Most households have a plunger standing by, ready to handle the toilet that occasionally becomes clogged, but do you know when you shouldn’t use it and when it is best to call a plumber? The answer may surprise you.
- Unknown stoppage – If you are certain that the clog is from regular use, then giving the plunger a try is probably fine. However, if you have children in the house, it is possible something else (like a toy) may have gotten flushed. If that’s the case, a plunger probably won’t unclog the toilet—it can actually worsen the situation. If you suspect something else is going on, it is better to let a plumber handle it.
- Frequent problems – If you find it necessary to use a plunger to unclog the toilet frequently, don’t immediately assume it is because someone is a bit generous with the toilet paper. There could be something more sinister at work. Only a plumber can get to the real cause for the blockage. Even new homes can have a problem because sometimes a sewer line may not have been installed properly and needs to be corrected.
- Plunging doesn’t work – If you’ve tried plunging and it just isn’t doing its job of unclogging the toilet, it is time to call a plumber. The fault could be a complete or partial blockage in the sewer line or even a broken line. Sewer lines can get damaged from tree roots or just from deteriorating over time. Another culprit is damage caused by a heavy vehicle driving over the area where the lines are located.
Don’t worry, your blockage probably isn’t an alligator, no matter what the urban legends claim – but some pretty nasty stuff can be going on, and you really don’t want to deal with that yourself, so call a plumber to unclog your toilet and save yourself the hassle.