first tool we reach for when faced with a clogged toilet, but there are times when this tool alone isn’t enough to solve the problem. Understanding the limitations of this component is key to effectively addressing stubborn clogs.

The Nature Of The Clog

The effectiveness of a plunger largely depends on the type of clog you’re dealing with. It might struggle to clear the blockage if your toilet is not draining due to accumulated paper, organic waste or non-flushable items.

Improper Use Of The Plunger

A common reason for this tool’s ineffectiveness is incorrect usage. To use one effectively, you need to ensure a tight seal over the toilet’s drain hole.

This seal is crucial for creating the necessary vacuum and pressure to dislodge the clog. When plunging, use steady, forceful thrusts to push and pull water, not air, through the pipe. Many people make the mistake of using too much force or not enough. Sometimes, they break the seal by lifting the plunger too high during the upward pull, which reduces its effectiveness.

Deeper Plumbing Issues

Occasionally, the problem lies further down the plumbing line, beyond the reach of a plunger. This could be due to issues like pipe obstructions or a malfunctioning sewer line.

Alternative Methods To Unclog Your Toilet

When a plunger isn’t enough, it’s time to consider alternative methods. These methods can be more effective for certain types of blockages or when the issue lies deeper in the plumbing system.

Using A Toilet Auger

A toilet auger, also known as a plumber’s snake, can be a game-changer for clearing a blocked commode. This tool allows you to reach deeper into the toilet drain to dislodge blockages that are out of a plunger’s reach.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using a toilet auger:

  • Extend the auger — Slowly feed the auger into the toilet bowl, ensuring you don’t scratch the porcelain.
  • Reach the clog — Crank the handle to extend the auger’s cable until you feel resistance.
  • Dislodge the clog — Rotate the auger to break apart the blockage, then retract the cable.

If this method doesn’t work, Brown Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here to help combat this bathroom plumbing issue in your home!

Hot Water And Dish Soap Method

For less severe clogs, a combination of hot water and dish soap can work wonders. Pour a mixture of hot water and a few squirts of dish soap into the bowl. Wait for several minutes as the solution works to break down the clog.

The Dangers Of Chemical Drain Cleaners

While it might be tempting to use a chemical drain cleaner, we at Brown Heating, Cooling & Plumbing advise against it. These harsh chemicals can damage your plumbing and are harmful to the environment.

Blocked Vent Pipes: An Overlooked Culprit

Sometimes, the issue isn’t in the toilet. It may be the vent pipes. Blocked vent pipes can hinder proper toilet drainage. If you hear gurgling sounds or notice slow drainage throughout the house, this could be the cause.

Preventing Future Toilet Clogs

Prevention is always better when it comes to your plumbing! Be mindful of what you flush down the toilet. Avoid disposing of non-flushable items like wipes, feminine hygiene products or excessive toilet paper.

Regular maintenance, including the occasional use of a mild, natural drain cleaner, can keep your plumbing in top shape as well.

Call Brown Heating, Cooling & Plumbing For Toilet Clogs

Despite your best efforts, some clogs are too stubborn or complex for DIY methods. If your toilet is still not draining after trying these tips, it’s time to call in our professionals.

Brown Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Hueytown, AL, is always ready to assist! Our experienced team can tackle any plumbing challenge, ensuring your home’s system runs smoothly. Remember, attempting to fix a severe clog without proper knowledge can lead to further damage. Contact us today for professional assistance!

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