How to Unclog Your Toilet….Properly

Woooooof! You’ve clogged the toilet again, and guests are coming over for dinner in a few hours. What do you do to take care of this mess in a clean, quick way?

Step 1.

Wait ten minutes for the toilet to drain itself for at least ten minutes. This way, the water level will fall to a reasonable level that you can work with. If the toilet is near overflowing, every plunge will push water out of the toilet bowl and onto your floor; which is the last thing you want at this juncture.

Step 2.

Grab a plunger. Preferably one with a flange that will fit into the flush hole. This design puts some serious air through your drainage system. Make sure your first plunge is a gentle one, otherwise the air will fly out of the toilet drain pushing water out with it.

Step 3.

Start plunging at a consistent, gentle rate, generally building up to more powerful strokes. This should clear most plugs within 3-5 minutes.

Step 4.

If you’re still not getting clearance, try alternating between gentle and quick strokes followed by 3-4 powerful strokes. Be patient. This method will clear 90% of clogs.

Important Note* Make sure that there is enough water to cover the plunger while you’re plunging. If there’s not, you’re just pushing air into the drainage pipe and your efforts are increasingly ineffective.

Didn’t Work Yet?

It’s time to get out the snake. If you don’t have one, this might be the time to call a plumber.

Snakes can also be purchased at your local hardware store and generally run between $20 – $40.

Usually these will solve the problem by actually pushing through the clog. But remember, you’re going to have to clean it with extremely hot water afterwards to disinfect. The way that these tools work is by meeting the debris that is causing the clog and then the user will turn the snake clockwise to attach to the debris and allow it to be pushed through the drain. Once you’ve removed the clog, water will start to drain and you can then twist the snake counter-clockwise and pull the snake out. This should solve 95% of all drain clogs.

But You’re Still Stuck Aren’t You?

If you’re still experiencing clogs after all this, it’s time to do some major work. Namely, removing your toilet. Unless you have previous plumbing experience, this is the time to bring in an expert. Your toilet removal will take several hours and you’ll have to purchase a new wax ring and new mounting bolts to secure the toilet again. Errors in this phase of drain clogging could lead to unstable toilets, leaks, and seepage from flushed debris.

If you’ve tried the first two steps and would like to have one of our master plumbers give you a free estimate for a repair give us a call at 269-629-0278