Plugged toilet on Saturday night
My tenants called me Saturday night telling me the plastic cap from the shaving foam can fell into the toilet during a flush. These are great guys and I'm sure they would have paid for the plumber. I asked them if they could wait so I could try to unplug it myself. Since they have two bathrooms, they were okay with waiting. Sunday afternoon, I loaded tools and headed into town. For some dumb reason I like a challenge and I like to figure out ways to solve problems. I think I could have solved the gulf coast oil leak by now given the same resources BP has given their engineers. My first thought is to throw some hair from a shower drain down there, that seems to plug anything. Getting back to the plugged toilet, my first idea was to connect a flexible tube to the shop vac thinking the suction would latch on to the plastic cap so I could pull it out. That didn't work. Having the shop vac there was a good idea because I used it to remove the dirty water from the bowl. Another good thing to bring is Vick's vapor rub to put inside your nose if you are a little gaggy like me. The next tool is the toilet snake which you can see in the picture. They cost around $12.00 and are worth every penny. By the way, I would never buy another regular snake. I had one for several years and tried to unplug drains several times and never ever unplugged one. I also never try to unplug kitchen drains anymore. I've tried several times over the years and never unplugged one. I always had to put every thing back, clean up all evidence that I tried and call the plumber. I believe the plumber will charge more if he or she knows I tried and failed. I only will try on toilets. A long while back a plumber shared the rules all plumbers live by which are 1) Water runs down hill and 2) never chew your nails. Even after bragging how good a toilet snake is, it didn't find or fix this clog. Two times I've had tenants run out of toilet paper and use the cardboard role that holds the paper which they try to flush. That will plug the toilet every time. The toilet snake can unplug those. The plunger was the successful tool this time. The key to plunging is to have water in the bowl, breath through your nose, use a good plunger, develop a seal so that the plunger moves the water up and down in the drain and then pull up hard to try to suck the clog back up. This technique almost always dislodges the clog and it worked this time also. You can always call the plumber. One last observation I've made is that drains only clog in the evenings and on weekends when plumbers charge overtime.