Many do not know that a wax ring is a very important part of the toilet, and it represents the connection between the toilet bowl and the sewer opening below it. The wax ring must be fully functional for a toilet to work properly. Otherwise, the toilet can flood the bathroom or spread bad odors. Keep in mind that toilet wax ring can be damaged during toilet plunging. So, is plunging into a toilet a good thing or not? Let’s find out!
Can Plunging A Toilet Damage The Wax Ring? The improper plunging of a toilet can damage the wax ring and remove it from its original position where it was fixed. This can lead to a leak and the penetration of sewer gas into the bathroom. Repairing a damaged wax ring is an expensive task, so it’s recommended to call a plumber.
Although the toilet needs regular maintenance, it should be done properly. In this article, find out how to plunge your toilet correctly to avoid damage to the wax ring.
3 Things To Avoid When The Toilet Is Clogged
Having a clogged toilet in the house represents a great discomfort that everyone wants to get rid of as soon as possible. The urgency of dealing with this situation often results in using methods that can do more harm than good. Therefore, you must know what actions to avoid when your toilet needs plunging.
To better understand how the toilet works, be sure to read Parts of a Toilet and How It Works (Plumbing Diagrams).
If you cannot find a solution for adequate toilet plunging, it is wise to call a professional plumber for help rather than trying methods you are unsure of. The result can be an even stronger blockage or permanent damage to the toilet, which will cost even more than calling a plumber. When you have a clogged toilet, these three things should never be done:
1st: Avoid Drain Cleaners To Clean a Clogged Toilet
Many recommend using chemicals when their toilet is clogged to clean plumbing fixtures. This advice is completely wrong! Never use chemical drain cleaners for plunging the clogged toilet. Not even Drano, which is advertised as an ideal solution for such situations.
Chemicals in drain cleaners are harmful to people. That’s why we wear gloves and try not to put them in contact with the surfaces we use. Imagine a situation where a chemical drain cleaner was poured into a clogged toilet, and it did not solve the problem. This leaves you in double trouble. In front of you are a clogged drain and a toilet bowl full of dangerous chemicals that you must remove to do the plunging. It’s hard to do that without contaminating the entire bathroom!
The composition of the chemicals in the drain cleaner can react differently in contact with what is causing your toilet to be clogged. In some situations, the reaction can be so strong and unfavorable that it permanently damages your toilet. Such a risk is certainly not worth it.
2th: Don’t Use Too Much Force When Plunging
Most toilet clogging in daily life can be solved with the help of plunging, which can be done by any person. However, a clogged toilet can be a source of great stress, especially for those who find themselves often plunging into the desire to solve the problem as quickly as possible do it too hard.
Such a move can damage the wax seal that holds the toilet bowl attached to the sewer opening. When this happens, it won’t take long for your bathroom to be flooded with smelly water and your home to be filled with the awful smell of sewage.
The plunger should be used wisely. For successful plunging, strength is not important, but the correct technique is. The key is to cover the entire drain hole inside the toilet bowl by using the plunger cap. When you do it right, only one pressure of moderate force will be sufficient, and the toilet will unclog in most cases. If this does not happen, replace the tool instead of continuing to use the plunger more forcefully. It is time to use the plumbing snake.
3th: Use Plumbing Snake Only If Necessary
You should be careful when using the plumbing snake. This is a tool used for plunging the toilet when the clog of the blockage is deeper in the pipe. Although you may have a plumbing snake at home, it is recommended that you use it only if you are sure that you know what you are doing. Otherwise, you could find yourself in an even worse situation, where the snake could get stuck in the drain! Note if you use the snake with too much force, you may damage the toilet bowl.
If you don’t know how this snake is used, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber. There are different types of plumbing snakes, among which there is an electric model available to most plumbers, and by using one of them, you will unclog your toilet quickly and safely.
How to Plunge Your Toilet Properly?
When the toilet is clogged, you need to apply the proper plunging technique and not use force. Here are the steps that you need to follow to plunge into your toilet properly:
- Cover the entire drain hole inside the toilet bowl with the rubber part of the plunger.
- Press the plunger firmly to create a strong pressure which is essential for proper plunging. If the tip of the plunger is not sealed to the toilet bowl, air will enter, and plunging will not be successful.
- Finally, gently push the plunger with moderate force. If you have created adequate pressure towards the clog, you will soon feel back pressure. Repeat the process until you do the job correctly.
Although plunging is a method that is very effective in a large number of cases, there are also situations when the blockage is so stubborn that you will have to abandon it. These are cases when the cause of the blockage is a large object stuck in the pipe at a strange angle or when the toilet is clogged with a strong substance. Then it is best to try to solve the problem with the snake.
Ways To Unclog Your Toilet (Besides Plunging)
When your toilet is clogged, and you don’t have a plunger at hand, or you don’t know how to use this tool, don’t worry. There are several techniques that can also be used to help you successfully and carefully clear blockages.
1. Baking Soda & White Vinegar
If you don’t have a plunger at home, you probably have some vinegar and baking soda. The mixture of these two substances creates a reaction that perfectly unclogs even the heaviest clogs without the risk of damaging the porcelain on your toilet bowl. Mix 1 tbs of baking soda and one cup of vinegar in a container and pour everything straight into the opening inside the toilet bowl. Since the ingredients are harmless, you can repeat the process until the toilet is clog-free.
2. Hot water
The simplest solution for unclogging the toilet is to pour hot water down the drain. After pouring the water into your toilet bowl, it is necessary to leave it in the drain for up to 30 minutes. If there is still a clog, be sure to repeat the process. Check with a simple flush if you managed to unclog the toilet. Note, pour only hot water from the sink pipe into the drain. Don’t use boiling water because it can damage porcelain!
3. Shampoo Liquid
A good alternative to a plunger and dangerous chemicals is a combination of dish detergent and shampoo or liquid soap. Mix one cup of each substance and pour it down the drain. The mixture will spread around whatever is causing the blockage. Flush after 20 minutes.
4. Use Epsom Salts
Getting rid of blockages can also be done by using old Epsom salt or bath balls, which soften blockages and allow them to go down the pipe into the sewer after flushing more easily. Put it into the drain and leave the toilet alone for an hour. Then simply flush.
5. Use Toilet Brush
Instead of a plunger, you can also use a toilet brush. Dip it in the drain and apply pressure by moving it up and down. Although you can’t create as much pressure this way as with a plunger, you can still manage to push the clog down the pipe towards the sewer. Just be careful. Even with a toilet brush, you can damage the toilet.
For those who want to learn more, be sure to read: How Much Does a Toilet Installation Cost?
FAQ: People Also Ask
When should I replace my toilet wax ring?
If you regularly clean and maintain your toilet, you can expect the wax ring to remain intact for up to 30 years! However, it can also very easily crack the very next day after installation if too much force is applied to it. Be careful.
How much does it cost to replace the toilet wax ring?
The price of a wax ring in stores ranges from $2 to $10. But the cost of the plumber’s work who needs to fix the new wax ring costs between $50 and $200! Therefore, it is much smarter to regularly maintain a wax ring than to have such an expense unexpectedly.
Can you cause damage with a plunger?
The plunger can cause damage to the toilet, especially the wax ring. This mostly happens in cases where the cause of the blockage is below the level of the wax ring, and the person doing the plunging does so by applying excessive force. It is recommended that if you do not manage to get rid of the blockage with the moderate use of a plunger, you should call an expert for help.
A clogged toilet represents a stressful situation that requires an immediate solution because we cannot postpone the need to use the toilet for a long time. This is why most households have a plunger that is used to solve the blockages. However, you should be very careful when using the plunger because if it is used incorrectly, it can cause the wax ring to break and the smelly toilet water to flood the bathroom. When you cannot solve a toilet clog with the help of a plunger, then it is best to contact a professional plumber.