While clogs and blockages are easily the most common issue with toilets, many people don’t know much about them. But while the problem may seem minor, a continuously clogged toilet can go on to become a much bigger problem and maybe cause significant damage to your home.
With this in mind, here are some of the main reasons why toilets get clogged. So, how do you unclog a toilet? Well here are a few things you can try before you call a plumber.
Check flushed foreign matter
Most clogs and blockages are the build-up of waste or toilet paper against foreign objects lodged somewhere in the drainage. The only things toilets are capable of flushing are water, toilet paper, and natural human waste.
Flushing seemingly harmless items like facial tissue down the toilet can cause problems because they’re not designed to break down like toilet paper.
You should also avoid flushing condoms, tampons, dental floss, kitty litter, baby wipes, and any other foreign items not designed for disposal in a toilet because any one of them could cause clogging. Even too much toilet paper can create a clog very easily.
Check sewer line issues
If multiple toilets or pipes are clogging, there could be an issue somewhere deeper inside your plumbing. While clogs often occur in the toilet itself, they can also build up elsewhere in the sewer line.
Or sometimes, the clog is caused by tree roots growing into a pipe and filling with dirt. If any of the below methods don’t clear the clogging, you should contact a professional plumber as soon as possible to fix the issue.
How to fix a clogged toilet
Whenever we use a toilet and it gets clogged, many of us will immediately go into panic mode and start frantically flushing. But this is a terrible idea, which will most likely only make the situation much worse by causing the toilet to overflow and flood the floor. Never go for the second flush.
If you want to attempt unclogging it yourself before calling a plumber for some professional help, here are a few common methods that will often work.
Method 1: Use a plunger
The most well-known method of unblocking a clogged toilet is with a good quality flared or bell-shaped plunger. That is what they’re designed for, after all.
Start by running hot water over your plunger to help create a strong and airtight seal by softening the rubber. Then make sure it’s totally submerged in water and entirely covering the toilet trap opening.
All of the above is important so all the air beneath the plunger is forced through your toilet bend to push the clog through without any water splashing back up everywhere. Start plunging slowly, pushing it down as far as possible, before quickly pulling it back up.
Repeat this multiple times until the clog is gone and the toilet flushing normally again. If the clog is still there, you may need to keep plunging or try another method below.
Method 2: Use dish soap
You can also use dish soap to help lubricate the clog so it starts moving freely. Add some hot (not boiling) water to some dish soap and then pour it into the toilet bowl from waist level. Then let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes and then flush to see if the clog is cleared and draining normally.
Method 3: Use a homemade solution
Another option is to use a homemade baking soda and vinegar solution to try to break up the clog. Add some baking soda into the bowl before slowly pouring white or cider vinegar on top and watch it start fizzing.
To prevent the solution from overflowing when it fizzes, check the bowl is only half-filled with water. Let the solution sit for around 30 to 60 minutes, before flushing with some hot water. If your toilet still isn’t draining properly, repeat the process or leave it soaking overnight for especially stubborn clogs.
Method 4: Call the pros
If these methods haven’t loosened, cleared, or unclog your clogged toilet, it’s time to call a professional plumber in to fix it. Don’t forget to tell them everything you’ve tried so they have an idea of what the issue is. And, if you need a hand with unclogging your toilet, then get in touch with JRT Plumbing today!