You may take it for granted that your toilet will always flush – until it stops working properly. Most people who have never experienced a clogged toilet have no idea where to begin when a clog strikes.
What To Do When Your Toilet Is Clogged
The safest and most effective solution to fix a clogged toilet is to call a plumber, but there are a few ways that you may be able to alleviate the problem in a pinch so that you can have a workable toilet until professionals can come and look at it. Here are a few different ways that you can temporarily unclog your toilet on your own.
Stop The Toilet From Overflowing
The first step you need to take is to stop the toilet from overflowing. If water is rising toward the top of your toilet bowl, you need to step in quickly to prevent the bathroom from flooding.
Remove the lid from your toilet and close the open flapper inside that is allowing the water to continue flowing. The water in this tank is clean, so don’t hesitate; reach in and get this step done as quickly as possible. You should also turn off the water supply behind the toilet.
Use A Plunger
If you have a plunger on hand, you’ve got the best tool a homeowner can have for a DIY toilet unclogging. If you have a plunger with a flange, this is the ideal shape for unclogging a toilet.
First, you will want to place the plunger inside your toilet bowl and push down gently until you note a good seal. You should never push too vigorously with the first push. The goal of the first push is to simply get rid of the air; doing this with too much force could cause you to splash dirty water all over yourself.
Once you have a good seal, all you need to do is pump your plunger up and down using a slight amount of force and making sure that the seal is constantly maintained.
After a few pumps of the plunger, pull it up to break the air seal. At this point, you should see water rush down the drain. If the clog persists, you can try this process a few more times until the clog loosens.
Try Dish Soap And Hot Water
If your efforts with the plunger were not successful, you might consider trying the dish soap and hot water method. Place a gallon of hot water on the stove to heat it up and squirt some dish soap inside your toilet.
Once the water is very hot but before it reaches the boiling point, take it off the stove and carefully pour it inside your toilet. Allow the hot water and dish soap mixture to sit for several minutes to soften the clog. If this does not work, you can try again or use a different method.
Mix Baking Soda And Vinegar
Another effective approach involves using baking soda and vinegar to remove a toilet clog. You may be familiar with this classic combination for multiple uses around the home, and it can also prove helpful when it comes to clogged toilets, particularly if you do not have a plunger on hand.
Add a cup of baking soda to the clogged toilet. After waiting for a few minutes for it to dissolve, add 2 cups of vinegar to the toilet. The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will cause bubbles to rise to the surface, so it is important to pour the vinegar in slowly so your toilet water does not overflow or splash up on you.
You will want to leave this mixture inside the toilet for several minutes so it can loosen the clog before flushing. If the clog has not cleared when you flush, you may need to call a plumber.
Avoid Liquid Drain Cleaners
One approach that is not recommended when you have a clogged toilet is using a liquid drain cleaner. These products are widely available and marketed toward unclogging drains on your own.
However, they are very harmful to your plumbing as they contain caustic and highly corrosive chemicals that often end up sitting inside your pipes and eating away at them. It may also cause your toilet to crack, which is a much bigger problem to correct than a clog.
Call The Northern Virginia Master Plumbers
While any of these methods may be able to address your clog in a pinch, it is always a good idea to call a plumber as clog-related issues could be bigger than they seem at first. Toilets depend on the interaction of many moving parts to function properly, and there are several issues that can be caused by malfunctioning toilets.
Get in touch with the Northern Virginia master plumbers at Baumbach Plumbing & Remodeling. Experts in residential plumbing with more than 90 years of experience, they provide routine and emergency plumbing services at a reasonable price.