Plumbing Repairs
A typical wc.

How to Unclog a Toilet Fixture with a Flange Plunger

A typical wc.
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"How to Unclog a Toilet Fixture with a Flange Plunger"
Caption: A typical wc.
Image by: John Ledbury

When a toilet blocks, it is usually because something has been put down there, that shouldn’t really have been put in. These things happen and can be very inconvenient at times, as well as upsetting the whole home or office routine. With a flange plunger to hand, it wont take long to resolve.

What a flange plunger does is quite simple really. As the handle is pressed down, large air bubbles are forced into the exit pipe. These bubbles disturb the water behind the blockage, and will eventually circulate around and dislodge the offending item, which will then hopefully float off into the main system where it will no longer be a problem. It may well take a few attempts, but it will eventually do the job.

Before you begin, you may want to pour some bleach or disinfectant into the toilet bowl. The purpose of that is to make the working conditions a little better. By their very nature, a toilet is not the sweetest smelling place in the home.

To use a Flange Plunger, place it into the toilet bowl under the water, as far as it will go without being forced. Slowly but firmly press down on the handle to expel the air in it.
The next step is to withdraw the plunger from the water until the bellows reform. Then repeat the first action, until the blockage is removed.

 In some cases, the blockage may have occurred some time earlier, and the situation may appear worse than it actually is.
While it is not a pleasant job to do, it may be necessary to remove some of the toilet bowl contents, before using the flange plunger. If that is the case, and it happens in thousands of home on a daily basis, using bleach or disinfectant will improve the working conditions.

Ideally wear rubber gloves and some old clothes before starting the job. Remove as much ’liquid’ as possible, with a small container that can be discarded afterwards, and pour it into a bucket. When the level in the toilet bowl is as close to normal as possible, then begin using the flange plunger.

After the blockage has been removed, and the toilet flushes and clears normally, the contents of the bucket can be returned to the bowl and be flushed away.  

It could be that someone needs reminding of what cannot be flushed down the toilet. To maintain domestic bliss, it may of course, be wise to say nothing.
From experience, I am not saying that Grandmas can be as bad as toddlers for this sort of thing!

More about this author: John Ledbury

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