Vertex Mechanical’s HVAC, Plumbing & Electrical Blog


How to Plunge a Toilet with a Plunger

You just Googled or clicked “how to plunge a toilet” — and we’re guessing that’s not because it’s always been a curiosity of yours. Chances are that you’re staring down at a clogged toilet right now — but don’t worry, we can help.

No embarrassment here: everybody poops. (And if you don’t poop, please close this blog and consult a doctor!)

Follow our 6 steps to learn how to plunge a toilet fast without making a mess. Plus, get the scoop on the reasons why you feel like your toilet needs unclogged all the time.

6 Steps to Plunge a Toilet Fast

To understand how to plunge a toilet fast, you need to know why your toilet clogged in the first place. A toilet clog occurs because too much material (toilet paper, #2, etc.) gets stuck going down the toilet drain. When your toilet is clogged, simply flushing again will only add more water, which may cause the toilet to overflow. You need to break up or remove the clog — and your toilet plunger is the best weapon to do that.

Easy Steps to Plunge a Toilet with a Plunger:

  1. Stop the Water from Rising — First things first, you’ll need to stop the water level from rising. Most times, the toilet water level halts on its own, but if it doesn’t, use the emergency shutoff knob behind your toilet. Twist this, and cut off the flow of water if needed.
  2. Use the Right Plunger (If You Can) — Now you’re ready to get to work plunging the toilet. There are two common plungers: one with a flat end and one with a protruding end. The one with the protrusion is the better type to unclog a toilet. However, don’t panic if you have the flat plunger because with the right information, either one can do the job.
  3. Form a Tight Seal Over the Drain — Gently submerge your plunger into the water, being careful not to dislodge anything foul onto the floor. Place the head of your plunger over the clogged drain and press down, forming a tight seal. The tight seal is crucial to either pulling the clog out of the drain or forcing it all the way down.
  4. Plunge Vigorously — Simple and careful: that’s how to plunge a toilet with a plunger. Make full up-and-down plunging motions, kind of like you’re churning butter the old-fashioned way.
  5. Break the Seal and Test — After you’ve plunged hard and hopefully loosened up the clog, it’s time to break the seal and find out. When you pull up your plunger, generally the clog and all of the nasty water will be pulled right down the drain. However, if your toilet is still clogged, don’t lose hope — just repeat steps 3-5 until the water drains.
  6. Clean Your Plunger — That’s it, crisis averted. You just learned how to plunge a toilet with a plunger. Now that your toilet is clear and ready for use, all that’s left is to sanitize the toilet plunger itself. We recommend doing that by disinfecting it with bleach, vinegar, or toilet bowl cleaner. Learn how to clean a toilet plunger.

Why Your Toilet Clogs Too Often

toilet paper causing clogged toilet

Generally, if you have clogged a toilet, you know why: too much toilet paper, a colossal #2, or some other debris that found its way into your toilet bowl. However, if you find your toilet clogs without reason, that’s a greater cause for concern as it can indicate deeper plumbing problems.

If you find yourself plunging the toilet WAY more often than you should, one of these two reasons are probably responsible:

  1. Hard Water Build-up in Your Toilet — If you have hard water in your house, the sediment builds up in every appliance, even the toilet. Over time, this sediment can actually limit how much water flows into your toilet bowl, making the flush weaker. That weak flush has a hard time doing its job. Learn more about water softening.
  2. Partially Clogged Sewer Pipe or Sewer Line — Everything that flows down your toilets enters the sewer via your main sewer line. If that line becomes partially or fully clogged, it can lead to some downright foul toilet troubles. One of the most common signs of a clogged sewer line is a toilet that clogs up from time-to-time without a reason for it.

    The most common culprits that partially or fully block sewer lines include tree-roots, feminine-hygiene products, and rags or towels. If your sewer line does ever become fully blocked, it can cause raw sewage to back up into your tubs and sinks. If you suspect you have a sewer line clog, contact an expert plumbing company today to identify the issue before it gets any worse.

Your Full-Service Plumbing Company

While Vertex Mechanical might be more well-known for HVAC services in Lancaster and Reading, PA, we serve as a full-service plumber, too. Whether you need help dealing with hard water or a clogged sewer line, we are the team to trust. Contact us for all of your plumbing needs.

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