Want to learn how to unclog a toilet? Here, we give you 9 methods, as well as a few causes of blocked toilets and how to avoid it happening again in the future.
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a blocked toilet, is there? Not only does it cause considerable inconvenience, but it can also lead to larger, potentially more expensive problems down the track. We are here to help you unclog your toilet and navigate this common household predicament.
With 35 years of experience under our belts and a solid reputation built on over 1000+ 5-star Google reviews, we’re no strangers to blocked toilets or the havoc they can wreak. We’ve seen it all, from minor clogs to catastrophic blockages, and we know exactly what it takes to get your toilet back up and running in no time.
Remember, a blocked toilet isn’t just an inconvenience – it’s a call to action. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get ready to get rid of blocked toilets for good.
9 Methods to Unclog Your Toilet Today
Here are 9 tried and tested methods to unclog your toilet that you can try on your own without the help of a plumber.
- Plunger: This is the first tool you should reach for when dealing with a clogged toilet. Position the rubber cup of the plunger over the toilet bowl drain and apply downward pressure. Begin slowly and gradually increase the force to dislodge the obstruction. Repeat with short sharp bursts and regularly stop to assess whether water is now draining from the toilet.
- Dish soap: Pour half a cup of dish soap into the toilet bowl. Dish soap can lubricate and break down blockages in the pipe and allow the lodged debris to slide down more easily. Wait a few minutes and then try flushing.
- Hot water: Pour hot (but not boiling) water into the toilet bowl. The heat can help to break down material causing the clog. If the water level goes down, you’ve successfully unclogged the toilet.
- Baking soda and vinegar: Mix one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar and pour the mixture into the toilet. Wait about 30 minutes for the fizzing reaction to break down the clog, then follow with a kettle full of hot water.
- DIY drano bomb: Mix two cups of baking soda, eight to ten tablespoons of dish detergent, and a quarter cup of Epsom salt. Let this mixture sit and harden overnight. Drop one of these “bombs” into the toilet bowl along with four cups of water. Wait 30 minutes, then flush.
- DIY drain snake: Unravel a wire coat hanger until it’s straight. Push one end of the wire into the clogged area. Prod the debris until it becomes free and flows down the drain.
- Toilet brush: Use a toilet brush to break up the material causing the clog. Angle the bristles along the pipe’s edges and work your way into the bowl. Once you find the source of the clog, move the brush back and forth to break up the material.
- Plastic bottle pressure: Remove as much water from the toilet bowl as possible. Fill a large plastic bottle with warm water, place your thumb over the top, then fit the top end of the bottle into the toilet’s outlet. Remove your thumb and squeeze the bottle, forcing the water down the pipe. The added pressure could dislodge the clog.
- Wet/dry vacuum: If all else fails, a wet/dry vacuum can be used to suck out the obstruction. Ensure the toilet bowl is drained first so the vacuum is only sucking up the clog.
Remember, if none of these help with your blocked toilet, it may be time to call in a professional. Our experienced team is always ready to help!
Common Causes of a Blocked Toilet
Some common causes of a blocked toilet include;
- Flushing inappropriate items: Flushing items like wipes, paper towels, feminine products, ear swabs, and hair can result in clogs and ongoing plumbing problems. Even products that are marketed as “flushable” can cause issues as they do not degrade as easily as regular toilet paper. Your toilet is not a bin, and treating it as such can lead to blocked pipes.
- New low-flow toilets: Newer homes may have low-flow toilets, which sometimes lack the necessary pressure to push waste material through the drain effectively. This low flushing power and smaller throat can result in material not fully flushing, leading to a perpetually clogged toilet.
- Excessive use of toilet paper: Toilet paper is designed to degrade and flow through the drain without causing blockages. However, if too much is used, or if the toilet paper is thicker and multi-ply, it may not dissolve as well in water, leading to potential clogs.
- Clogged toilet trap: Your toilet has an S-shaped trap, similar to the P-trap found in your sink. The job of this trap is to catch objects and prevent them from clogging the drain line. However, if non-flushable items or excessive amounts of toilet paper are flushed, they can get stuck and stop the trap from functioning properly.
- Blocked toilet vent: Your toilet is connected to a vent that allows fresh air to enter the plumbing system, thereby increasing flushing pressure. If there’s a blockage in this vent, the pressure can drop, leading to recurring clogs. Symptoms of a blocked toilet vent can include gurgling noises, slow draining, and a foul sewer smell in your home.
- Waste and debris buildup: Over time, waste and debris can accumulate in your pipes, causing them to become blocked.
- Tree roots in the drainage system: Tree roots can invade your underground drainage system and cause blockages.
- Cracked or broken pipes: These can prevent waste and water from flowing smoothly, leading to clogs.
- Faulty flush valve seal: If the flush valve seal isn’t working correctly, it can result in weak flushes that don’t effectively remove waste from the toilet bowl.
- Old or unmaintained external pipes: If your external pipes are not maintained or are old and collapsing, they can lead to toilet blockages.
- Slow-moving or unmaintained septic systems: If your home has a septic system, any issues with it, such as slow movement of waste or lack of maintenance, can lead to toilet blockages.
- Hard water issues: Hard water, or water that has high mineral content, can cause buildup in your pipes and lead to blockages.
Contact Dcm Plumbing Today For All Your Blocked Toilet Needs
With these practical and easy methods at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to tackle even the most stubborn blocked toilet. Yet, remember that prevention is always the best cure. Understanding and avoiding the common causes of blocked toilets can save you from the inconvenience and potential plumbing issues in the future. Should your toilet persistently resist these methods, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals. At DCM Plumbing, we’re always ready to assist with your blocked toilet needs. Contact us today!