Thanks to the prevalence of old pipes and vintage plumbing fixtures that come with the city’s numerous craftsmen-style houses, clogged toilets are a common problem in Seattle. Fortunately, it is a plumbing issue that sometimes people can solve on their own — if they know how. Please remember that it is always a good idea to call a professional, but if you’re willing and adventurous, Here are a couple of different ways you can unclog your toilet.
One way to fix a clogged toilet is to use a plunger. Insert the plunger so it fully covers the drain in the center of the toilet. Then push down gently, allowing the air in the plunger to be forced out. Once the plunger is compressed, pull back to create a suction and dislodge the clog. Most people try to “force” the clog through the toilet and what really happens is that the clog gets packed tighter. By trying to remove the stoppage the way it went in, you are more likely to be successful. This method may also be successful at retrieving objects that have gone down the drain accidentally.
Another way to break up a clogged toilet is to use a drain snake or auger. A toilet auger can be purchased at most hardware stores and may be a good investment if you own an older home. The auger is flexible enough to reach past the curves on the inside of the toilet, but not so powerful that it will break the toilet. As you crank the handle the spiral head should break up the clog and allow the toilet to flush. Continue this process until the water drains.
Unfortunately, in some cases, no matter what you try your toilet will not unclog. If you are dealing with a blockage and the above methods didn’t work, this indicates that you’re dealing with a more serious issue. This is when it’s time to call in the plumbing experts to diagnose the cause of the block and quickly get it fixed for you. Call us today to schedule your appointment and we’ll get all of your bathroom draining issues fixed!
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Your pipes are bound to get clogged at some point. While it often takes us by surprise, the truth is that there are generally warning signs that a clog is in the work. Here’s a quick guide to monitoring the state of your drains (and when it might be time to call in the professional to get them cleaned). Keep reading to learn more from Best Plumbing, your local Seattle plumbing resource!
One of the earliest signs of developing blockage is an unusual odor coming from the pipe below. The smell depends on what has made its way into your drain, so there is no specific description that we can give to identify it. However, it will likely be unpleasant. For example in the kitchen, it will probably be old food that has accumulated in the drain and lodged there. If you notice a persistent smell coming from your drain, it is definitely something to keep an eye on. If the odor sticks around, you might just have a budding clog!
Most people are not professionally trained to appreciate the subtle differences in plumbing noises, so an unusual sound in the drain may pass without notice. But this can be another early warning that a clogged pipe is in your near future. Forming blockages will obstruct the easy flow of water and change air pressure in the pipe. This can result in some weird noises, such as prolonged gurgling or a slow trickling sound as water slowly makes its way around the clog. If something sounds off with your drains, it’s a good idea to check it out.
This one is difficult not to notice. If your drain is officially clogged, then water will accumulate in the associated sink, bathtub, or toilet bowl. It will take an unusually long time for the water to drain — if it drains at all! The most important thing to do in this case is to take quick action. The longer you wait, the worse the clog can become and your pipes can end up completely blocked.
If a drain clog is not receptive to standard do it yourself methods, your best bet is to enlist professional plumbing service to quickly get your drains working again. Additionally, if you notice signs of a more serious clog, such as the toilet filling up when you run the sink, or the bathtub filling with wastewater, these signal that something is wrong with your sewer line. Call the pros right away if you notice any of these symptoms!
Our name is Best Plumbing for a reason. We have proudly served Seattle and the Puget Sound area for 50 years. Contact us today with plumbing questions or concerns. You can find more plumbing advice on our YouTube Channel. We are here to help, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Photo credit: LV11, available under Creative Commons CCO.
There are numerous small plumbing issues that plague Seattle homeowners, and many of them are preventable. With a few simple precautions, you can save yourself time, money, and stress. Below are tips from the experts at Best Plumbing on steps you can take to avoid some of the most common plumbing annoyances.
Clogged shower and bath drains are most commonly caused by, hair and soap small objects. One of the easiest ways to avoid clogs is to use a shower/sink strainer to catch hair, earrings and small chunks of soap before they can get deep in your drain pipe and cause a blockage. Another suggestion is to use liquid shampoo and body wash.
Often this is a case of using more hot water than your tank can produce. If it’s a consistent problem in your household, it might be wise to reduce your stress levels by investing in a water heater that suits your hot water usage. If that’s not an option at the moment, another solution is to get smart with hot water usage and avoid running multiple appliances that require hot water. For example, don’t run the washing machine or dishwasher while showering.
Your kitchen sink sees a lot of abuse. Food, debris, and grease all find their way down the drain daily. The main culprit of a clogged kitchen sink is grease, oil, and fats. These build up in the pipes and can cause major problems that require professional drain cleaning. Three ways you can help to avert a crisis down the line are to properly dispose of cooking fats in the trash, Run plenty of water during and after you use the disposer, and invest in products that help your pipes stay clean from grease build-up.
A common cause of pipe leakage, besides age, is that water pressure is set too high. The higher the pressure, the more stress on your pipes and the more likely they are to spring a leak. Call a plumber to measure your water pressure and lower it if necessary. The type of water your home uses also affects how much strain it puts on your pipes. Hard water, which is common in parts of the Northwest, can result in mineral build-up and even corrode pipes. If you believe that you have hard water, one way to remedy the problem is by installing a water softener. If you have older pipes that are already damaged by mineral build-up, you might need to replace all or part of the system. An appointment with one of our expert plumbers can help you determine which solution would work best.
Find your local Seattle plumbing expert with Best Plumbing! We’ve been serving the Puget Sound area for 50 years. From minor concerns to emergency plumbing servings, we’re here to help 24/7. Give us a call at (206) 785-2551. Visit our website for more information, or check out our other blogs and YouTube channel for helpful plumbing tips!