With just a few simple tips and the proper products, you can solve common household problems without calling in backup.
Unclog the Toilet
Problem: "My plunger never works on a clogged toilet."
Fix it: Many of today's toilets lack strong flushing power. Plus, the toilet's P-trap—a curved drain similar to the one below your sink—can keep larger objects, like toothbrushes or Junior's G.I. Joe, from going through. Before you toss the plunger aside, check that your technique is up to par. Make sure your plunger is completely submerged (or pour extra water into the bowl until it is). Plunge vigorously; one or two gentle pumps probably won't cut it. And when the plunger fails, there is a Plan B: a toilet auger, available at hardware and home-improvement stores. Also known as a plumber's snake, the tool goes where plungers can't. Insert the auger's flexible end into your toilet drain, then crank the handle to swivel it downward. Its spring-loaded end can retrieve objects and break up blockages.