At one point or another, we’ve all been faced with the dreaded issue of a clogged toilet in our homes or places of business. A clogged toilet can sometimes seem unexpected but truth be told, can sometimes be an issue that was bound to occur at any moment. Some clogged toilets can be fixed with a few minutes of plunging to extract the culprit from the toilet. But some clogged toilets might require a more invasive approach, whether done by the homeowner or through licensed residential plumbing professional.
Toilets are built to flush away all of the objects in the bowl through the steady flow of water without any obstructions. However when a toilet is not flushing properly or has what we call a “poor flush” it can result in backups or is a result of a partially or completely clogged toilet.
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So What To Do When The Toilet Is Clogged?
There are instances when the water doesn’t fully flush away all of the waste and can seem like the toilet is more clogged than it is. The rule of thumb is to wait until the water level reaches a certain level and that is your indicator that the toilet has flushed correctly. If after many flushes, the waste still doesn’t go down, it will be due to a blockage in your pipes and must be dealt with.
How To Unclog A Toilet
For most clogged toilets, all it will take is a rubber toilet plunger. It can be purchased at any hardware store for a fairly inexpensive price and just requires a bit of strength, depending on the clog. The toilet plunger can also be used on sinks or tub drains too and would be used in the same manner. There are toilet plungers that fit just toilets but can be used for the other fixtures in your bathroom or kitchen.
Using a plunger is fairly easy but might require excessive pumping, depending on how far deep or how large the obstruction is in the pipes. To start the plunging process, take the top of the plunger, place it into the toilet hole with the rubber flange out to properly seal up the hole. What takes effort is the constant, vigorous pushing in and out of the plunger to engage the clog.
You’ll want to keep enough water in the bowl as there will be an eventual flush of the waste but in order to be more prepared, place some towels around the bowl for the occasional splashing.
Here’s a four-step process on how to properly plunge a toilet. Wear gloves and as mentioned, place towels down just to be safe.
- Place the plunger over the hole and for your first plunge, lightly push into the toilet bowl. The air thrusted will be encapsulated within the rubber part of the plunger. Otherwise, if done forcefully, the air will blow the water all over the place.
- Once the air is out you can start to pump the plunger in and out forcefully ensuring you keep the rubber over the hole. The idea is to force the water in either direction of the drain and should loosen whatever is clogging the pipes. Doing this excessively will help loosen and hopefully allow the water to flow normally.
- Alternate between soft thrusts and more intense ones to see which ones are more effective.
- Ensure there is sufficient water in the toilet bowl, enough to cover the plunger head fully and trapping the air within the plunger head.
More often than not, this should suffice to get the obstruction out of the way and the steady flow of water should continue as before. It could take anywhere between 30 seconds and 20 minutes depending on how hard down the blockage is. Keep at it and eventually, it should loosen.
Bring In The Professionals
If plunging the toilet doesn’t work, it’s time to get the professionals on the case. Despite all your best efforts to try and plunge it out, there might be a chance that the toilet might need to be pulled up in order to get a closer look. This will involve a more invasive procedure and may take a few hours to complete. It will involve shutting off the main water supply and partially taking your toilet apart by unscrewing the bottom from its mounting ring. At that point, you should be able to find what the issue is and remove it by hand. If you don’t feel comfortable with this solution, hiring a competent licensed plumber to get the job done is always the best option. We can decipher the issue fairly quickly and make a good decision as to what steps need to be taken from there. A master plumber can also discern if it’s a minor blockage or something more serious to be looked after. It’s best to err on the side of caution on this front so your clogged toilet can be fixed once and for all.
Clogging Toilet Tips
Refrain from using any chemicals in your toilet. The infomercials you see where the chemicals manage to unhinge a clogged toilet situation can sometimes backfire. At best, it will work but at worst, you will be left with a clogged toilet in a mess of chemicals. The best case at that point is to flush the chemicals out with enough water as you don’t want to have another mess on your hands.
Once you’ve gone the chemical route, you should wear protective goggles and gloves to keep the chemicals out of your eyes and skin. Keep the toilet cover seat down at all times – especially if you have little ones who can mistakenly place objects in your toilets. Keeping them closed will prevent further damage and put a stop to blockages in your toilet.
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Frequently Asked Questions
My toilet is making weired noises, should I be concerned?
Yes. That means the internal parts are failing and are no longer operating correctly, and you are losing water.
How long does a toilet last?
Can I pour down chemicals to open a clogged toilet?
What can I pour down a clogged toilet?
Can a clogged toilet be dangerous?
Is it dangerous to leave the toilet unclogged overnight?
Why does my toilet keep clogging up?
There are many factors that can cause a clogged toilet. It’s important to properly assess the issue before getting into how to fix a clogged toilet properly. For best measures, we always recommend calling a competent plumber who can properly assess the situation and offer the best results for you and your family.