October 17, 2009
By Byron Gram
While more and more homes have switched to hot air heating, in the last 50 years, many older homes still use a boiler system. Actually, there are two types of boiler heating , those that convey heat through steam, and those that convey the heat through hot water.
The two forms of heating are very different. The steam heat, is generated when water in the boiler reaches the boiling point. The released steam then flows through the closed loop heating the house and after circulating returns to the boiler. By necessity, the steam remains at a temperature at or slightly above the boiling point. Hot water, on the other hand, is heated to below the boiling point. It is driven through he closed loop via a pump, and it can be used at a variety of temperatures.
Because of the structural differences between hot water heating and steam heating, there are certain advantages and also disadvantages to using hot water heat. The advantages include the following.
1) Since the hot water heater runs at lower temperatures, it is more fuel conservative than steam boilers.
2) Since the temperature of the hot water is not fixed, the heat coming out of the radiators can vary depending on the need, which is not the case with the steam boiler. When the steam flows, it is coming out at boiling point, and is thus subject to the two extremes of too much heat when it is on at night, and too little heat, when the system is off.
3) Hot water boilers can be maintained on a low flame at night, as opposed to steam boilers which must be kept at a high flame to boil the water.
4) The hot water boiler is small and more durable than a steam boiler.
5) Because they run at lower temperatures, hot water boilers are considerably safer than steam boilers
Heating systems using hot water also have some disadvantages.
1) A direct hot water heating system, provides no ventilation.
2) Because the water temperature is lower than steam , the size of the radiator is proportionally larger.
3) There is a danger of the water in the hot water system freezing, although keeping the boiler on all night can prevent that.
4) A hot water boiler requires more fittings than a steam boiler, and thus more parts that can break. These breakable parts include: a flow check valve, a circulator, an expansion tank and most importantly, a pump.
5) Additional problems, that can occur with both hot water boilers, and steam boilers include: insufficient heating surface, insufficient boiler power, and imperfect circulation.
Thanks to A-1 Plumbing of Baltimore a Baltimore plumbing company for providing this information. The licensed plumbers at A-1 fix heating plumbing problems.
A-1Plumbing of Baltimore is a Baltimore Plumbing Company that provides services for back flow prevention and more
Only experts can deal with situations like electrical system fault finding and repairs
By Allaspects Ltd
Trying to find a decent W3 electrician can be like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. Rather than trawling through the Yellow Pages or searching online for electricians in Ladbroke Grove or W8 electricians, contact Aspect Maintenance first for all your electrical repairs and servicing.
Aspect Maintenance is one of London’s top maintenance and servicing organisations with a comprehensive network of electricians in Westminster and across the whole of west London. All of our electricians are highly qualified and experienced and are able to deal with most domestic and commercial electrical requirements. Our experts can deal with a wide range of situations including circuit breakers, electrical system fault finding and repairs, socket outlets, switchgear, contactors and resistors, fused spurs, light switches and electric oven and shower installations.
Not only are our W7 electricians experienced they get to you fast. Aspect Maintenance has a network of rapid response units across the capital that ensures that we respond to your call as quickly as possible, often within two hours of your initial call. No more waiting in for days for the electrician to arrive particularly important if you’re running a business. We know how much of an impact an electrical fault can have on a business so we get to our commercial customers as quickly as possible to ensure that the problem has the minimum impact on your day to day operations. To do this we have fully qualified W4 electricians, electricians in Hammersmith and other specialists across the capital.
We operate a strict transparency policy which means there are no hidden extras or unexpected additional costs. Our coverage includes all west London postcodes W1, W2, W3, W4, W5, W6, W7, W8, W9, W10, W11, W12, W13 and W14 so no matter where you are, you’re never more than a couple of hours away from one of our electricians. For further details, contact Aspect Maintenance today.
Allaspectsltd is well known name in plumbing and heating industary and have expert electricians and plumbers. Electricians BloomsburyElectricians Leytonstone
I rang the best San Francisco plumberafter reading the great reviews here and they were exactly as advertised. It seems pretty easy for a plumber to stick it to you if they want to, but San Francisco plumbers gives you confidence that’s not how they operate. They’re friendly plumbers, courteous and honest and on the ball. We’ll call them next time too.
==================Professional Plumber’s guidance on the way to troubleshoot and take care of a electric or gas hot water heater
Water heater difficulties normally become very clear very quickly! A hot water faucet fails to summon hot water, you see dripping or puddles near the water heater, or the tank emits strange gurgling or popping sounds.
Though many gas utility companies will make a free house call to solve difficulties with a gas water heater’s burner or the gas supply to the tank, it helps to know how to solve basic outages yourself. For more difficult issues, contact a qualified local hot water heater repair person.
Typical water heater complications include a leaking tank, not enough hot water, water that is too hot, water that is not hot enough, strange noises in the tank, and discolored water. Most water heater problems are easier to diagnose and relatively easy to handle if you understand how they work. For more about this, see How a Storage Water Heater Works.
Note: Leaking natural gas can be dangerous. If you smell natural gas (it smells a bit like garlic) near the water heater, shut off the pilot light, close the gas shutoff valve, and call a plumber or your gas utility company for assistance. See our information on gas leaks.
How to Flush & Drain a Water Heater
Before draining and flushing your water heater, turn off the gas or electric power (depending on whether it is a gas or electric water heater) and let the water cool a little. Close the incoming water valve and attach a hose to the drain valve to run the water into a large bucket or to a drain or the outdoors.
Open the drain valve and open one hot water faucet somewhere in the house to let in air. When all water has drained from the water heater, turn the cold water valve on and off until the water from the drain runs clear. Then close the drain valve and the hot water faucet, open the cold water valve, and turn the water back on.
This is also a good time to test the temperature-pressure relief valve, which keeps pressure in the boiler from building up too much. Lift or lower its handle. Water should drain from the overflow pipe.
Water heater tips
* Always disconnect power to an electric water heater before working on it.
* Set the temperature control to about 150 degrees F. or lower if you have no dishwasher or if you have small children or elderly people in the home who might scald themselves for safety reasons.
* Do not work on an electric water heater if there is standing water pooled on the floor near the appliance. Shut off the circuit to the water heater and call a professional plumber..
* To minimize the energy it takes to heat the water, insulate your water pipes if they run a long way from your heater to your faucets. Also consider installing a point-of-use water heater.
Selecting the wrong plumber happens occasionally. While they may not have destroyed your home, it is extremely likely that they are taking way too long with your project or are otherwise making a job that should not have taken a few days last an entire month. In some cases, they will drop the project altogether and expect to be paid for the work that has been completed. The trouble is finding someone to take over the sloppy workmanship that they left behind. What is the best way to remedy the situation? Read on to discover exactly how to do that, all at the courtesy of Austin plumbing repair.
For starters, call up the plumbing company and explain the situation. Ask to speak to the top level people if possible, at the least someone other than the receptionist. Give a well argued complaint about the project, but do not go overboard as that causes more harm than good during most situations. It may be hard to repress that feeling, but letting it slide will make things easier in the long run.
Explain your disappointment and demand an explanation for the problems with the work performed. If it is a time issue, explain the agreed upon deadlines and insist that they complete the work immediately and at a discount. If they will not budge and continue to give the run around, then it is time to pull out the big guns.
Call them up once again and tell them that you have decided to no longer honor the terms of the contract. They voided it when they decided to do the same. Furthermore, let them know than an attorney will be filing the appropriate papers for the abandonment of a project, and that it will be completed by a third party contractor at the expense of the plumbing company that messed up in the first place.
At this point, one of two things will happen. They will either apologize and take care of the project immediately, or they will explain that they cannot fix the project but will drop the fees associated with the work and issue you a full refund. If they do not, insist that they do. The worst case scenario is that you proceed with the filings and get the work completed.
You are the consumer in charge, and it is up to you to make sure that agreements are met as they were designed. Do not take the B.S. that some companies will try to throw around you. It is your money, so make sure that you get the most out of it. If you need Austin plumbing repair, contact us first, and we will make the entire experience smooth and headache free. Thanks for reading.
If there is any type of service you can quickly hire out, it is definitely a plumber. Just look in the Yellow Pages and you will find dozens, maybe even a hundred professionals in your area. However, the one thing that you cannot get from just looking at an advertisement is the type of service that you can expect to receive. You are the one in charge, not the plumber. After all, is that not the reason that you are paying them? Next time you need an Austin plumbing repair service, use the tips below to make sure you get the best of the best.1. Speak To A Representative
When you call to arrange a dental, salon, etc., appointment, do you expect the professional’s children to answer the phone? Of course not, you would assume that they have a representative or receptionist of some type ready and waiting. You should not be put on hold or otherwise treated like a number. A professional will make sure that you speak to either themselves or an individual who knows exactly what needs to be done. If they are passing the phone back and forth asking one another what they should do, if there are any service people in the area, etc., then hang up. If they cannot handle their own office efficiently, you can expect the same delays with your service.
2. Ask For Pricing
A reputable plumbing service company will give you a fair estimate regarding how much the service will cost. Whether it is over the phone or after visiting your residence / business property. If you are dealing with amateurs or just plain shady companies, they will attempt to give you the run around. Think of it this way, a plumber who gives a good estimate has the mark of someone who knows the business extremely well. Get the price upfront, or get out of the deal altogether.
3. Be Sure Of Licenses
It might seem a little silly to say, but you would be surprised with the things that go on with some plumbing companies. There is no need to request copies of a license, state paperwork, etc. Just plainly ask for their plumber’s license number. The State of Texas requires them, and so should you. Even if the firm looks professional, be sure to ask anyway. A reputable firm will have no problem giving you the information, because they will see the license as a symbol of their commitment to top quality work. If they do not have one or refuse to give it to you, pass them on.
4. Get A Reliable Time Frame
The type of plumber that you want working on your property is the one that has a strong system of arranging and meeting appointments, deadlines, etc. Why? Because if they are requiring you to select a time frame, that means that their services are in demand across the city, most likely for a good reason. If you have a plumber that can go anytime and fails to meet the agreed upon times, that means that they are not in demand, another reason for you to select a different agency.
5. Take Appearance Into Consideration
Like any other type of professional, a plumber should look like the work that he or she performs. If there is a sloppy look to the individual, their vehicle / equipment, or their place of business, that is not a good sign for you. It is a direct reflection of the type of work you can expect. Of course, many people will say that they are gritty, but their work is extremely well. This may be the case, but there are dozens of other Austin plumbing repair professionals that do the same quality of work and have a better appearance. To be on the safe side, go with the latter.
We hope the tips were useful, and we look forward to working with you sometime in the near future. Have a great day and check back often for more information about the services we provide and how you should be protected as a consumer.
Plumbing is one of those skilled professions we all have to turn to at some time in our lives. Whether we pay for the initial installation of plumbing pipes and equipment, or the maintenance of our existing fixtures, we are all going to have to pay the piper, or the plumber in this instance, at some point. And as is the case with many household items, making sure our original install of plumbing fixtures and appliances is correct can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years. But if you do have to turn to a plumber for some type of maintenance, it’s a good idea to consider installing new equipment. But new install, or simple maintenance, although you may be able to handle some small jobs yourself, at some point in your life you will have to employ a professional plumber.
And as a desirable profession, plumbing is definitely an evergreen skilled trade. Water lies at the center point of our existence, so we will always need plumbers. Washing machines, faucets, hot water heaters and dishwashers all rely on water to be effective, and this will always be the same regardless of any advances in technology. Certainly reliability will be improved over time, but these items will always need installation and maintenance. And any corner-cutting or use of substandard equipment by builders to save money will only further guarantee the need for plumbers moving forward. For those seeking a good paying career, plumbing is guaranteed to be in demand for the foreseeable future.
And unlike becoming a doctor or lawyer, learning the plumbing profession does not take years of schooling, tons of money and expensive universities. Also, plumbers make well above the national average salary. Some on-the-job training and a trade qualification, coupled with a plumbing apprenticeship, and a determined student can become a professional plumber in very little time. You obviously need the ability to work with your hands, but this is a knowledge-based job. Once you learn certain crucial tasks, you can perform them for years, as the basics change very little.
As far as the basics are concerned, many Do-It-Yourselfers and homeowners with a basic grasp of plumbing and some basic tools can perform their own money-saving plumbing jobs. But don’t kid yourself. If you are unsure what you doing, you could turn a very small job into an expensive nightmare repair for a professional. And you should definitely locate and use the water shut-off or stop-cock before you start any job, large or small. This not only limits the amount of damage an untrained plumbing hopeful can do, but also gives you plenty of time to get a professional on the job should something go wrong.
Basic installation and maintenance jobs can be handled by just about anyone with a rudimentary grasp of plumbing. This often involves simply unscrewing an old faucet or fitting and installing the new one. But if there are underlying problems, even this simplest of plumbing repairs and get out of hand quickly. Plastic pipes are a favorite for rats and mice to chew on, and this is just one example of the many considerations you should take before beginning even a simple job.
Of course, whenever your level of expertise is in doubt, calling a professional is definitely the way to go. And with the power of the World Wide Web, there are online resources, streaming videos and How To instructionals which can help you acquaint yourself with the job in question. This then allows you to speak intelligently with any plumbing tradesman you hire. Certainly, most professional plumbers are hard-working, honest and scrupulous individuals. But there are some shysters out there, and it is very important that you know what each job entails, including labor, materials and overall expense, so you don’t get taken to the cleaners.
When you do decide to contact a professional plumber, it’s a good idea to ask about upgrades instead of repairs. Sometimes the repair is just a band-aid that needs to continually be replaced. In this case, paying for new fixtures or appliances now saves you time, money and frustration down the road. If you simply patch cheap materials, you’ll be calling your plumber back. But having made the replacement now, as opposed to repair, you’ll sleep better at night, and keep more money in your pocket over the long run.
And now that almost every reputable plumber has a presence online, finding a good professional plumbing service in your area is as easy as turning on your computer. Plumbers understand that if they can’t be found, they can’t work. That is why reputable plumbers join online business directories, and the sites invite customer feedback. Checking the reviews of previous customers is an outstanding way to ensure your satisfaction is high, and your cost is low. And with the increasing proliferation of smartphones, many plumbing websites and directories have even been optimized for mobile, which is a big help when you need to make an emergency call.
============= Plumbing problems are an eventual and guaranteed situation as long as human beings need water piped into our homes and businesses. We all take for granted the wonderful and simplistic technology that delivers water into our homes daily, and luckily, most repairs are small, simple and inexpensive. However, sometimes a larger replacement or repair is required. And in many cases, it makes sense to consult a professional to affect the quickest and most efficient repair. In any case, big or small, your plumbing problems can be dealt with efficiently and speedily if you know the right people to contact.
The physical nature of the typical plumbing application virtually guarantees problems will arise. Because of the massive amount of pressure involved, and the need for joints and unions, leaks will occur. A pipe may be made of the strongest material available, but eventually there is a need for connecting multiple pipes, or changing the angle of those pipes. That is when the above-mentioned joints and unions are employed, and is generally where leaks develop. And even though the standard faucet is the most basic of water delivering devices, it has moving parts which will need to be replaced or repaired over time. Even the incredibly durable plastic is not impervious to damage by outside sources such as gnawing rats and mice, and therefore their benefits over traditional copper pipes is offset by those negatives.
Generally, the most common plumbing problems involve simple leaks. This is really no mystery when you realize the sheer quantity of pressurized water that moves through your pipes on a daily basis, and it truly is a testament to our current plumbing technology that more leaks don’t develop. It only takes one part in the complex system of piping infrastructure to go bad, and problems arise. And if the leak is minimal, or hidden by a wall, the need for repair is often not noticed until extensive damage has been done, or until the leakage extends to your living space.
As hinted at above, the next most common plumbing problems involve non-plumbing materials. Water damaged drywall, wood and carpet can be the result of a simple leak or hungry rodents. But when you have actual physical damage to property, fortunately it is usually instantly noticeable. You may even notice the appliances connected to a faulty pipe performing erratically. This makes it easy to locate the problem, and a replacement of materials, parts or appliances is almost always necessary and preferred, even when a simple patch may do the job.
A talented Do-It-Yourselfer can handle many of these smaller problems with the right tools and supplies, but should always check local building code regulations and comply accordingly. Obviously, the simple replacement of the washer on a leaky faucet is something you would not contact a professional for. But check the overall unit first, and all pipes and other plumbing supplies involved, as it may make more financial sense to replace the entire faucet rather than simply having to repair it again down the road.
In almost all cases, and whenever you’re unsure, your plumbing problems should be handled by a licensed professional. An accurate diagnosis is available quickly, any work done is insured so you are protected, and a professional can tell if the problem is more extensive than you first thought. As is often the case in home repair, spending more money up front usually pays off handsomely in the long run. A professional can also suggest whether or not replacement or repair is the best answer.
And while the majority of issues that arise will only affect a single home or apartment, multiple dwellings are sometimes hit by plumbing problems that arise from a single issue. For instance, the main water supply line to an entire housing complex or apartment building can burst. Obviously, interrupting the regular supply of water is going to be required. It would certainly be nice to give advance warning to residents in every situation, but in emergencies this is simply not possible. Having access to a contact list from multiple plumbing contractors in advance of any problems is a great way to keep frustration, stress and hard feelings at a minimum.
And in most cases, you’ll need to match the appropriate plumber to your unique situation. Because plumbing companies differ in the services they offer, as well as size and specialty, researching your emergency plumbing options now is an excellent way to minimize cost and speed up the solution in the future. It will also make you a hero to all those involved, and this is no small side benefit. Almost everyone has a cell phone these days, and some smartphones can even store the actual website of a plumbing company as well as just their phone number. Of course, you can use the instant information power of the Internet to find the most suitable plumbing service provider for your particular dilemma, and having all that research done before plumbing problems arise just makes sense on several levels.
choosing a toilet
Toilet-installation, to many folks, seems like a daunting task with a high “ick” factor! Actually, installing a toilet is quite simple and not “icky” if you take certain initial steps.
The first step in toilet-insallation, obviously, is to take off the old one! First, turn off the water supplyat the angle stop. Then flush the toilet completely to get the water out of the tank. Then clean the toilet all around with Lysol or Pinesol to lower that “ick” factor!
Remove the water supply from the underside of the tank where it connects to the fill valve. Check the condition of the water supply line. If you even think it may be old or in bad shape, install a new one. Make sure it is the “no-burst” type.
Look at the above left picture. This is a bolt cap. If you see them on both sides of the floor, just pop them off with a small screw driver. Then remove the nuts from the bolts on both sides of the bowl. Now the old toilet is ready to pull off the floor.
Here is an important thing to pre-consider before your toilet-installation. Before you pull off the toilet, know where you are going to discard it. Do you have a dumpster you can put it in? Are you going to take it to the dump? Are you going to put it in your backyard and make a flower pot out of it? (You’d be surprised how many folks do that!)
Now, THIS IS IMPORTANT!I do not want to see you get hurt during your toilet-installation! Any fixture made of ceramic can turn into sharp shards of ceramic pieces if shattered. You can suffer severe cuts if you drop the toilet and it shatters! I strongly recommend that you have somebody help you to lift the toilet and take it to its final resting place. You should also use an old absorbent towel or rag to “mop” out the water that remains in the tank and bowl. This takes away a little weight and keeps water from splashing out all over your beautiful carpet as you carry it. The water that remains in the bowl, if the toilet is tipped while your carrying it, will flow out of the bottom opening of the bowl. This will p__s off your wife/hubby/roommate to no end! Avoid it! You want this toilet-installation to be a happy event! Mainly, BE CAREFUL!
Once you have removed and disposed of the old toilet, you will see the closet flange, as in the picture above right. The old bolts will still be in it. A new set of bolts and a wax ring should have come with your new toilet. If not, buy ’em. Remove the old bolts, scrape the old (icky!)wax off the flange with a wide scraper and install the new bolts. The bolts should tighten down on both sides in the flange slots with a washer and nut. They should be centered at the middle of the flange and directly across from each other. Now take the wrapping off the new wax ring and lightly place it on the center of the flange between the two bolts.
Unless you purchased a one piece toilet, which we will cover on this page, you’ll need to install the tank onto the bowl, as described on the tank to bowl page.
Once your new johnie is assembled, install the new seat. New toilets rarely (if ever) come with seats. So, unless you just plain want to use your old seat, don’t forget to buy one. They come in “elongated” and “round” sizes, so make sure the seat matches your new toilet. The seat will come with the hardware necessary to attach it to the two holes by the tank on the bowl.
Now, carefully (again, with help!) pick up the new toilet and set it straight down on the pre-installed bolts. Press firmly down on both sides of the toilet and make sure it’s straight and doesn’t “rock”. If it rocks, go get a common item known as toilet (closet) shims. Any decent plumbing supply store or even hardware store will have them. Rock the toilet and notice where the low spot is. This is where the shim(s) will be placed. Try to get the type of plastic shims that are “graduated”, or “stepped up” from thin to thick. Push the shim into the low spot until it “sets” and keeps the toilet from rocking. Then pull it out, take off the part that you don’t need (the part still sticking out from under the toilet)and reinsert it so that its tight and hidden from view.
Now put your plastic cap flange on each bolt (it will say which side goes up), then the metal washer and then the nut. Hand tighten both nuts alternately and then snug them down until you see the plastic cap flange start to “squeeze” out. Check the toilet for firmness to the floor. If you must tighten more, do it on both sides and a little bit at a time.
Once the toilet is firmly set, use a hacksaw (a mini-hack is easier) and cut the bolts straight and about two threads above the top of the nuts. Now your new bolt caps will “snap” right into place with a firm push onto the plastic bolt flange.
Now, turn your water on at the angle stop (first installing a new water supply if you determined you need one!) and carefully check for leaks on the supply. Then, after your tank fills, check for proper tank level and adjust if necessary (see fill valve). Flush the new toilet two or three times and make sure your tank to bowl connection is leak free.
If you want to caulk the bowl of the toilet to the floor, I will return here soon to add a link to a “how to caulk” page.
Wow! Are you a DIY plumber or what?! You performed a sucessful toilet-installation! You deserve a break. Go grab the newspaper or a good magazine, sit on that new throne and break the thing in!
Above is a picture of a one piece toilet, sometimes called a “toilet in a box”. The toilet-installation is the same as a two piece. You just don’t have to connect the tank to the bowl.
toilet-installation to Home Page
Nothing interferes with my reading time like a toilet-clog! This is true, at least, for an older guy like me. Maybe for you younger men it’s merely a necessary device. Or, do you bring your laptop?!
Ick Factor= from 6 to 10.
Anyway, if you tried to cure your toilet-clog with your plunger but couldn’t get it to clear, then it’s time to break out the trusty closet (toilet) auger. The picture above left illustrates a typical and inexpensive toilet auger. You can purchase one at most hardware stores, home improvement centers and plumbing supply stores. This tool is widely used by plumbers for toilet-clogs.
These augers come in 3 foot cable lengths and 6 foot cable lengths. The three footer will cost between $30.00 $40.00 and the six footer between &40.00 and $50.00. They also come with either a “bulb head” or a “drop head”. Get the drop head style.
The 3 footer will go through the toilet, yet just barely. The six footer will go through the toilet and then through the “closet bend” and into the vent behind the toilet. The closet bend is a piece of 3″ or 4″ sewer pipe with a long sweep 90 degree turn in it. It is the section of pipe that carries the sewage from the toilet to the sewer line. The advantage of the six footer is that sometimes what you think is a toilet-clog is actually a closet bend clog. So I suggest you get the 6 footer since it will almost always be less than a plumbers fee and, of course, you’ll have it for future use.
Look at the picture above right. You can clearly see the path the auger takes to work its way to the toilet-clog. Once it reaches the flange, which is connected to the top of the closet bend, you will notice a small metal “button” right below the turning handle on the cable slot. If the toilet-clog hasn’t cleared by this popint, push on that button (you may need to use a pair of channel locks) and while pushing down on the auger, pull up on the handle until that button “snaps” into place in the opening at the bottom of the cable slot. This is how you get your extra 3 feet and can continue into the closet bend.
When taking on a toilet-clog with an auger there are several things to consider:
Using The Auger The first thing to do is take the tank lid off and gently set it aside. This is a precationary measure in the event you think you cleared the toilet-clog but didn’t, then flushed it. In this case you can quickly pull up on the fill valve or float rod to prevent overflow of the toilet. (i.e., ick factor = 10!). That gives you time to reach down and turn off the angle-stop.
When you start with the auger, pull the handle as far as you can so the the first three feet of cable come out of the slot. Bottom the auger head in the toilet and make sure that the drop head is started into the discharge opening. Then push down on the handle while using your other hand to hold the auger up close to the handle. Now start turning the handle as you push down on it. Frequently the stoppage will be at the top of the inverted trap, as shown on the toilet above right. If the toilet clears as you go, continue to push and turn until you’ve used the first three feet of cable. The stoppage will occasionally be at the discharge point at the base of the toilet where it connects to the flange. If, at this point, the toilet clears, then gently pull the cable back while flushing the toilet.
If the toilet hasn’t cleared, then use the final three feet of the auger, as instructed above.
Is it a Toilet-Clog or a Sewer-Clog? If your toilet “gurgles” when you are using water somewhere else in your house then you have a main line stoppage. In this case the auger will do you no good. Other symptoms are sewage coming up in your tub and/or shower. Remember that water always seeks the lowest possible level. Therefore, if you run water anywhere in your house and it comes up in that lowest point, i.e. shower, sunken shower, bathtub or toilet, then you have a sewer stoppage. Also, when you tried plunging and the water just rocks back and forth with little resistance, you probably have a sewer stoppage. More on that soon.
Do You Know What’s in the Toilet? This is valuable information and can save you a lot of frustration. Did a toddler drop a toy in it? Did Grandpa use half a roll of paper towels? Did your cell phone fall out of your pocket and into the Johny? The toilet-clog could be lots of things.
A “soft” stoppage is usually easy to clear. The auger should do its business and, hopefully, push the clog into the sewer where it most likely will do no harm. A “hard” stoppage can be more difficult. The idea here is to try to get the drop head on the auger to grab onto the hard object and pull it out. Sometimes it does…sometimes it doesn’t.
If you have a hard stoppage and your auger keeps getting “hungup” tight on it, DO NOT keep “cranking” on the auger. Work it a few times, yet don’t let the tension build up so high that you can barely turn the auger. If you do that and then suddenly let go of the handle, that handle will spin viciously and potentially harm you!
When to “Pull” the Toilet If you have made several attempts to clear a hard stoppage and are getting nowhere, it may be time to pull the toilet, as explained in the first part of the toilet installation page.
Follow the removal instructions, including the safety issues, and carefully take the toilet outside. Gently turn the toilet over so that it rests on the tank and the front of the bowl. Set it on a soft surface, not concrete! The water will drain, including any “ick” that is in the toilet. To prevent that I always used a wet vacuum and pulled all the fluids and solids out of the toilet prior to pulling it. Then I would try the auger a couple more times before pulling the toilet. Sometimes the stoppage will fall down into the bowl when there’s no water holding it up. But this happens only if your lucky!
You can shine a flashlight up through the bottom opening and maybe see what the stoppage is. A small inspection mirror really helps with this. You can try running the auger backwards through the toilet. That will often push the hard stoppage back into the bowl.
There are rare occasions when a hard stoppage gets so tightly wedged in a toilet that you can’t get it out without breaking the toilet. Like I said, it’s rare.
Once you get the toilet-clog out of the toilet, go back to the toilet installation page and follow those directions. Always remove the old wax ring (a good 3″ putty knife will help you) and install a new one to insure a proper seal.
The last thing you want to do, after you have reset the toilet and turned the water on, is to flush it several times and check for leaks. Pay special attention to the tank to bowl gasket. It can get jarred and then leak, especially on an older toilet, when you turn it upside down. That’s why I suggest you be gentle with the toilet.
toilet-clog back to drain cleaning
MAN….SOMETIMES I JUST CAN’T HELP IT!