How do I Fix a Clogged Toilet?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Of all the drains in a home, most people hope the one that remains completely clog-free is the toilet drain. A clogged toilet often spells the beginning of a very unpleasant chain of events, from identifying the cause to clearing away the clog itself. Some fixes may require the services and equipment of a professional plumber, but there are some things a home owner can do to fix a clogged toilet herself.

First of all, fixing a clogged toilet does not have to be a torture test. The amateur plumber assigned to that task can always wear protective gear such as rubber gloves, a disposable mask, safety goggles and waterproof boots. It may seem like overkill, but fixing a toilet containing human waste and other objectionable materials calls for the same precautions as any other handling of hazardous substances. When in doubt, suit up.


The next step is to determine the source of the clog. This can often be done by a visual inspection, followed if necessary by a gloved manual inspection. Sometimes a clog is caused by a small object such as a toy or cellphone falling into the toilet and getting partially trapped in the outgoing drain. If there is such an object physically blocking the toilet drain, the repairman should attempt to pull it out and observe the flow of water. If the water remains backed up, there may be another blockage further down the draining system. A professional plumber may have to called in to remove a deeper clog.

If there are no objects visibly blocking the drain, the next step may be to use a plunger, also known as a plumber's helper. This simple tool consists of a large rubber suction cup attached to a wooden stick. The rubber suction cup is placed over the opening at the bottom of the toilet bowl and the repairman plunges down on the stick forcefully. This action forces the water pressure to increase in the drain and hopefully dislodge the clog. Pulling back up on the plunger creates a vacuum, which may also help to pull a clog out of the drain. Several plunges with a plumber's helper should dislodge most minor clogs.

Should none of these measures prove effective, a home repairman can use a flexible metal coil known as a plumbing snake. The snake can be introduced through the drain hole at the bottom of the bowl and carefully pushed through the ceramic inner workings and finally into the drain pipe which connects to the outside sewer lines. Most plumbing snakes sold for home use can only travel a short distance, however, so a professional plumber may need to be called if the clog cannot be reached easily.

In an absolute emergency, the entire toilet can be removed by shutting off the water supply valve, emptying the bowl and tank, unscrewing the anchor bolts located near the floor and lifting it completely off the sewer pipe. Be prepared for a very wet mess and a heavy toilet to move. You should also cap off the sewer pipe with either a plastic cap designed for that purpose or a cloth shop towel. The clog can then be addressed elsewhere or a plumber can inspect the sewer pipe itself for a blockage. Thankfully, most clogged toilets can be unclogged long before it becomes necessary to remove them completely.


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Post 6

I think this is the one of the best ways to unblock a seriously clogged toilet, especially when you have disposed of organic waste into it and have tried a plunger, wire hanger, dishwashing liquids, loads of water, etc., and have been unsuccessful.

Please take extreme care while handling caustic soda. You will require about 3 kgs of caustic soda, a plastic bucket, a plastic pipe or any long plastic object to help stir, rubber/plastic gloves, and goggles for your own safety and protection.

It is ideal to do this at night. Pour about 3 to 4 liters of water in a plastic bucket, cover your nose with a piece of cloth, and slowly add about 1 kg of caustic

soda into the water -- very slowly. Stir the mixture slowly, also. Make sure the room is well ventilated and do not inhale the fumes. Get away from the room if it is taking longer to mix the water and caustic soda. Always add the caustic soda to water; do not do it the other way. Do not add water to caustic soda. The exothermic reaction between water and caustic soda will make the water boil quickly, so adding water directly to caustic soda is not advised.

The water will heat up during mixing and will generate fumes. Do not touch the mixture with you bare hands as it is highly corrosive. If a drop of the mixture falls on your skin, wash it with lots of water.

Once the solution is mixed, slowly pour it into the empty toilet bowl, cover the toilet seat and get away from the toilet for about 45 minutes. Once again, mix the caustic soda and water as described above for a second time. Pour it slowly into the toilet and leave it overnight.

In the morning, pour a couple of buckets of steaming hot water into the toilet from about waist height. By now the toilet should flush out quickly. If not, mix water and the caustic soda again as described above and pour it into the empty toilet. Wait for a couple of hours and pour more hot water into the toilet.

Never pour caustic soda directly into the toilet. Caustic soda crystals can solidify inside the toilet pipes, creating a bigger block. So it is advised to mix the caustic soda in water first and use the solution to unblock your clogged toilet.

Post 5

The best way that I have found (and tried) to fix a clogged toilet is to use hot/boiling water and dish soap. It works great.

Post 3

i was once told by a plumber to use a mop. ram the mop down the toilet, it works like the plunger. Obviously remove head and replace with a fresh one, for further use.

Post 2

Does the regular use of liquid toilet cleaners, commonly sold in supermarkets, make any difference? Or are they a waste of money?

Post 1

Be pro-active. Don’t be afraid to flush the toilet early and more than once. After doing your business, flush the toilet.(1st time) After using toilet paper flush again (2nd time)

If there was considerable waste in steps one and two, flush the toilet for a third time.

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