Toilet emergencies can be frustrating and embarrassing, especially when you have guests over the holiday. You won’t want a clogged toilet to stink up your entire house when your bevy of aunts, uncles, and cousins are on their way for lunch. This is one of the many reasons homeowners should know how to patch common toilet problems or, at least, fix a minor clog.
By learning these quick fixes for a clogged toilet, you not only avoid spending a fortune on plumbing fees but also save yourself from a whole lot of embarrassment.
Fixing a Clogged Toilet
If you use your toilet like a trash can, expect to face frequent clogging. Toilets are not designed to flush down foreign objects, such as toilet paper, sanitary pads, tampons, and baby wipes. Garbage will accumulate sooner or later, and block your toilet drain. When that happens, there are several ways you can solve the problem.
Using Unclogging Solution
- 1. Buy a commercial unclogging solution, or boil some water.
- 2. Pour the solution or the boiling water down the toilet at a high angle to force down the clog. Make sure to protect yourself from getting splashed.
- 3. Wait several minutes to hours for the solution or hot water to dissolve the blockage.
- 4. Do a test flush. If this solution doesn’t work, the clog may be bigger or harder to dissolve and will need to be manually pushed out.
Try these DIY drain cleaners if you don’t want to give up, and use a plunger or auger just yet.
Using a Flange Plunger
- 1. Make sure you’re using a plunger for the toilet and not for sinks. An accordion plunger differs from the common sink one as it has a smaller extended cup. The accordion plunger also has a folding cup, folds that look like those in an accordion instrument.
- 2. Cover the toilet hole with the plunger. The water in the toilet should be high enough to submerge the entire plunger cup.
- 3. Pump the plunger swiftly and forcefully several times. Repeat until the water drains.
- 4. Do a test flush.
Get to know your three types of plungers to use the right tool for all different kinds of clogs.
Using an Auger or Plumbing Snake
- 1. Bust out your auger or plumbing snake if the blockage refuses to budge using a drain cleaner or plunger. The tool looks like a hose with a handle, except it’s made up of bendable coils that you can twist and turn to dislodge clogs in the deepest parts of your toilet.
- 2. Wear rubber gloves and clothes that you don’t mind getting dirt on because there will be some mess.
- 3. Insert the head of the auger down the toilet opening.
- 4. Push the auger down slowly and gently until the coil is all the way down the drain.
- 5. Twist and turn the auger several times. The water should drain by itself when the clock is removed.
- 6. Slowly remove the auger, being careful not to touch the dirty coils.
- 7. Flush to completely remove the clog.
Prevent Toilet Clogs
Toilet clogs are very common, but they won’t happen as frequently if you don’t flush garbage down the drain. Wastes like facial tissues, wipes, napkins, strands of hair, floss, oil-based products, and plastic will sit in the waste pipes and accumulate over time, causing your toilet to clog.
Using your toilet only in the way it is meant to will prevent clogging and save you from dealing with the mess and frustration of fixing the gross problem. However, if your toilet clogs even when you don’t flush foreign objects down the drain, this may be a sign that it should be replaced.
When that happens, consider getting a high-efficiency macerating toilet with an upflush system for more water savings, clog prevention, and hassle-free installation.
Also, watch out for other telltale signs that you need a new toilet. Cracks on the porcelain body that’s leaking water are almost always unrepairable, so don’t waste money by applying temporary repair. If your toilet breaks down frequently and needs repairs all the time, it may be more cost-effective to get a replacement.