How to Fix and Prevent a Clogged Toilet
It happens to everyone. Now and again, you reach for the handle to flush the toilet and it feels like your entire bathroom is going to overflow with water. But have no fear; dealing with a clogged toilet is a relatively straightforward household chore.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money and most people can fix the issue themselves in just a few minutes.
All you’ll need is a toilet plunger with a rubber extension and possibly a toilet snake. Learn how to unclog any toilet in your home or office in just a few minutes. Your loved ones or colleagues will be eternally grateful.
Using the Plunger
Not all plungers are created equal. Try to find one with a rubber overhang that extends past the bell of the plunger. This shape will help you get more power out of every thrust. Before you start huffing and puffing, wait for the water to go down as much as possible. If you just tried to flush the toilet to no avail, the water should start to recede after a couple of minutes.
To plunge out whatever’s clogging your toilet, push the plunger into the drain using a back and forth motion. As you start pushing and pulling, keep these plunging tips in mind:
- Start with a gentle push as the first wave of air can splatter toilet water all over your bathroom.
- Keep the plunger submerged in water as much as possible throughout the exercise.
- Use a combination of fast and firm strokes until the object has been dislodged.
- Always maintain the seal by keeping the edges of the plunger wrapped around the drain.
To find a good plunger that does the work try this resource: Best Toilet Plungers
When in Doubt, Use a Toilet Snake
While using a regular plunger will get rid of most toilet clogs, some extreme situations might require a toilet snake, a long metal tool that reaches down into the drain.
Toilet snakes are usually less than $10, so you might as well keep one around the house. Right away, you’ll notice that one end of the toilet snake has a corkscrew-like feature. This is the end that travels down the drain. Feed this end of the snake into the toilet. After a few seconds, you should feel it rubbing up against the clogged object.
Now, twist the other end of the snake that you still have in your hand. The corkscrew end will either break up the clogged item or attach itself to it, giving you the chance to pull it up and out of the drain. Just be careful when you’re removing the clogged item as you’re bound to see a splash of toilet water.
The Nuclear Option
If all else fails, you might need to completely remove the toilet and turn off the water supply, so you can physically remove the clog, but this is rarely necessary unless someone flushed a household object down the drain.
You might be a bit squeamish about unbolting your toilet from the floor, so it’s usually best to contact a plumber in your area.
How to Prevent Toilet Clogs
Once the problem has been solved, you’re probably curious as to how you can prevent this in the future. While toilets are notoriously fickle creatures, you can limit the chances of something like this happening again if you take these precautions:
- The only item going into your toilet should be toilet paper. Refrain from using paper towel, tissues and other paper products.
- Keep the toilet lid closed, so you don’t accidentally drop something in the bowl. This is especially important if you have a small child that likes to toss their toys in the toilet.
- Do not dump thick compounds down the drain. Substances like spray foam, caulk, grease and wax will bring your drain to a standstill.
If you can’t unclog your toilet using the methods listed above, it’s time to call your local plumber. A professional will be able to get your home’s system up and running again in no time.
Of course, you can’t always wait for the plumber to come to you. That’s why Hernandez Plumbing offers emergency plumbing services to homeowners and business owners across South Florida. Whether it’s the middle of a busy workday or you’re having your relatives over for a long weekend, the team at Hernandez Plumbing will be there to fix the problem. Contact us today!