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How To Unclog A Toilet

We’ve all been there, that sinking feeling when you flush the toilet, and the water rises back up instead of down. Many people panic in a situation such as this, toilet floods are nasty business and can cause a lot of damage. A clogged toilet is one of the most common plumbing problems. It can be the result of something foreign going down the drain, too much toilet paper being flushed, or be caused by a more serious problem, like invading tree roots. If it’s the latter, traditional clearing methods will be in vain. Further diagnostics by a professional is needed. However, for a clog caused by your two year old flushing a bar of soap, here is how to unclog a toilet. 


Stop The Flow Of Water

The first step to unclog a toilet is to stop the flow of water. Water enters the bowl of your toilet from the tank, if your toilet is about to overflow you can stop the flow of water by closing the flapper that is inside of the tank. If you are approaching a clogged toilet that is not about to overflow, the first step is to gain access to the tank. This way if water rises up you have quick access to the flapper. This minimizes mess and damage.

unclog a toilet
Image Credit: Home Depot

Use Your Hands

Okay, this sounds really gross, however if the object isn’t that far along, you may be able to reach in a grab whatever it is. If you can reach the object you can easily clear the clog. Of course we recommend wearing gloves.


Try A Little Hot Water

Hot water can be very effective at unclogging drains. Hot soapy water can help loosen clogs and restore the function of your toilet. Be sure to use hot water, not boiling water, as boiling water can cause damage to your plumbing.


Get Your Plunger On

The next step is to plunge. Be sure to use a plunger that is meant for toilet drains. A toilet plunger is also known as a flange plunger. A flange plunger  is a cup plunger with a lip at the end. This allows the plunger to get a good seal around the drain. When it comes to plunging, having a tight seal is really important. This enables proper suction, which is what clears the drain. 

unclog a toilet
Image Credit: Bunnings Warehouse

To effectively plunge your toilet, make sure your plunger is fully submerged. This helps create a tight seal. Running the plunger under hot water before plunging makes the plunger more pliable with allows for tighter suction. Once you have a tight seal, give it a whirl. You may have to repeat the process several times.


Use A Toilet Auger

If you have plunged to no avail, you may want to try using an auger. An auger is a coil that feeds into your drain. At the end of the auger is a hook, that can either grab onto or break apart the obstruction causing the clog. To use an auger to unclog a toilet, feed it into the drain, then crank the handle until you feel it reach the clog. Once you reach the clog you can either break through it, or pull it out. An auger is one of the most effective ways to clear a clog. If you have a particularly stubborn clog, you may need to alternate between plunging and using an auger.


Stubborn Clog May Require Professional Attention

If you are unable to clear a clogged toilet with the above mentioned techniques you may have a more serious plumbing problem afoot that requires professional attention. Sewer camera inspections can help identify underlying problems like tree roots and broken sewer lines, both of which can cause drainage issues. Professional drain cleaning may also be in order. Hydro-jetting is a technique that utilizes pressurized water to remove the gunk that builds up inside of your pipes. Over time, this buildup can cause clogs and drainage issues. To schedule an appointment, contact Lesco  today!  

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