While certainly not a very glamorous topic there may come a time in everyone's life when they will need to pull out the trusty plunger and get down to business. This how-to guide will help you learn the proper way to effectively plunge a toilet. Now a brief disclaimer, if you are petrified of any toilet water splashing on you then you will most likely fail in your efforts to plunge a toilet. The reality is that to do the job right you have to jettison your concern with remaining clean for a brief time. OK let's go over the process.

Things You Will Need

A good plunger and some determination.

Step 1

Cup Plunger Now I learned early on in my career as an Atlanta plumber that the most important thing that you need to do to ensure that your plunging efforts are successful is to have the right tool. From my experience the best plungers are what are known as cup plungers. Cup plungers are the traditional style plungers that have a single cup on the bottom. Here is an example of a cup plunger:

Step 2

Flange Plunger If you own what is known as a flange plunger then I would recommend that you go and purchase yourself a good cup plunger. While the flange plunger might seem more advanced in practice, they are not as effective in general. Now this is not a hard and fast rule more like an opinion but it is an opinion that I know is shared by many other plumbers. If you don't want to buy a new plunger you can still follow the steps that are in this guide using a flange plunger. Here is an example of a flange plunger:

Step 3

Now once you have the right type of plunger the most important thing to remember when you begin the process is that you will want to keep an air tight seal around the basin of the toilet. Once you place your plunger into the toilet basin make sure you exert a good amount of pressure on the handle so that it can adhere to the porcelain and form a suction-cup type connection with the bottom. This will help ensure that as you begin to plunge the toilet you will preserve your air-tight seal.

Step 4

Once you have the air-tight seal you want to press down forcefully several times on a line that is as perpendicular as possible to the center of the plunger. Going straight up and down maximizes the amount of pressure the plunger can generate and will maximize your chances of clearing the blockage. This action is appropriately called plunging and you should plunge the toilet several times in rapid succession without breaking the plunger cup seal. Once you do this correctly you will feel a suction on the bottom of the plunger and this tells you that the blockage has been cleared.
Congratulations you have successfully plunged your toilet! While this isn't the most exciting activity it sure beats paying big money to a plumber for a task that you could have done yourself.

Tips & Warnings

Don't worry about splashing dirty water on your-self! This is part of the job and sometimes it happens.