How Do I Unclog My Toilet?

You can unclog your toilet with a plunger, soap and water, or a drain snake, depending on the severity of the clog. Unclogging your toilet can be fairly simple with the right tools. First you’ll need to know where the clog is and how difficult it will be to resolve — that will help you choose the right tool for the job.

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Break Down Blockages

Blockages and buildup in your toilet can be an unpleasant surprise, but don’t fret! Unclogging a toilet isn’t exactly fun, but it’s typically a simple fix. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Pull Out The Plunger

The easiest way to unclog your toilet is to use a plunger. A plunger is simply a rubber suction cup attached to a handle that uses suction and pressure to dislodge clogs in your toilet.

Place the plunger over the drain to create a watertight seal and move the handle up and down to loosen up blockages. Use the plunger for 20 to 30 seconds with force and avoid breaking the seal between the drain and the plunger for maximum effect.

Soap and Suds

If you can’t find your plunger, no need to fear -- the soap and suds are here! Add half a gallon of warm water and some dish soap to your toilet bowl and let it sit for 20 minutes. Make sure the water’s warm but not boiling to avoid cracking the porcelain of your toilet bowl. After 20 minutes try and flush to see if the clog is loosened. If your toilet flushes, the soap and hot water did the trick!

Have a Hanger?

One way to unclog your toilet is to use a drain snake. Drain snakes are flexible augers used to loosen clogs in pipes and drains, and great tools for dislodging blockages in your toilet. A plumber can snake your drains, but you likely won’t need a professional in this case: an inexpensive drain snake from your local hardware store will do the trick, but if you’d rather cut the cost, try a DIY drain snake -- you probably have what you need on hand.

DIY Drain Snake

The concept of the drain snake isn’t complicated: it just needs to break up clogged material in your toilet, so why not try to make the tool yourself?

The easiest way to go about this is to unwind a metal coat hanger, and wrap an old rag around the hooked end to prevent scratching your porcelain. Twist and push the wire down the drain till you notice the water level receding. Only flush the toilet if the obstruction has been dislodged and you notice the water has drained.

When to Call a Plumber

Clogs in your toilet can be deeper than your drain snake can reach, or packed so tightly that the pressure of a plunger won’t do the trick. If you’ve tried the tips above and your blockage still won’t budge, it’s time to call a plumber.

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