Is there anything worse than a clogged toilet? First, there’s the sheer panic as you pray it doesn’t spill over onto your floor. Then, there’s the frustration of attempting to successfully plunge it. And all of this doesn’t even take into account the potential for embarrassment. Fortunately, if you’re dealing with this situation, we’ve got two pieces of good news. First, you’re not alone. Second, we’ve got tips and tricks to help you out.
Mr. Rooter Plumbing, a Neighborly company, recently commissioned a study about this exact situation — and all the other plumbing challenges homeowners and renters face. Here are some quick facts and figures the study uncovered:
Nearly one in five homeowners deals with a clogged toilet on a regular basis
15 percent of homeowners have recently spent time fixing a backed up drain
Almost one in ten regularly deals with a clogged sink
6 percent have low water pressure
4 percent have garbage disposal troubles
Sound familiar? Whatever plumbing issue is plaguing you, you want to get it dealt with as quickly as possible. And fear not! If you’re one of the 46 percent of people who’ve turned to the internet for support, we’re here to help. We talked with Mr. Rooter Plumbing to get some expert guidance for you.
Ready to get plunging? Once you’re armed with your flanged plunger, James offers step-by-step guidance for optimal results:
“Take your plunger (make sure you have a good connection with the plunger and the toilet) and begin the plunging motion with a good amount of force behind it. The goal is to push the blockage through.
“Be quick and repetitive with the plunging motion and keep your eye out for movement in the toilet, which means the blockage is being pushed through.
“Make sure the water is draining before you try to flush the toilet. Never pour a chemical drain cleaner down your toilet; harsh chemicals can irritate your skin and eyes or cause damage to your plumbing pipes.
“If you can’t repair a clogged toilet on your own, contact a professional plumber for assistance.”
With the right tool and the right action, you’ll have that toilet cleared in no time at all.
Whether you’ve got a drain that’s moving slowly or it’s completely clogged, a simple household item could be the solution. Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends taking a wire coat hanger and straightening it, then creating a small hook with one end. Use that hook to fish down into your drain and pull up any hair or other buildup, clearing your pipes.
If your fishing expedition doesn’t yield results, Mr. Rooter Plumbing recommends a natural but effective way to reach further into your pipes. Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar and pour it down your drain (be prepared to move quickly, because this mixture will foam — and fast). Let it sit as long as you can. An hour works, but overnight is best. The fizzing action will help break up any gunk in your pipes, allowing water to run freely through them.
Still stumped? Keep reading for more guidance on clearing your drains.
It’s tempting to run a chemical pipe cleaner through your garbage disposal, but it will likely be ineffective and can hurt the disposal itself. Instead, take the garbage disposal off and visually inspect it. You can do this by simply unscrewing it from the base of your sink. Don’t forget to disconnect it from power when you do to keep your hands safe!
Once you’ve located your issue, safely remove it, reattach the garbage disposal and test it to confirm you’ve found — and resolved — the issue.
See, being your own plumber doesn’t have to be a huge headache or mess. That said, don’t be afraid to call in the pros for support. If the above tips don’t do the trick, getting a hand from a professional can save you a lot of hassle.
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