Read this elsewhere and personally, I thought it was a bad bad bad idea, but I wanted to put this out there to see if I might be mistaken:

I learned a quick tip from a handyman on how to create a plunger without using a plunger. take a bucket of water and pour it from approx waist high into the toilet. This forces the water down and simulates the same effect as a plunger.

What do you think? Good tip? Or potentially horrible one?

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    I would probably not attempt that if anything was floating in the bowl. The weight of the additional water, and the sudden force it creates against the blockage might not be sufficient to free said blockage. Wear rain boots, if you try it. – Tim Post Oct 25 '11 at 17:04
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    And watch out for splash back! – Tester101 Oct 25 '11 at 17:08
  • Adding water to a plugged toilet... hmm... Sounds like a great idea! </sarcasm> – Tester101 Oct 25 '11 at 17:10
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    Dunno who downvoted but would like to know the reason why? – The Evil Greebo Oct 25 '11 at 17:17
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    I think the better tip is to use the bucket as your toilet to buy yourself some time until you get a plunger. (I also don't see the reason for downvoting this. If this advice exists out in the wild, it is useful to have the question posted and properly answered.) – Hemm Oct 25 '11 at 19:26

Ok all dirty humor aside, that sounds like a terrible idea. OMG, what a mess that could make. First off, the idea is to never plunge the jam further down the pipe, instead the best solution is to suck the jam back up the pipe first, allow any vacuum to ease then send it down the pipe. How this is done is to submerge your plunger into the water allowing the cup to fill with water. GENTLY push it down over the drain opening slowly forcing the water out and compressing the plunger cup. Now you will created a good seal and a vacuum. Quickly PULL the plunger out. repeat this process a few times before attempting to plunge down. The idea here is to pull the blockage back a bit and open a path. Once you see the water receding a bit, vigorously plunge up and down. Trust me, this works in most cases and will be a lot less messy than High altitude bombing!

  • I agree, but getting an effective suction seal is easier said than done sometimes. I always try suction first, but if a seal will not form, the next best technique seems to be go straight to the vigorous back and forth plunging, as violent as possible without making a huge mess. Back and forth works for unstucking (sic) both cars and drains :) Actually, it seems the hydrodynamics of the speed allow a partial suction condition, which combined with the agitation effect, is what makes this work. Try pure suction first though. – bcworkz Feb 1 '13 at 22:14

I would not pour from a high level, but filling the bowl to near the rim can sometimes loosen clogs that aren't totally plugged up. If the clog seems totally sealed, use a plunger as Shirlock describes, or at least leave enough room that you can use a plunger without creating a mess as Plan B.


It's messy (splash is inevitable) but I've seen it work.


Instead, you can use warm (not hot) water and a substantial amount of dish soap, and let it sit for a while.

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    "Not Hot" should be in bold large letters. Pouring hot water in the toilet, is a good way to crack the bowl. – Tester101 Oct 26 '11 at 15:46

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