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How to unclog a toilet with a plunger as explained by a pro

It’s every man’s worst fear. You’re at someone’s house, you finish doing your business and flush the toilet, but instead of going down, the water comes up along with whatever you just deposited in the bowl. Would you be paralyzed with panic in that moment? Or do you know what to do? Thankfully, unclogging a toilet isn’t hard at all. Even the gangliest of clogs can be taken care of with ease. To help us learn how to effectively unclog a toilet, I called up Rod from Roto-Rooter and got the scoop. Here’s his easy to follow advice.

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First things first, step away from the handle! Continuing to try to flush your toilet when it’s clogged will just leave you with a mess all over your bathroom floor.

Instead, grab your trusty plunger. Oh, wait, not that one. James Doyle, President of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, gave us a crash course in plungers. And taught us that not all are created equal.

The most common plunger type is a sink plunger, which is a simple flat rubber cup attached to a handle. Your toilet needs something extra.

Toilet plungers have a soft rubber flange running along the inside of the plunger cup, which makes them much more effective at plunging your toilet.

With the flange plunger’s universal design, it can also be used on sink and toilet clogs,” Doyle points out.

But don’t use the same plunger on both surfaces! Keep one plunger strictly for the toilet and another one for flat surfaces.

How to properly plunge, as explained by a pro

Ready to get plunging? Once you’re armed with your flanged plunger, Doyle offers step-by-step guidance for optimal results:

  • Step: 01

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.

  • Step: 02

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.

  • Step: 03

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.

  • Step: 04

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.


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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