Most of us live a pretty fast-paced lifestyle. So when something breaks in our home, it can be tempting to pick up the phone and call in a professional for a quick fix. However, sometimes its best to first assess the situation and consider whether you're up to the task of solving the problem and saving a few bucks.
A great example of such DIY home repairs that can be simple to master is unplugging a toilet.
Unplugging the clogged toilet.
Few people want to fess up to causing this mess, and even fewer want to troubleshoot it. But panicking isn't necessary, and with a little problem solving even the unhandiest of individuals can be quasi-plumbers.
Begin by determining the root cause of the clog; maybe a sunken kid's toy became caught partly down the flusher. In this scenario, you should be able to grab a pair of gloves and fish out the offending item. If you can't see any such problem, you may try waiting until the threat of overflow has passed and then pour a pot of water into the bowl. This increased pressure is frequently effective for dislodging small blockages. Heating the pot of water to a boil and adding liquid dish soap to it beforehand can enhance the effect.
If such attempts don't work, it's time to grab the plunger. Flanged plungers and accordion styled plungers are ideal due to their better capabilities of making an airtight seal. Begin with a gentle first plunge as the plunger is full of air and too hard a thrust will break the seal and blow water back onto you. Once the air has been forced out, give the bowl between ten and fifteen vigorous thrusts before checking the water in the bowl and adding as needed. Repeat until the clog is cleared.
Other tools for clearing clogs include plumbing snakes, closet auger, or even a sizable length of coiled metal can be effective for threading down the toilets length and messing with the clog until it breaks apart and normal flow returns.
You can also uninstall the toilet to completely root out the offending mass. It'll be messy, but most toilets are fairly simple to disconnect. Check the manufacturer's instructions before beginning and recruit a helper.
For more handy DIY home repairs, check out our Home Maintenance Section or download our new home maintenance checklist today. You can also import reminders into your calendar with our checklist!
Check back for parts two, three, and four of our series: 4 Home Repairs Everyone Should Know.