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How to Unblock a Toilet without a Plunger

Everyone’s hope when visiting a toilet is that water will be available. Rarely do we think something else could go wrong. You flush the toilet. As you wash your hands, you realize water in the bowl is rising higher and higher, not stopping.

Quick wisdom means you quickly look for a plunger. As water inches up, you cannot find the plunger.

plunger picture


There are a few tips and tricks you can try out the next time you find yourself in this difficulty.

  1. Stop the flow of water into the toilet. Remove the lid and pull the float up to stop the flow immediately.
  2. Fill the bucket or cup with very hot – but not boiling – water. Pour it in the toilet a few cups at a time and wait a few minutes. The hot water should help break up the block.
  3. If the hot water doesn’t do the work, try soap. First, remove as much water as you can from the bowl. Put some amount of soap (for bar soap break it into small pieces). Repeat pouring hot water in. The soap should help lubricate the clog and pipes so things get moving.
  4. If the above techniques fail to work, try to physically move the clog using a wire hanger.
  5. You can also try the toilet brush. Forcefully push the clog down the pipe.

About Kaburu Mugambi

Kaburu Mugambi is a veteran of business reporting having worked with two national newspapers in Kenya. He is a graduate of economics from Kenyatta University. He started his journalism career in 2000 with The People Daily as a business reporter before becoming a business sub-editor. He joined Daily Nation in 2004 as a business writer. He holds a post-graduate diploma in mass communication from University of Nairobi's School of Journalism and an MBA in marketing from the same university. In 2016, he founded Water Tower, a media firm focused on water, energy and climate. Its content cuts across water, energy and climate with emphasis on adaptation and sustainability.

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