Sometimes, all we want to do after a long day at work is come home, do our business in peace and leave it alone. This is not always what we get, though. Unfortunately, we are occasionally met with the unending swirling that signals a clog— sometimes, we even get met with the rise of water and an immense sense of panic. Perhaps you flushed too much toilet paper or accidentally dropped something down the bowl, but regardless of the cause, a clogged toilet can quickly become a frustrating and unpleasant situation. If left unaddressed, a clogged toilet can lead to bigger problems like overflowing water and potential water damage.
Do not fret, though: that is why we are here! Together, we will explore the causes of clogged toilets, how to prevent them, and the best methods for unclogging your toilet and restoring it to working order. Whether dealing with a minor blockage or a more serious plumbing issue, learn how to tackle the problem and restore your toilet to its pristine condition!
First thing is first, stop flushing! We understand that your first instinct may be to keep flushing until the clog dissolves and the toilet is free to flow, but that is not the best thing to do. It is far from it. It can worsen the clog, cementing it further down your pipes and making it more difficult to reach when it is time to unclog it.
Also, the more you flush, the more likely the water will rise and spill over your precious bunny slippers. The overflowing water can even seep into the floors or walls, causing damage that can be expensive to repair.
Call a Professional
If your toilet gives you a hard time, it may be time to throw in the towel and call a professional. A plumber will have the tools and expertise to remove even the most stubborn clogs and properly repair your toilet. They can also help suggest tips to prevent similar situations in the future.
Elbow Grease and a Plunger
The first thing that you should try (after stopping flushing) is a plunger! These very simple tools are designed to unclog the most basic obstructions as they help create a suction that can help break up the clog and force it down the drain.
To use this revered tool, ensure enough water in the bowl to cover the rubber part of the plunger. Then, place the plunger over the drain and push down and up quickly several times. Repeat this process until the water begins to (hopefully) drain.
Plumbing Snake or Toilet Auger
If the clog has not been undone after all your elbow grease and pushing up and down, it may be time to employ the plumbing snake or toilet auger. A plumbing snake is a flexible metal cable that can be inserted into the drain to break up the clog.
Similarly, the toilet auger is a long, flexible cable with a corkscrew-like tip that can be inserted into the toilet bowl and rotated to break up the clog. To use either, insert it into the drain and turn it clockwise while pushing it forward. When you feel resistance, continue to turn the snake to break up the clog. Hopefully, this will clear whatever obstruction is in your pipes, allowing your water to flow freely and for the flushing to continue.
A Wet-dry Vacuum
A wet-dry vacuum is another great option if the suggestions above are not working out for you. It may not be worth it to purchase one, but if you have one on hand already, you can try to remove as much water from the toilet bowl as possible with a bowl or a bucket and then place the vacuum hose over the drain.
Then, turn on the vacuum and create a seal around the drain with the hose. This can create suction that can help remove the clog! This option may not sound appealing to everybody, so read on for more home remedies.
Home Remedy: Hot Water and Dish Soap
You have tried your tools and elbow grease, but they have not worked. It is time to try a home remedy: hot water and dish soap. The hot water can help break up the clog, while the dish soap can lubricate the pipes. Pour a pot of hot (not boiling) water into the toilet bowl, followed by a few drops of dish soap. Wait for a few minutes, and then try flushing the toilet. Bam! Watch the magic happen.