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Before You Face A Plumbing Emergency: Step-By-Step Instructions For Clearing A Clogged Toilet

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Now that you're living on your own, you should make sure you know how to clear a clogged toilet. You might not realize this but there's a correct way to plunge a clogged toilet. It's a good idea to learn the proper way to clear a clog before they occur.

Depending on where the clog is located in the water line, you might need to use two separate plumbing tools. You should keep a plunger and a small plumber's snake on hand. If you're not familiar with a plumber's snake, it's a wire cable that is fed through the drain pipes to remove clogs. Here are some step-by-step instructions for clearing out a clogged toilet.

Don't Flush

As soon as you know you have a clog in the toilet drain, you should stop flushing. You might think that flushing will loosen up the clog but it will actually make the clog worse by pushing the clog further into the drain. Continuous flushing can also increase the risk of floods.

Take the Plunge

Don't just stick the plunger in and start pushing. Instead, place the plunger bell over the drain, making sure that the entire hole is covered. Slowly press down on the handle to release the air from inside the bell. Once the air has been removed, pull up on the handle and begin plunging vigorously.

Plunge for about 1 minute and then stop. Listen for a slight gurgling sound before plunging again. If you hear a gurgling sounds, remove the plunger and see if the toilet drains. If it doesn't drain, plunge for another minute or two following the previous instructions. If the toilet drains, you're ready to test the water.

Test the Water

To test the water, you're going to let small amounts of water into the bowl. Don't flush the toilet. Instead, remove the lid from the tank and manipulate the flapper. Reach your hand into the tank and grab hold of the black flapper that covers the drain hole. Lift up on the flapper and allow a small amount of water to enter the tank.

If the water enters the toilet bowl and begins to rise above the fill line, quickly replace the flapper. If the water raises to an appropriate level and stops, flush the toilet to ensure that the clog has been cleared.

Send in the Snake

If plunging failed to clear the clog, you'll need to send in the snake. A plumber's snake is a metal coil that's used to clear clogs out of drain pipes. Loosen the bolt on the snake and firmly pull on the coil snake. Place the hooked end into the toilet bowl and firmly push the coil through the drain pipe. Once you've fed about 2' of the snake through the pipes, rewind the snake. The hook should have cleared the clog so you can use your toilet again.

You're on your own now. You can save yourself expensive repairs by preparing yourself for those minor emergencies that might pop up. These simple instructions will help you clear out those clogged toilets. For major plumbing emergencies, like broken water pipes, it's better to shell out money for professional plumbing services.