Fixing Your Plumbing To Fix Your Life

How To Fix A Clogged Toilet

Nothing is worse than flushing the toilet only to see the water rising rather than going down. Well, nothing, perhaps, than being somewhere other than your own home! Regardless of where you are, here's two ideas to get the toilet working again.

Turn the Water Off

Before you grab the plunger, quickly reach down and turn the water off at the valve. This will prevent water from continuing to fill the bowl and potentially overflowing onto the floor, making a big mess.

Grab the Plunger

Once you have stopped the water from running, you can try the plunger. A plunger works with suction, so you want to make sure you have a good, airtight seal. A plunger with an inner flange is best as it will make the best seal and create the most suction, but a simple plunger will work as well.

Carefully put the plunger into the toilet so you don't splash the water. If you have the kind with a flange, insert the flange into the bowl opening. If you don't have that kind of plunger, try to center the plunger directly over the opening. For your first plunge, go lightly, and then rapidly repeat plunging with an up and down action. Break the seal by pulling the plunger away, and hopefully the water will quickly drain. If this doesn't work the first time, repeat the process and check again. If this method doesn't work after 5-6 times, it's time to try something else.

Put the Kettle On

Hot water can sometimes do a better job of breaking through a clog than cold water can. While you don't want to use boiling water, as that may crack your porcelain, you do want hot water. You can either heat water in a kettle, or if you have a bucket, you can turn on the bathtub water and wait for it to get really hot. Add a few squirts of shampoo or a capful of laundry soap to the water, and then begin slowly pouring the water into the toilet. Take care not to fill the toilet too full as you will need room for the plunger. Let the water and soap solution sit for 10 minutes. Hopefully, the toilet will begin making gurgling noises, which means the clog is dissolving. When time is up, gently try the plunger again.

If neither of these methods work, you could try a toilet auger snake, but this could cause damage to your toilet if you don't do it correctly. Skip the caustic chemicals as well; these can be damaging to your toilet as well as cause severe burns or eye injuries. Instead, call plumbing services to come and safely fix the problem for you.