FCS5234-04 Making Simple Repairs: Using a Plunger to Unstop a Toilet1 Mary N. Harrison2 1. This document is FCS5234-04, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, University of Florida. Publication: May 2002. Revised: December 2005. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Mary N. Harrison, professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean There may be a time when your toilet is stopped up; the water will not drain out. You may be able to unstop it by using a plunger. There are two types of plungers. 1. One type pf plunger is specifically designed for a toilet. (Fig. 1) 2. One type of plunger does not have the center section. It can be used for other types of drains as well as for toilets. (Fig. 2) How To Fix Inspect the toilet. Wear rubber gloves and try to remove anything that you see (such as a child's toy) that is stopping it up. Sometimes children put great quantities of tissue or other items in the toilet that can be removed with a coat hanger. If the toilet is still stopped up, use a plunger. Place the plunger over the hole in the bottom of the toilet. (Fig. 3) After the plunger is properly in place: 1. Press down on the plunger slowly and pull it up quickly.
Making Simple Repairs: Using a Plunger to Unstop a Toilet 2 2. Repeat the process about 20-30 times. 3. Remove the plunger and flush the toilet (or pour water in the bowl of the toilet). 4. If the water still backs up, bail the water out to keep it from overflowing. Use the plunger again. 5. This will usually solve the problem. If it does not, contact your landlord or call a plumber.