Nothing is more frustrating than having to deal with a clogged toilet…
Except, well, maybe your hot water going out mid-shower.
Whether you are waiting to call a plumber or you think you can handle the unclogging process yourself, your first step should be to properly diagnose the issue.
Diagnosing the Problem
The best way to troubleshoot your toilet is to pour two or three gallons of water into the bowl itself.
If the water doesn’t go down within the first few seconds, then you likely have a blockage from the bowl to the pipes.
Once you’ve tried to unclog the toilet, and you’ve tested it by flushing it a few times, ask yourself, does the toilet:
Flush each time?
If it does, then the clog was probably the issue, and it should be resolved easily.
If it doesn’t, then the real issue is probably somewhere between the tank and the bowl
Not flush at all?
If this is the case, then the issue could be with your plumbing, not the toilet itself.
If the issue seems to be in the pipes, your best bet is to stop what you’re doing and contact a plumber. That’s a mess that not just anybody can handle.
How to Unclog a Toilet in 3 Simple Steps
If the issue seems to be a clog in the toilet, then this is a task that should be manageable for most homeowners.
Learning how to unclog a toilet isn’t hard; just follow these 3 steps.
Step 1: Assess Your Situation
If you’ve noticed issues with flushing, water levels or if you’ve determined that a clog is your problem, stop and reassess your situation.
Is it easily reached?
Or is the clog somewhere farther along the pipeline?
Does the flush water only partially fill the bowl and not clean away the waste?
Does the water level remain high and slowly drain?
You can’t be certain whether or not there is a clog until you flush it.
So if you suspect a problem, test the drainage first.
If it doesn’t drain, don’t flush it, reach for the toilet plunger and proceed to step 2.
Step 2: How to Plunge a Toilet
The only required tool for this step is a toilet plunger.
You can also wear rubber gloves since things could get messy.
We suggest a plunger that has an extension flange on the bell-shaped rubber end because they are designed to fit toilets better.
The steps to plunging a toilet are simple:
Put the plunger with the bell shape covering the toilet trap and exert a small amount of force. This gets all the air out of the plunger without blowing water everywhere.
Once the air is out, you can start exerting more force and plunging in and out. This repeated action will force water back and forth, loosening the clog.
Tips on How to Use a Plunger
During your first plunge, make sure to be gentle. The main reason for this is because the bell will be full of air. A hard plunge might force the air around the seal, resulting in the water splashing all over the bathroom and on you.
Once the air has been forced out, you can proceed with the regular plunging motion. Continue to plunge until the clog is resolved.
You should also keep enough water in the bowl that covers the plunger. If you try to force air through the toilet trap without enough water, it would not generate enough pressure.
Once the clog has been removed, your water flow should return to normal.
If the clog is still there, you may want to consider an alternative method.
Step 3: Alternative Methods to Unclog a Toilet
If plunging doesn’t fix the issue, there are several other methods that you can try to unclog a toilet yourself, including:
Enzyme products – designed to dissolve the clog
DIY remedies that use baking soda and vinegar to dissolve the clog
Snaking the drain with a tool designed to break up the clog manually
If none of these methods work for you, then you’ll need to call in a professional to diagnose and treat the issue.
Learning How to Fix a Clogged Toilet Can Be Tricky
Trying to learn how to unclog a toilet can be a bit challenging, especially if you are amid an overflowing toilet.
If you aren’t quite sure what to do or are overwhelmed by the process, then your best bet is to call a professional to handle it right the first time.
If you’re having issues with your toilet, don’t wait to call a professional. Pete The Plumber offers Emergency Plumbing services.