Patrick from Seale Plumbing, a popular Fullerton, CA plumbing company stopped by this afternoon to give some tips on how to unclog your toilet without having to call a plumber, here’s what he had to say.
There comes a time in your life where you’re going to have to do something no one else in the world looks forward to and that is unclogging a toilet. Normally, you would pay someone to fix your but before doing this you might want to consider ways you can diagnose the problem on your own before you pour money into what can be an quick, easy and cheap to fix. Lets get started.
Before you the process, you’re going to have to do a few things in order to ensure complete safety and sanitation. Toss a nice pair of cleaning gloves on to keep your hands safe from any harmful bacteria the may be residing on/in the toilet. Next you’ll want to lay down some paper towel or even newspaper to protect the floor from toilet liquids that may spill during the process. This will making cleaning up a little easier. For your own sake you might want to turn the fan on and clean the toilet bowl itself for obvious reasons. After you’ve completed the steps above, you’re ready to get started unclogging that toilet.
The first and often most used method of unclogging a toilet and that is the Plunger Method. Keep in mind if you are aware that something was dropped in to the toilet eg; your child’s toy, skip this step. Try to refrain from using cheap dollar store plungers for the obvious reason they most likely will not work well and could possibly break and make your situation worse. Go for a more expensive one with a ball-shape head or one where rubber folds out the end. Proceed with plunging your clogged toilet but you should not be doing this at a rapid pace because theirs a chance that you plunger might lift off the toilet and end up with a messy situation. Plunge in and out a minimum of 5 times before attempting to see if its unclogged.
Do not worry if plunging doesn’t work. The second method you can try is the Coat Hanger Method. This works best if the problem is less than a few inches within the drain. First you’ll want to carefully unravel your coat hanger and put a rag on the end you intend trying to unclog the inside of the toilet with so you do not damage your toilet. Once your coat hanger is unraveled and cloth tipped you’ll want to carefully slide it into the drain of the toilet, steadily and patiently work it down the drain in an attempt to break up the clog so you can flush the contents.
The third way you can unclog your toilet is using the Plumbing Snake Method. If you don’t own a plumbing snake you can go out and ask a neighbor or go to the nearest hardware store and pick one up. Once you have your plumbing snake you’re going to want to maneuver it down the drain to the point where you feel the clog occurring and work the snake around by spinning and pushing the obstruction to the point where you can move it freely. If worse comes to worse you’re going to want to remove your toilet and do what is called the “Reverse Snake”. This is where you put the plumbing snake in the opposite end of the drain so you have easier access to the location of the clog.
If snaking your drain failed do not fret. We have another way you can unclog that pesky toilet. This way is called the Vacuum Method. Before considering this make sure you possess a wet/dry vacuum that is capable of handling water within it. First you’re going to want to empty out the water in the toilet with the vacuum. Once done that place the hose (without any attachments) a no more than a few inches in to the toilet. Make sure its air tight. You can do this be putting a old towel around the end of the hose. Next just turn the vacuum and apply some pressure to the towels surrounding the hose and sure enough the clog will get sucked into the vaccum.
The fifth and final way you can try unclogging your toilet is using some common household items. This method is named the Vinegar and Baking Soda Method. Put one box of baking soda into the toilet then slowly pour a medium sized bottle of vinegar in the toilet. Remember to pour it slowly it will react much like a volcano and make your situation take a little longer to clean up. Both the vinegar and baking soda together concoct a chemical formula that will break down and dissolve the clog making it easy to flush without any problems. Although it does take quite some time, it works well. For maximum result you can let the solution sit over night.
No one likes a clogged toilet. However as long as you’re prepared and know a couple ways to fix your smelly problem it will be a breeze when you’re confronted with the issue. These methods will no doubt help you keep a couple dollars in your pocket before you go straight to calling a plumber.