Dealing with a clogged toilet? What a messy job! The good news is that, while it’s definitely not a fun job, with a little practice, you can get most clogged toilets up and running in minutes, without flooding your bathroom. Above all, don’t try to unclog the toilet by flushing it over and over again. If you do, you can count on overflow, making the situation worse.
Assess the Clog
Typically, if your toilet is slow to flush, but still flushes, it’s likely to be partially clogged. If you try to flush it again, chances are good that it will overflow. Before you use the plunger, wait about 10 minutes to give the water level a chance to lower.
Prepare to Unclog the Toilet
Every household needs to have a plunger handy and a pair of rubber gloves for obvious reasons. One of the best plungers to use is one with an extension flange. These plungers are uniquely designed to fit toilets and provide more suction.
Grab your plunger, put on your gloves and get ready to unclog the toilet. In most cases, a plunger will create enough of a suction to unclog your toilet.
Plunge the Toilet
At first, the bell section of your plunger will be full of air, so you want to start with a gentle plunge. A hard thrust can end up forcing air around the plunger’s seal, blow water out of the toilet, and all over you and the bathroom. Once you’ve gently forced the air out, you can begin vigorously plunging in and out. Sustain the seal and repeat about ten times if necessary. Alternate between steady plunges and more forceful ones. Also, make sure there’s enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger rubber bell section. Take your time and be patient.
Try a Drain Snake
If the plunger doesn’t open the drain and unclog the toilet after all of your efforts, you may want to try a drain snake. A drain snake is a long wire coil that has a tip that looks like a corkscrew. It often has a crank that allows the wire to release and retract.
Feed the drain snake into the pipe until it reaches the clog. At this point, you’ll need to turn the snake clockwise, so that the tip screws through the clog, breaking it up, or causing the debris to wind around the wire so that you can retract the drain snake and pull out the debris.
Keep an eye on your toilet after you unclog it, checking to see if it still appears sluggish after flushing, which is an indication of a more severe plumbing issue. If you can’t get rid of the clog, you’ll probably need to pull up your toilet, which is a job that could take several hours. Unless you have experience taking on this task, it’s highly recommended that you call a reputable plumber.