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Unclog Your Toilet: Four Tricks to Try Before Calling Your Plumber

We all have to deal with a clogged toilet from time-to-time. Whether you’re in your own home or a guest at someone else’s, it happens often enough that most have tools on hand that will take care of the job with a little clever skill. If you find yourself in this situation, the following tricks could be your solution. Remember to use gloves.

1 Prevent Overflow

Before trying to unclog a toilet you need to ensure the toilet won’t overflow while you’re at work or skipping this step could result with you ankle-deep in wastewater. Shut off the water by turning the water valve, located below and behind the bowl before proceeding onto the next steps.

2 Use the Right Plunger

The easiest and most well-known strategy for unclogging a toilet is to use a plunger. Make sure you use a plunger with a flange that is meant for toilets instead of a flat plunger. Flat plungers won’t create the right seal and tend to add mess to an already messy project.

    1. Create a seal with the flange and gently push down to get rid of excess air.
    1. Without breaking the seal, firmly push and pull the plunger up and down.
  1. Do this for several seconds and then pull the plunger up sharply.

If the clog is loosened, water should drain from the bowl quickly. If water remains or drains too slowly, repeat the steps until the clog is cleared.

Plumber’s tip: If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn clog, pour a gallon of hot water with dish soap into the bowl and let it settle a few minutes to soften the clog, before trying the steps again.

3 Try a Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake or toilet auger is an excellent tool to have on hand when you need it, especially if you don’t have a plunger or your plunger just won’t do the job. Keep in mind, there are many kinds and some can scratch the coating on your toilet.

    • Place the head of the snake in the toilet bowl.
    • Slowly, turn the handle clockwise to start working the snake down the drain.

When you meet firm resistance, retrieve the snake by winding the handle counterclockwise.

If the clog has loosened, the water in the bowl will drain naturally. Repeat if water drains slowly or remains.

4 Use a Drain Cleaner

Many drain cleaners are caustic and/or toxic. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and pay attention to any warnings. Most drain cleaners work the same way and only require you to pour them into the bowl, wait, and flush. Waiting time varies from brand to brand so read the instructions closely.

Call Trusted Plumbing & Heating

If after following all of these steps your toilet is still clogged, or you just want to avoid the hassle altogether, calling a plumber is your best options. This will decrease the chances of damaging your porcelain throne, limit your exposure to toxic chemicals and get your toilet back in working order in far less time.

Trusted Plumbing handles all kinds of plumbing emergencies and we can handle your clog too. Save yourself a headache and call us at (206) 208-0007.