Clogged toilets are one of the many minor headaches of home owning. Toilets are often clogged because of paper products like toilet paper or waste build up. People who have kids often see stranger things like toys flushed down their toilet. Although there is no shame in calling a professional there are methods to unclog a toilet without making that call.
How Do I Know that My Toilet is Clogged?
The most obvious sign of a clogged toilet is the inability to flush. Sometimes simply listening to your toilet will tell you where the clog is in the system. When a vent is clogged the toilet will gurgle and the water level will drop. In the worst case scenario a clogged toilet will over flow. This causes a very unsanitary setting and a huge mess. An organic clog will release filth into the bowl. A hard object such a toy will often be visible.
What Causes Toilet Clogs?
- Excessive Toilet Paper
- Female Sanitation Products (pads and tampons)
- Baby Wipes
- Foreign Objects like toys or other small items
How Do I Fix It?
If you know it is just an over load of paper goods then start with a plunger.
- Turn the water supply off so you just deal with the current water level.
- Cover the drain hole with the plunger. The water should cover half of the cup. If there isn’t enough water then add some from the sink. You want to make a good suction for the plunging.
- Push down on the plunger without removing the plunger. If you made a good seal, then the cup will fold down and create a vacuum.
- Repeat the plunging until the water drains.
- Turn the water back on and flush the toilet to fill the tank back up. A second flush should go on without an issue.
If the problem is a hard object a snaking method could work. However if the problem is a child’s toy it might be worth the money to call a professional plumber. For less expensive objects a coat hanger can do the job.
- Unwind a wire coat hanger. This will make it long wire line. Cover the end with a rag so you don’t scratch the porcelain.
- Feed the ragged end into the drain opening.
- Twist the wire and roll it in a circular motion. When the line doesn’t meet any more resistance then the clog has been pushed down the line.
For more stubborn obstruction some people like to use shop vacs. Please note this method is only good with a shop vac.
- Suck all the water out of the bowl with a bare shop vac hose.
- Wrap a towel around the hose. Then feed the hose down to where the drain is narrow.
- Press the towel against opening and turn the shop vac on so that a good suction is made.
- The suction should pull the blockage out of the system.
As the introduction stated there is no shame in calling a professional. Sometimes the problem is in the sewer line. A good indicator of this is when you flush the toilet and another drain like the tub or sink back up with foul smelling water. Definitely call a professional for this issue.