Toilet Clogged? Choose Your Weapon And Take The Plunge

28 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Most toilet clogs can be solved with a plunger. Some clogs are more stubborn than others, and require a vigorous and sustained workout with the plunger before the clog is removed and your toilet drains freely.

There are different types of plungers available, and while each kind of plunger serves the same purpose, they are designed diffently and take different approaches to forcing a clog from a toilet drain.

Old faithful: the stick and ball plunger

This is the type of plunger with which most homeowners are acquainted, and consists of a round stick handle with a concave semicircular rubber suction cup on the end.

The opening of the rubber cup is pressed against the drain opening and the handle pushed down to compress the cup. When the handle is lifted again, upward pressure is created inside the drain pipe, pulling against the clogging agent. This action is repeated quickly and vigorously until the clog is released.

The benefit of this type of plunger is in its simplicity of use and familiarity with the general public. Drawbacks include the necessity of holding the plunger cup steadily in place against the drain while pushing the handle, and the physicality needed to perform the actions.

In addition, when the clog is complete and the toilet is filled to the top with soiled water, the motion of the plunger creates enough of a disturbance that water and other contents splash onto the floor (and the person doing the plunging).

Since most clogs are not totally complete blockages, allow some time for the soiled water to drain away before begin to use the plunger.

The new kid in town: the pump plunger

This type of plunger performs the same function as the stick and ball type, but with a different approach. It looks and works like a bicycle tire pump, but instead of an tire inflation tip, it has a rubber plunger cup.

The cup is placed securely against the toilet drain, and while holding the pump in place with one hand, the pump handle is depressed repeatedly, as in pumping a tire. This creates a steady downward pressure that dislodges the clog and allows it to flow out of the drain.

The benefits of this type of plunger are its ease of use and its lack of tendency to make waves in deep water. There is much less physicality involved, just a steady pumping action.

The major drawback of this type of plunger is most evident when the toilet is full of soiled water. As the handle is being pumped and then withdrawn, water is sucked from the compression tube and through the small opening that allows the handle to compress.

This may create a shower of soiled water that covers everything, including the individual plunging, with a disgusting coating of water and human byproducts.

In this type of situation, use a thick glove on the hand that is holding the pump in place, and wrap the fingers loosely around the opening at the top of the compression tube. This may stem the "collateral damage", or at least contain it to a smaller area.

If possible ,wear plastic gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask when plunging, to minimize the chance of being infected by bacteria such as E. coli or other infectious agents. For more help and information contact a plumber, like those at Trenchless Pipe Technologies and similar locations.