Bob Vila Radio: Unclogging a Toilet

You’re in the middle of a party, enteraining a houseful of guests, and the toilet acts up. Are you ready to spring into action? Here’s a game plan.

Unclogging-A-Toilet

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Listen to BOB VILA ON UNCLOGGING A TOILET or read the text below:

You’ll need a full-size plunger, an auger, a pair of rubber gloves, and a bucket. If your toilet is particularly tetchy, keep these supplies handy.

If the toilet is about to overflow or actually spilling over, shut off the water supply valve behind the toilet. Remove about half the water from the bowl. Insert the plunger, making sure there’s enough water to come halfway up the plunger cup, and start plunging. Keep a tight seal and plunge several times. If the water goes down, plunge once more just to be sure, turn the water supply back on, and try flushing the toilet.

If it’s still clogged, reach for the auger. Feed it into the drain, cranking clockwise, until it tightens on the clog. Reverse a bit then continue as far down as possible. Pull it all up at once and remove any debris. Plunge once more for good measure, and flush several times. Now you—and your guests—should be good to go!

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on bathrooms, consider:

Low-Flow Toilets
Quick Tip: Replace a Toilet
Bob Vila Radio: How to Replace a Shower Head