Clogged toilets are a common bathroom problem and generally don’t require a plumber to fix them. If done haphazardly they can, however, cause a messy and unpleasant situation. Unclog your toilet in a hassle-free manner.
Avoid repetitive flushing at all costs. Persistent flushing can result in the toilet overflowing, which can be a really messy situation and particularly nasty to clean up. Flush once and if the toilet appears clogged, refrain from flushing again and proceed with unclogging the toilet.
Preparing for Unclogging
If you find yourself lumbered with a clogged toilet it’s time to get your rubber gloves on and perform some DIY. This can prevent you from spending unnecessary money on calling a plumber out to fix the situation. Unclogging toilets may be an unpleasant experience but it’s generally rather easy.
Make sure you cover your floor with something waterproof garbage bags to avoid damage to your flooring caused by splashes and stains. This is particularly important if you have a carpeted bathroom, as sewage stains on the carpet can be hard to remove and smell unpleasant.
Taking the Plunge
Plunging is one of the most common and successful methods for unblocking a toilet. If there is an object causing a blockage, however, a plunger is not the best method to use for unclogging. If you have poured any chemical down the toilet then avoid using a plunger as the splashes could cause chemicals to burn the skin.
There are two types of plunger: ball plunger and flange plunger. They are simply shape variations of each other and different toilets will require a different plunger. Generally the larger the plunger the easier the unclogging will be.
The best way to use a plunger is to immerse it in the water in the bowl and slowly apply pressure. Plunging in the water has much more effect than plunging in the air so if the water level in the toilet is low you may be required to top it up to its normal flush level. Once pressure has slowly been applied to the plunger, quickly pull back the plunger to create a strong suction in the bowl. This may need repeating a few times to be successful.
If you have an object clogging your toilet, in the first few inches of the drain an unravelled wire coat hanger or knitting needle can be used to dislodge the item. This may also be worth doing if plunging has had no effect on your blockage. Simply push the wire coat hanger or knitting needle to the point of blockage and manoeuvre in circular motions to dislodge the item causing obstruction.
If the blockage in your toilet is caused by an item that is obstructing the drains out of reach of a wire coat hanger, then a plumbing snake should be used to dislodge the item. A plumbing snake is a flexible coil of wire that can “snake” down the drain of a toilet to release a blockage. Simply push the snake as far as the obstruction and keep wriggling it until the water in your bowl begins to drain.
Should your toilet still be clogged after trying the suggested methods then it may be worth calling a plumber to fix the problem as it could be a hard obstruction. Drain cleaners may also be used but try to avoid them where possible as they can cause damage to the environment.
The Unclogging Aftermath
Make sure you thoroughly disinfect your toilet, inside and out, and surrounding areas once the blockage has been cleared. If you have placed garbage pail liners down to catch any spillage then carefully remove and dispose of them. Dispose of any coat hangers or knitting needles used to unblock the toilet as they will now be contaminated. Your toilet should now be ready for business as usual but remember to avoid using too much toilet roll or flushing any objects other than toilet paper and sanitary products that state they are safe to flush on the packet.
Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Branded Bathrooms, a UK online bathroom suite retailer.
More related articles:
How to Unclog a Toilet without Calling a Plumber
Removing Toilet Rings
Save Money on Toilet Bowl Cleaner
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