How to Unclog a Toilet

Homeowners and renters alike know the struggle of dealing with an overflowed toilet from clogging. Though toilet clogs have a way of happening at the most inopportune times, clearing clogs yourself is easy with some simple ingredients around your home. Without hiring a plumber, most clogs can be worked through with the help of a plunger or drain cleaner.

Steps to Unclog a Toilet

The first sign of a clogged toilet is when your toilet doesn’t flush properly on the first try. When this happens, don’t flush again as it will only make the problem worse by pumping more water into the toilet bowl as a result of the backup. At the first sign of a clogged toilet, the goal is to keep the toilet from overflowing. If the toilet bowl starts filling up, the best thing to do is remove the lid from the toilet, and reach in to close the toilet flapper. The water in your toilet tank is not dirty, so it’s okay to stick your hand in.

Once the flapper is closed, use a high quality plunger to clear the obstruction. Experts suggest you use a large, heavy duty, rubber plunger with either a ball-shape or one with a fold-out rubber flange on the bottom to form a seal. Small suction-cup type plungers often cost less, but are not effective in forming that tight seal, which is necessary for the pressure needed to clear a clog. It is recommended that you run the plunger under hot water before using it to help soften the rubber, and help create the seal.

To effectively plunge the clog, start by inserting the plunger into the bowl, and ensuring the plunger completely covers the hole. To be effective, the plunger should be submerged in water, and you should be pushing and pulling with water, not air. If there is not enough water in the bowl, you can add to it with water from the sink. Pump the plunger over the hole by pushing down slowly, then pulling up sharply to forcefully loosen the clog.

Product to Unclog a Toilet

In addition to using a plunger, there are a variety of drain clog liquids that can either be bought or made from products in your home. If you purchase an enzyme waste removal product, simply follow the directions on the back of the bottle. You can also use a combination of 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar directly into the toilet. Then add hot water to the bowl and let it sit overnight before flushing.

Clogged toilets are a common issue in any household. Know the most effective methods in clearing a clog, and take on the toilet yourself before calling a plumber.

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