Dealing with a toilet can be quite unpleasant and inconvenient. When a toilet gets blocked and won’t unclog it, it can lead to frustration and potential hygiene problems. It’s important to understand the reasons for toilet clogs and the steps you can take to fix them.
Toilets can become clogged for reasons like using too much toilet paper, flushing foreign objects, or debris buildup over time. When confronted with a clog, it’s crucial to approach the situation to avoid damaging the plumbing system.
This guide will explore methods for unclogging a toilet, ranging from techniques using a plunger to more advanced approaches involving plumbing tools. Additionally, we’ll discuss measures that can help reduce the occurrence of toilet clogs, promoting better maintenance and functionality.
Why Clogging a Toilet
Toilets can get blocked due to a variety of reasons. Having knowledge, about these factors can assist you in taking steps to avoid any troublesome plumbing problems. Below are a few causes that can lead to toilet blockage:
Flushing Non-Flushable items
- Hygiene products: Products like hygiene items, diapers, baby wipes, and cotton swabs are not intended to break down in water and can potentially cause pipe blockages.
- Household items: Items such as paper towels, tissues, dental floss, and other household products have a thickness or absorbency that makes flushing them unsafe.
- Chemicals: Grease, oil, and paint have the potential to harden pipes, leading to blockages.
- Overusing toilet paper: Using toilet paper can cause a large clump that is too big to flush down the toilet.
- Low-flow toilets: In some cases, older or low-flow toilets might not have water pressure to flush waste, which can result in blockages.
- Clogged drain lines: Blockages in the pipes that lead away from the toilet can occur due to the accumulation of grease, mineral deposits, or root intrusion.
- Vent pipe problems: If a vent pipe is blocked or not working properly it can stop air from circulating. Cause pressure that makes flushing less effective.
- Faulty toilet: If your toilet parts are worn out or damaged, like the flapper valve or flush mechanism, it can result in flushing that is not strong enough and clogs.
How to Unclog a Toilet With a Plunger
Clearing a toilet using a plunger is an efficient technique. Here is a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to utilize a plunger for unclogging a toilet:
Choose the Right Plunger
Make sure you utilize a plunger designed for toilets. These plungers usually have a flange or rubber extension at the bottom, which helps in creating a seal within the toilet drain.
Put on Rubber Gloves
To keep things clean, you might want to put on a pair of rubber gloves before you begin the process of unclogging.
Position the Plunger
To unclog the toilet, position the plunger over the drain hole at the bowl’s base, ensuring it fully covers the opening. Insert the flange into the drain opening.
Create a Seal
Press down firmly on the plunger until it forms a seal. Ensure that the plunger’s rim is immersed in water to guarantee a seal and efficient suction.
Press down on the plunger. Then, pull up slowly and steadily. Repeat this action times without disrupting the seal. The objective is to generate a suction that loosens the blockage.
Check for Movement
After a try, you should check if the water in the toilet bowl is going down. If you notice that the water starts to drain, it means that the blockage is being cleared.
Flush the Toilet
After the water begins to flow out, flush the toilet to check if the blockage has been completely cleared. If the water drains smoothly, it means that the obstruction is likely resolved.
Inspect the Toilet Bowl
After you’ve managed to clear the toilet blockage, take a moment to examine the bowl for any debris that could have caused the clog. If you come across any objects, make sure to remove them before flushing the toilet.
Dispose of Waste Properly
Make sure to dispose of any waste and used gloves. Remember to wash your hands after handling the plunger.
How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger
Using certain methods, unclogging a toilet without a plunger is possible. Here, we will share a few techniques that you can give a shot:
Hot water and Dish Soap
- Fill the toilet bowl with water that is not boiling.
- Squeeze a drop of soap into the bowl.
- Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to assist in breaking down the blockage.
- Flush the toilet to check if the obstruction has been cleared.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Start by adding one cup of baking soda to the toilet bowl.
- Next, pour in a cup of vinegar.
- Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
- Finally, pour hot water into the bowl.
- Check if the blockage has been cleared.
Wire Hanger or Zip-It Tool
- You can try using a wire coat hanger or a tool like Zip It ( available at hardware stores).
- Insert the hanger or tool into the drain. Gently maneuver it to break up the blockage.
- Just be careful not to cause any scratches on the porcelain.
- Finally, flush the toilet to see if the clog has been cleared.
Epsom Salt and Vinegar
- Combine an amount of Epsom salt and vinegar in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture into the toilet bowl.
- Allow it to sit for a while before flushing the toilet.
Plumbing Snake or Auger
- Use a plumbing snake or auger to break up the clog if available.
- Insert the tool into the toilet drain and turn the handle clockwise.
- Continue until you feel resistance, then rotate the snake in the opposite direction to dislodge the clog.
Dishwashing Liquid and Hot Water
- Start by adding an amount of soap to the toilet bowl.
- Next, pour hot water into the bowl. Allow it to sit for some time.
- After waiting, try flushing the toilet.
What should I do if my toilet is clogged and won’t flush?
Begin by using a plunger to create suction and remove the blockage. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can try approaches like using water and dish soap or a plumbing snake.
What’s the right way to plunge a toilet?
To unclog a toilet, use a plunger with a flange. Place it directly over the drain. Make sure it forms a seal. Gently push down. Then, pull up in a deliberate manner to create suction. Repeat this process times until the clog is cleared.
Can I use chemical drain cleaners to unclog my toilet?
Using chemical drain cleaners in toilets is generally not advised as they can be harsh and potentially cause damage. It’s better to rely on chemical methods to prevent any possible plumbing problems.
How can I prevent toilet clogs in the future?
To prevent plumbing issues, it’s important to avoid flushing items that are not meant to be flushed. Also try to use an amount of toilet paper and make sure to keep up with maintenance. You might want to consider using a higher quality toilet paper that dissolves easily.