It’s perfectly normal to panic flush your toilet when it clogs. But, don’t touch the lever! Although it’s our instinct to flush, repeated, frantic flushing can only cause your toilet to flood. You can fix clogged toilets on your own, with or without a plunger. These methods won’t cost you a lot of money and will not require the assistance of a plumber. Put on rubber gloves to get started. Make sure you have located the water supply so you can quickly reduce the flow.
What causes a clog in your system?
Toilet drains can get blocked in the same way as your kitchen drain. Toilet paper, waste, and objects are all common culprits.
You’ll find a pipe that bends under your bathroom or kitchen sink. It carries water and waste. This is called a “p-trap” (the u-bend and straight pipe leading away look like the letter “P” on their side). This same shape is also found in the porcelain used to make your toilet. When you flush your toilet, think of it as a toilet trap. The pressure that your toilet uses to flush the clog through is the same pressure that your toilet experiences when it is regularly flushed.
How to unclog a plunger
Good plungers are essential. Make sure they are either bell-shaped or flared with a fold-out of the cylindrical extension at the bottom. You won’t get enough suction from standard cup plunger shapes. You can also use the standard cup plunger on the tub or sink drains if you fold in an extension piece.
- To soften the rubber, run your plunger under warm water. This will create a strong seal.
- Place the plunger in the toilet trap opening and make sure it is completely covered. Ensure that you keep this seal intact throughout your plunge.
- You should start slowly when you plunge into the no clog toilet, as the air in the first few rounds is mostly air. Then, use the force of water to remove the clog.
- Go for it! Push down as hard as you can, and then pull up quickly. You can repeat this process as many times as necessary to drain the toilet. Be patient. You may need to take 15-20 good plunges before seeing results.
- To make sure that your toilet is draining properly, flush it. It may need more plunging if it isn’t.
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How to remove clogs with cleaning products
You can use a few simple cleaning products to get rid of the blockage if plunging doesn’t work. Baking soda and vinegar are good options to loosen a clog.
Water and soap
- Let the bowl sit for 10 minutes before adding half a cup of dish soap.
- To check if soap has cleared the clog, flush the soap.
- Hot water can be added if the dish soap is not working. The water should be poured from the waist. This will create pressure that will allow the dish soap to work. Do not add boiling water to the tub as it can crack the porcelain. The ideal temperature is hot water from the tub spout.
- Check that the toilet drains normally again by flushing.
Baking soda and vinegar
- The toilet bowl should be half-full. This will prevent the solution from vaporizing and causing overflow.
- To the bowl, add 1 cup baking soda.
- Slowly add 1 cup vinegar (white, apple cider), and the solution will start to fizz.
- Allow to sit for 20 minutes before flushing the toilet.
- Make sure the toilet drains normally again. If the toilet still isn’t draining, you have two options: repeat the process several times or leave the solution alone overnight.
How to remove a toilet snake from its clog
The toilet snake is a long, flexible metal cable you use to reach into the trap and grab or force the material. Although you may hear the terms toilet snake or toilet auger interchangeably, the fact that these tools have a protective rubber coating around their metal makes them different than a standard plumbing snake is important. A snake that is not specifically designed for small corner toilets can cause damage to porcelain. This is why you shouldn’t use a wire coat hanger or wire hook as a temporary toilet snake. Follow the instructions on the package or our step by step guide to unclogging a toilet snake.
When should you call a professional?
You should call a plumber if the toilet isn’t flushing properly or you don’t feel comfortable using a snake. If you have had trouble with any of the above methods, you should ask a plumber to help you.
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