No Plumber Needed: Fixing a Clogged Toilet

Uh-oh, not again, the toilet is clogged.

The flush doesn’t sound right and you get that sinking feeling. You turn and see the water is just not going down or the water is all gone and not refilling. Worse, there is a clump of toilet paper. It can be very annoying to deal with a clogged toilet. Somehow it seems to happen exactly when you are expecting company.

At least usually this is not a job that requires your plumber’s expertise. Knowing a few tricks and techniques can make fixing a clogged toilet relatively easy.

To begin with, here is what you DO NOT want to do. The toilet won’t magically repair itself so don’t keep flushing!!!! You’ll only add more water to the bowl and risk making the situation far worse because of spillage of unsanitary water. In some cases that water will slowly drain back out, however when it doesn’t your repair job will be that trickier not to become very distastefully messy.

Stop when see the toilet is clogged and first put on rubber gloves. Lay down on the floow some old newspaper or rags or towels you are willing to part with. If the toilet overflows, you definitely don’t want the spillage to spread quickly across your bare floor and worse leak outside the bathroom tile to carpet or wood floors.

The second step is to grab a bucket of cold water and pour it down the drain. Stand up tall to pour it from your chest level so the cold water has some force behind it. Definitely you want to keep checking so as not to pour too fast if the water is not helping push out the clog. Don’t continue pouring if you reach halfway up the bowl just in case you must use a plunger. Using a plunger with bowl over half full will pretty much guarantee you will splash the contents everywhere.

If the bucket trick doesn’t work, it’s time to turn off the water supply to toilet and grab your plunger. For the plunger to work effectively, it needs to be underwater. Add some cold water if there is not enough so that the plunger is submerged. Making sure the plunger covers the hole properly to get a seal you can try a gentler technique that is less likely to splatter. Very slowly press down the plunger and then forcibly pull up to create a suction force. Repeating this several time is often sufficient to dislodge the clog and cause the toilet to flush. If not then you can try a rapid pumping of the plunger back and forth. Finally if not working you can give it a few firm fast downward pumps though this is more likely to generate some splatter so be careful. Often one of these plunger tricks will work right away and the water in the bowel will flush out.

If after all this, you still have a clog, sometimes a combination plan is necessary. Fill the bucket with some hot water and dump that into the bowl. Don’t use boiling water as you as some splatter could scald you. Next, apply a few squirts of liquid hand dishwashing detergent. Hopefully your guests are not about to arrive as at this point as you will need to allow it to sit giving the soap solution time to break up the blockage. After some time has passed, use the plunging tricks again.

Alternating these processes will sometimes break up a really tough clog. If you are very unlucky and these tricks fail, the final trick you have in your arsenal is a chemical drain cleaner. This also will take time to work so hopefully your house has a second bathroom for your guests.

Should this final solution fail, there is possibly a more serious issue occuring than your typical clog and it’s prudent at this time to call the pros like at Nick’s Plumbing. Unless your situation is because of a more serious issue your home’s drainage system, just about every clogged toilet can be fixed by you using the techniques described here without the professionals. However, we are there to help if you need us!

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