There is nothing worse than having a toilet that is acting up. But before we look for the plunger let us find out what and where the problem is. There are basically two things that can go wrong.
1- The toilet gurgles and the water level in the bowl is low.
The problem: Air is sucked into the toilet bowl which is an indication of a venting problem
2- When flushing the contents don't drain and the bowl almost overflows.
The problem: A clog or partial clog within the "S" bend of the toilet bowl. There are several ways of solving the problem.
- Using a plunger.
- Using a plumber's snake.
- Using baking soda and vinegar.
- Using the enzyme method.
- Using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner - Using chemicals.
USING A PLUNGER
There are basically two types of plungers. A sink, shower, bath tub plunger and a toilet plunger. More info and pictures are shown to the left. Protect the floor. Place some old rags or towels on the floor around the toilet to catch any splashes or overflow. The plunger should be submerged. Push plunger down slowly, making sure to cover the opening at the bottom of the toilet bowl, and pull up fast to create a suction. Remove plunger to check if the bowl is draining. If it isn't, repeat the process till it does. Do not use too much force. If you do, the blockage may just move further down the drain. Usually the pushing (pressure) and pulling (suction) action will break up the clog. Do not flush till the bowl has drained to its normal level.
USING A PLUMBER'S SNAKE
This handy tool is commonly referred to as plumber's snake but also known as closet auger or auger. The snake is a flexible coil of wire that can negotiate the curves within the toilet bowl. When the wire hits the obstruction it is twisted, turned and pushed till the clog breaks up and water begins to drain. To finish the job flush the toilet a few time to make sure that all material is has cleared the bowl drain.
USING BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR
What you need is a medium size box of baking soda (500 gram) and a medium sized jug (2 liter) of white vinegar. You do not have to mix these two ingredients beforehand.
- Pour the baking soda into the toilet bowl.
- Pour slowly the vinegar, pause if the mixture starts to foam.
- Add about a gallon (3.5 liter) of hot tap water to aid the baking soda/vinegar chemical process.
- Let the solution work for about five minutes. Smaller clogs may dissolve almost immediately. For major clogging leave everything sit overnight, if possible.
THE ENZYME METHOD
Enzyme products are used in septic systems to break down solids. The same products can also be used for treating a plugged toilet. However, it is only effective on organic waste. Follow label instructions. It is a slow process but most clogs will break down overnight.