How do I unclog my toilet?
December, 13th, 2011
There is not really a convenient time to deal with a stopped up toilet, but often toilets seem to stop up at the most inconvenient times. When you are having a dinner party or an overnight guest is staying in your home, clogged toilets can be a nightmare. Fortunately most blockages are minor and can be handled quickly if you have the right tools on hand.
The first tool to try is the old reliable toilet plunger that can be placed over the throat of the bowl and pushed down gently to create suction action in the toilet’s drain chamber. Doing this several times is often enough to unclog toilets where minor blockages due to paper products is the problem. If you try plunging a half dozen times and see no results, it’s time to move on to the next tool in your closet: the handheld auger.
If you have small children in the household who sometimes drop toys in toilets or even pets that may think the inside of a toilet is a great place to hide bones, a handheld auger can be a great addition to your home tool collection. Many times a small item can get lodged in a toilet’s drain lines and cause paper and waste to collect so that the resulting blockage can’t be cleared with a plunger. A handheld auger excels at unclogging toilets with these sorts of jams and they are fairly inexpensive.
The end of the auger has a 90 degree bend that allows it to be placed into the toilet bowl throat and you simply crank the auger so that the snake moves through the drainage chambers. When the snake has reached its maximum length (usually about 4 feet) pull it back out and try flushing the toilet. Be careful you don’t scratch the inside of the bowl while cranking the auger or pulling it back out. If the blockage still isn’t cleared, you now have two choices: clear your schedule for the next several hours for a fairly large project or call a plumbing contractor.
Pulling the toilet up and using a large plumbing snake or power auger to clear the blockage in the main line isn’t the most pleasant job in the world which is one of the reasons why plumbers stay so busy. Plumbing snakes and power augers are available at most tool rentals and don’t forget to purchase a new wax seal that will be needed for the toilet before it is sat back into place.
If all else fails, give us a call or contact us online.