Toilet Advice

How to Unclog a Toilet

It can be frustrating when your toilet gets clogged up. The last thing you want is water overflowing onto that nice and clean bathroom floor of yours. However, there is no need to panic, this is a common issue that has multiple solutions. A plunger and a auger should be first in line.

Why toilets get blocked

The bends in the trapway are designed to keep odors from the sewer lines down. It does this by sealing off the passage with a pool of water, known as the water spot. However, this can be both a positive and a negative. It seals off gasses and smells effectively, but at the same time, waste, toilet paper, and other objects can sometimes get trapped in these bends.

The plunger

Nine times out of ten, you'll be able to clear the clog with a plunger. These are very effective at removing the blockage because it's able to squeeze into the pipe at the bottom of the bowl and seal itself, allowing you to pump air into the pipe, which is then pulled back to create a very effective vacuum effect that will usually dislodge whatever objects were in the way.

The auger

The closet auger is commonly known as a toilet snake because of its ability to snake through the pipes to get to those harder to reach areas. This is the equipment you should use if your plunger didn't get the job done.

Insert the cable into the bowl, and use a handle to control its movements as you extend it towards the clog. These cables are quite flexible and able to get around the curves quite easily. Once you've cranked it far enough that it won't go further, it's likely you've reached the blockage. Push your way through it. With any luck, you will have fixed your problem. Flush the toilet to double check.

Call a plumber

If you've tried your best with the two options above, it may be time to get a plumbing professional in to take a look.

Future prevention

Now you've been through this ordeal, you will probably never want it to happen again. Take steps to ensure only flush things down the toilet that are designed to. If they don't break down easily, like wet wipes and feminine products, you should avoid flushing them. You should also try to reduce the amount of paper you use to wipe. Some people like using many rolls for every wipe, but the more you reduce this, the less likely it will happen again. Upgrading to a toilet with a large trapway and high score on the MaP scale can generally move larger volumes of waste too.