June 5th 2023
Dealing with a clogged toilet is an unpleasant situation that many of us have encountered at some point. While it may seem like a daunting task, unclogging a toilet is a relatively simple DIY plumbing project that can save you time and money. In this blog post, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of unclogging a toilet using common household tools and a few effective techniques. With these easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll have your toilet back in working order in no time.
Materials and Tools Needed:
- Rubber gloves.
- Plunger (a flange or ball-shaped plunger works best).
- Bucket or container.
- Toilet auger or plumbing snake (optional).
- Baking soda and vinegar (alternative solution).
- Hot water (alternative solution).
Step 1: Put on Protective Gear Before you begin, ensure your safety by putting on a pair of rubber gloves. This will protect your hands from any potential mess or bacteria.
Step 2: Assess the Situation Take a moment to assess the severity of the clog. If the toilet bowl is filled to the brim and overflowing, skip to Step 3. If the water level is not too high, you can proceed to Step 4 and attempt to unclog it using a plunger.
Step 3: Prevent Overflow (Emergency Procedure) To prevent the toilet from overflowing, locate the toilet’s shutoff valve, usually located near the base of the toilet or on the wall behind it. Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply to the toilet. If you can’t find the shutoff valve or it’s not working, remove the tank lid and lift the flapper valve manually to stop more water from entering the bowl. Once the water flow is stopped, proceed to unclog the toilet.
Step 4: Plunge the Toilet
- Position the plunger over the drain hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl, ensuring a tight seal.
- Apply downward pressure and use a firm, consistent motion to create suction. Pump the plunger up and down vigorously for about 20-30 seconds.
- Release the plunger, and if successful, the water should start to drain. Repeat the plunging motion if necessary, until the water flows freely and the clog is cleared.
Step 5: Use a Plumbing Snake or Toilet Auger (if needed) If the plunger doesn’t work, you may need to use a plumbing snake or toilet auger to clear the clog:
- Insert the auger’s end or snake into the toilet bowl’s drain hole.
- Rotate the handle clockwise as you gently push the snake further into the drain.
- Continue feeding the snake until you feel resistance or obstruction.
- Once you encounter the clog, rotate the handle in the opposite direction to break it up or pull it out.
- Repeat the process until the clog is cleared, and then flush the toilet to ensure proper drainage.
Alternative Solutions: If you don’t have a plunger or plumbing snake on hand, you can try the following alternatives:
- Baking Soda and Vinegar: a. Pour about 1 cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. b. Slowly pour 2 cups of vinegar into the bowl. c. Allow the mixture to sit for about 30 minutes. d. Flush the toilet to check if the clog has cleared. Repeat if necessary.
- Hot Water: a. Boil a large pot of water. b. Carefully pour the hot water into the toilet bowl from a height of about waist level. c. Let the hot water sit for a few minutes, and then attempt to flush the toilet.
Note: These alternative methods are effective for minor clogs, but may not work for more stubborn obstructions.
Conclusion: Unclogging a toilet doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these simple steps and utilizing the tools and techniques provided, you can quickly and effectively clear most toilet clogs on your own. However, if you encounter persistent clogs or plumbing issues, it’s always recommended to seek professional help to avoid further damage to your plumbing system.