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Unclogging a Toilet

A clogged toilet should not be an intimidating situation that requires calling a plumber.  Clogging is generally caused by over-filling the toilet, rather than by a plumbing defect.  To avoid clogging, don’t put too much toilet paper or waste at one time.  For some users, this means flushing a couple of times during one session. 

Clogs are often caused by inappropriate material in the bowl.  Only flush toilet paper and body waste down the toilet.  No paper towels, tampons, pads, condoms, toilet paper tubes, dental floss, grease.  Never adjust the level of water in the tank.

If the toilet becomes clogged, use a "fluted" or funnel plunger designed to seal inside a toilet bowl. Extend the fluted flap of the plunger; fit it tightly inside bowl drain to form a good seal.

Slowly plunge up and down several times and quickly break the seal. Repeat this a few times to work the clog back and forth and eventually free it.  If the clog is freed the water will flush down.  Avoid flushing the toilet if the water level remains high.  The toilet may still be clogged.  Instead wait a few minutes and try plunging it again.  Call maintenance if the clog does not free after trying a few times.   

Unclogging Sinks

Hair can often clog a bathroom sink and potato peels and other food waste will plug up kitchen sinks. Regardless of the obstruction, unclogging both sinks is done the same way.  Please use a screen on your drain for catching hair and anything else that does not belong in the drains.  Do not use harsh chemicals, like Drano in the drains.

To unclog a sink, place a plunger over the clogged drain. Add enough water to cover the plunger lip and form a seal. Plunge straight up and down several times and "pop" the plunger away. Repeat this method a few times to free the clog.

Disposals

Always run cold water down the disposal when it is in use.  Never stick your hand or any other object in the disposal while it is on.

Clogging and jamming is generally caused by over-filling the disposal, rather than a defect in the disposal. To avoid clogging put only scraps of food waste in the disposal.  Throw larger items, pasta, celery, bones, pits, banana peels and other bulky material in your garbage.  NO bottle caps, coins, glass, pen caps, fish tank stones!  Do not throw grease down your disposal.

To reset your disposal:  Turn off the disposal.  Press the button located on the bottom or side of the disposal.  Turn the disposal on to see if it works.

To check the disposal for debris stuck in it or to manually crank the disposal:  Turn off the disposal.  Unplug the disposal.  The plug is located under the sink by the disposal.  Carefully check inside for debris.  Use the supplied hex wrench to manually crank the disposal.  There is a hexagon hole under the disposal that the wrench fits in.  Place the wrench in the hole and turn clockwise.  If disposal is free of debris then it will crank stiff at first then easily.  Once debris is removed, plug in the disposal, reset, then try turning on the disposal.

SERVICE CALLS TO MAINTENANCE FOR CLOGS MAY BE BILLED TO THE TENANT IF THE PROBLEM WAS CAUSED BY TENANT MIS-USE OF THE APPLIANCE OR WHAT WAS PUT DOWN THE TOILET OR DRAIN.

This excerpt has been modified using information from HOMETIME.COM