February 2nd, 2019
What in the world is a person to do, when you pull the toilet handle, and instead of going down and out, the contents start to rise and threaten to overflow? Panic is a natural first reaction, but that won’t help. If you are fast and clever enough get the top of the toilet tank off in time, you can close the flap to stop the flow. Hopefully good plumbing installation and good professional maintenance will have prevented the problem for you. But, if the worst does happen, there’s no tool for this job like a good old flange plunger. The flange plunger is the one with the bell shape and some sort of extension, or flange. The flat plunger is good for a sink clog, but not the best for a clogged toilet. Let’s hope that you have a flange plunger within reach when you need it.
But what if you are in unfamiliar, even hostile, territory, like over at your in-laws house, perhaps? Is there any way to avoid the embarrassment of having to ask for a plunger? You could close the lid and the bathroom door, bid everyone a hasty good-bye, and leave without claiming the mess you’ve left behind. You should not try that, not matter how tempted. The in-laws or other inhabitants are bound to notice the situation, eventually. They will remember you well, but not in a good way. They may bring the incident up at the most unfavorable times, possibly repeatedly, and forever. You can try putting some hot water in the toilet. That might dissolve the blockage enough that it will go down with the next cautious flush. Flush with the top off the toilet, and be ready to manually close the flap to stop the flow. It’s a slight, faint ray of hope, but better than no hope at all. If you’ve no luck with the hot water, do the right thing and ask for the toilet plunger. The hot water, along with a little liquid soap, may still help here. Seat the flange plunger properly, get the plunging action going, and you should be able to get rid of the clog.
If the plunger doesn’t work, it’s time to call the plumber. Your local plumbing pro will be able to clear the most stubborn clog. They won’t frown on you, or tell stories about you every Thanksgiving for the rest of your life. The professional plumber has the tools and techniques needed, and they are well prepared to deal with every plumbing emergency.