Take the Plunge: At-Home Plumbing Hacks

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By Erik Bryan

The New York Times recently reported that with a shortage of toilet paper, Americans have been flushing paper towels, T-shirts, wipes and other non-toilet suitable supplies down their toilet. Combine this with the fact that staying at home means toilets are getting used more than ever, you can start to understand why plumbers have received a huge influx of calls these last few months.

Calling the plumber for something simple like a clogged toilet can be expensive but there are simple DIY hacks to do it on your own and save some money.

Here are some tips we recommend at Precision Air & Plumbing if you’re having issues:

  • To fix an overflow:
    • If your toilet is overflowing, immediately uncover the back cover on your toilet and pull the hose out. The water will stop immediately and save you money in damages to the floor and furniture
  • Crayons or wet wipes stuck in a toilet? Plunger!
    • It’s not as hard as you think. When using a plunger, you will need to push in and out with force, making sure there is enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger. Be patient and alternate between steady and large strokes. Most of the time a plunger is all you need to fix a clog, however, there are special cases where you will need a snake.
  • Plunger not doing the job? Try a snake!
    • To use a snake, push the end of the cable into the toilet and start cranking the handle clockwise until you hit the source of the clog. Once you grab onto the obstruction, simply pull the handle counterclockwise. Repeat this process until the toilet is unclogged.

Sometimes there are toilet clogs that are better left to the experts. If you are trying the above tips and not having any success, you should call a licensed plumbing expert. Talk to your family and make sure no one in your household is flushing non flushable wipes, sanitary products and items that could be harmful to your pipes.

Erik Bryan is the owner of Precision Air & Plumbing, a family-owned air conditioning, heating, plumbing and home performance company providing quality home services across the Valley.

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