You live in your parents' home. It's Chol Ha'moed. There are four bathrooms. You use one of them, and the toilet clogs. Is it permissible for you to plunge it during Chol Ha'moed?

Please explain your reasoning.

(I've done some Web searches. So far, I have found a discussion of repairing toilets during Shabbat, and during Erev Pesach, but not during Chol Ha'moed.)


I phoned a rabbi — probably one of the top ten rabbis in my city (a North American city of three million people). He's a charedi Ashkenazi rabbi.

He said I can unblock it using a plunger, since it's unskillful work.

  • Is that because having to smell the foul odor if you didn't would impede on the joy of the Sabbath? – david brainerd Apr 17 '14 at 3:50
  • @davidbrainerd: What do you mean? This question is about Chol Hamoed, not about Shabbat. – unforgettableid May 28 '14 at 0:27

IIRC it's the text shmiras shabbos kehilchasa that allows you to use an ordinary plunger -- but not a professional-grade one -- to plunge a clogged toilet even on shabbos. So you'd certainly be allowed to do so on Chol HaMoed. As for using a professional-grade plunger ... I don't have a source.

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