Tried and tested, most of the time a plunger will work fine. Purchase one with a rubber bell-shaped end as these are typically better at pushing air to remove the obstruction. You can also use these on sink and tub drains so long as you fold back the flange. If the toilet is full ensure that you wait around ten minutes for some of the water to drain prior to using the plunger.
Here is the best technique to use with a plunger:
- Place the head of the plunger under water and slowly push out the air.
- Ensure there is a seal between the plastic rim of the plunger head and the ceramic bowl and begin to plunge vigorously in and out while maintaining the seal.
- If this doesn’t work right away try to alternate slow and steady strokes with the robust ones. This should only be necessary 15 – 20 times.
However, if this doesn’t work try one of these techniques:
If you don’t own a snake you can purchase a cheap one from a hardware store or borrow one from a friend. A drain snake is a long wire with a spiral tip that you feed into the pipes until it encounters resistance. You then turn the snake clockwise so the corkscrew digs into the clog breaking it up and allowing you to pull it out.
A Wire Hanger
If you don’t have or want to buy a snake, a wire hanger will make due. Wrap the end in a rag and secure it with duct tape to ensure you don’t scratch the porcelain and slowly feed it into the toilet, pushing and turning when you find the clog. This will only work for the first few feet but most clogs are found before the first s-bend so this should work fine.
Homemade Drain Cleaner
There are two prevailing methods in order to use homemade objects to unclog a drain. First heat up water. It should not be boiling as it might crack the porcelain, but around as hot as you would like your tea to drink. Pour either:
- 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of distilled vinegar or
- A generous amount of shampoo
into the toilet. Either of these methods should work, though the baking soda and vinegar might fizz quite a bit. Then, from around waist height pour at least a half gallon of the hot water into the toilet. Let it sit for a while, possibly overnight and this should free up the blockage. This will not work if it is something like a toy blocking the drain however. Ensure you flush the toilet once or twice after the clog has been removed in order to cycle through to fresh water.
The don’ts of clearing a clogged toilet:
- Avoid chemicals. If you happen to use these and they do not work, you will have a pool of corrosive water on your hands. If you insist on working with chemicals, make sure you us rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself.
- Leave to toilet cover up, especially if you have small kids. Last thing you need is a toothbrush or toy falling into the clogged toilet.
- Be afraid to call a professional if any of the above methods haven’t worked for you.
ACCL Plumbing 24 hour emergency line; 1 (866) 701-8484.