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Unclogging a Toilet: Where Do I Start?

unclogging a toiletDepending on the exact details of the situation, unclogging a toilet can be one of the most unpleasant jobs you’re likely to come across as a homeowner.  You could take the philosophical approach and say ‘begin at the beginning’ and then go from there, but most people want more direct instructions. 

Follow these steps when your toilet is clogged up and you should come away with favourable results.

Assess the Damage

The first thing you should do is assess the situation and determine if it requires emergency assistance.  If it does, call a plumber right away.  If it looks like water is filling up the bowl, try removing the lid from the toilet tank and closing the flapper.  This should prevent the water from flowing into the bowl from the tank.

If it seems like just a standard issue toilet clog, but not an emergency, roll up your sleeves and proceed to the next step.

Grab Your Weapon

Your weapon, of course, is your plunger and there are a few important points when it comes to using one.  Your main goal is to create a tight seal between the bowl and the plunger itself.  Plungers that have the flange or extra piece at the bottom seem to work the best for this.

You’ll get a better seal if your plunger is warm, so if it isn’t run it under some hot water to soften the rubber a bit.  When it’s ready, set the plunger directly on the hole and push it up and down a few times, making sure your seal is strong.  Give the toilet a flush and if the water goes down like normal, you’ve unclogged a toilet! If not, repeat your plunge and flush sequence.

If the Plunger Doesn’t Work…

If you can’t get the clog to clear with your plunger, it’s time for the auger.  An auger is a tool that resembles a long cable that you are snake down the hole in the toilet to loosen up the clog.

Once the auger is into the hole, you just have to turn the handle on the end until the auger hits the clog.  Then, it should either break through or grab on so you can pull the blockage out.  Get rid of any waste that’s on the end of the auger after you pull it out, then plunge a few times before flushing.  You can find augers at most hardware and home supply stores, but if you don’t have one and don’t intend to get one, your plumber will be happy to come over and unclog your toilet for you.

The drain cleaning experts at ExpressRooter can unclog your toilet and handle other, more complex plumbing problems. Trust us to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Call us now if you’re having trouble unclogging a toilet.

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