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Thread: Toto and plunger

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Toto and plunger

    I had a Toto toilet clog.

    I have a "Master Plunger" that I successfully used to clear the clog but, ugh, the work.

    The plunger does not make a good seal with the drain. I can try to squeeze the plunger when the bowl is mostly empty and it does not make a good enough seal to have the water not flow around the edges rapidly.

    Anyone recommend a good plunger for a Toto toilet?

    And, yeah, it shouldn't clog but it does.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    Anything can clog and will clog given enough waste matter and paper. There are some toilets that are more resistent to plugging than others.
    The new toilets use 1.6 gallons or less.
    The old ones may have been 3.5, 5.0 or even 7.0
    And even those old toilets plugged.
    That's why every home and plumber owns a plunger.
    It's not like the idea of a toilet plugging has ever been a new idea.

    No matter what toilet you are plugging, you can use a plunger with fairly good success if you leave water in the bowl.
    Water in the bowl helps with the suction that you are attempting to get with the plunger.
    The best plungers have an end that is about 2" in diameter. With some you have to pull the small end out, being that they tuck them inside.

    With water in the bowl, use very short quick strokes until you see the water vibrating,
    When you see the vibration, pull up on the plunger.
    Most of the time, the bowl will siphon out when you lift the plunger up and away.

    Other methods include pouring a five gallon bucket of water straight into the bowl

    Using a closet auger.

    Note: I did remove a Toto Ultramax that had been installed by a flooring contractor. The wax ring was blocking the drain.
    Last edited by Terry; 07-31-2009 at 11:12 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Totos and clogging

    I have four new Toto Ultramaxes, one of which isn't installed yet (under construction), and 2 of which are working perfectly with never a clog. The last one is in the downstairs powder room and has clogged/overflowed twice in about 3 months. However, this is also the only bathroom in the house that had clogs/overflows previously, with the Kohler toilet we had before. So what causes clogs/overflows? Should I assume its the plumbing and not the toilet? Is it time to call in the plumber?

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    There is probably something in the drain, or the drain is not sloped properly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold

    Default same user, same habits, same problem.

    Here is your clue:
    "...this is also the only bathroom in the house that had clogs/overflows previously, with the Kohler toilet we had before...."

    Why assume it is only either "the plumbing" or "the toilet" ? Is it not the same user living in the same space, with his/her same bad habits?


  6. #6

    Default Same Toto Plunging Problem.

    I have the exact same problem as ToolsRMe and I don't see any answers here yet. I may not be a professional plumber but when something breaks or clogs and family, friends or co-workers want it done right (and for free) they call me. So, among other things, I have some very successful experience unclogging toilets including my Toto. However, the shape of the bowl vs. a standard plunger (even a good quality plunger) makes the Toto very challenging to unclog. The main problem it the bottom of the Toto bowl is large and almost rectangular making it difficult for most round plunger faces to get any seal at all; the unsealed area is about 25% of the total opening (approximately 50% of the plunger area) significantly reducing the plungers effectiveness. I have found that with the bowl filled to within 1 inch of the rim, positioning the plunger to the rear of the rectangular opening and vibrating the plunger as fast as you can you may unclog the toilet, or you may run out of breath first and need to go at it a second or third time. Rhythm is important since you can create a big wave (and a big mess) or just stir the water surface depending on the amplitude and frequency of your plunging. It is not easy in any case. I have not found a plunger that looks like it will solve the problem yet but I am looking. My current plunger has a 5-3/4 inch force cup I have seen some that are 6 inches (none larger) and some with a ball shaped force cup. I think I will try the ball style but I am skeptical on its success. I will let you know if it works. I have included two links for what appear to be quality plungers.
    NOTE: My current plunger is the exact same style that Terry Love describes above and is the only kind I would have previously recommended but it is not very effective on my Toto.
    Last edited by Terry; 05-05-2007 at 11:11 AM.

  7. #7


    Just wondering what master plunger you have. We bought a Kohler Cimarron about a month ago and it plugged today. Still working on trying to get it unclogged. Found a MP1600 Master Plunger online that I just ordered that says it's made especially for the 1.6 gallon toilets. Hope it works.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default plunger

    I hope it works, otherwise you have wasted some money and a lot of time, when a plumber could have had it unplugged while you were searching for that plunger.

  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    I've found that pretty much any of the plungers will work using my technique on the newer toilets.

    I've also found, that many homeowners that can't unplug theirs are surprised at how quick I can do it.
    But then, getting them to do it my way over the phone, is a lot harder than just doing it for them.
    I was shown the way, about thirty years ago, and have been doing it that way ever since.

    Just had a customer from last Summer come over and buy another Toto Drake. He loves it.
    Most of my sales are to customers already in the system. It's like,
    "I'll take another one of those, I love the one I got."

    Last edited by Terry; 07-31-2009 at 11:05 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Ball Style Plunger Follow-up.

    The new ball style plunger works fantastic on my Toto toilet. So fantastic that my 11 year old has unplugged the toilet with the ball style plunger every time he plugs it, which has been about six times. (I really think he needs more fiber since he is the only person that plugs the toilet and it is not due to excessive use of toilet paper.) In any case he could not once unplug the toilet with the old Samson Jr. plunger and it was a real chore form me. The new ball style #HDFC “Heavy Duty Closet Bowl Force Cup Plunger” Is so easy an 11 year old can do it. I agree with Terry using his technique will work however, if your plunger seals tightly to the bowl/siphon it’s easy to clear a clog, if it seals poorly it’s not.
    I have seen the MP1600 Master Plunger and it may work well if it seals tightly around the throat of the bowl siphon.
    Last edited by toolsarefun; 05-06-2007 at 07:12 PM.

  11. #11


    I purchased the "Professional's Heavy Duty Closet Bowl Plunger" and it works very well.

    The invoice lists this as: "#HDFC Heavy Duty Closet Bowl Force Cup Plunger" as mentioned above. Several other sites carry same or similar plugers. The defining feature is the large diameter ball-shaped cup. I suspect you might find this at your local hardware store if you're in a pinch.

    The seal between the plunger and bowl is tight, and doesn't leak under pressure.

    The Master Plumber MP-1700-S I ran out and bought at ACE Hardware does not work at all.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Terry; 06-18-2008 at 06:17 PM.

  12. #12
    Engineer Furd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Wet side of Washington State


    I use a 79 cent (or maybe it was $1.98) red rubber force cup and as long as I use it properly it works just fine. Forceful down plunging does nothing. Gentle up and down several times and then a quick upstroke clears it every time. I'm pretty sure that increasing the fiber in my diet would probably decrease the number of times I need to use it.

  13. #13


    Wouldn't you know it? Just two days before our new Toto Guinevere was to be installed, the ancient American Standard plugged up. I spent almost two hours trying to unplug it; then, took a time out and came here. Found Terry's instructions, read them through twice and recommenced using his technique with plenty of water in the bowl. On the second try, the problem was solved. I also noticed that with more water in the bowl, less water actually splashed out. Haven't had any clogs with the Toto, but I will keep this on file, buy the plunger he recommends and always, I'll do what he says. Thanks again, Terry!

  14. #14
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Dec 2007


    I use the same method as Terry...
    Forceful plunging at times can just pack the clog tighter. If the problem is in the line it may ruin the wax ring.
    The gentle vibration technique just shakes the clog loose.

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Omaha, NE


    Just spent a half hour unclogging one of my Toto Gwyneth (Ultramax II). I think my technique was not optimal. Kept trying to do the short, quick stroke thing but did splash a lot of water. Not sure, too, how long to do that technique before pulling up.

    Any chance of posting a YouTube video on this procedure?


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