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How to Unclog a Blocked Toilet

Unclogging a blocked toilet can be a daunting task.  Toilets clog for a myriad of reasons, and it is not always easy to figure out why.  If your clog is causing a backup, and the toilet is starting to overflow, you need to act quickly.  In such a crisis, the most convenient solution is often to clear the clog yourself, using mechanical means.

Some chemical additives are effective against certain clogs.  But without a complete understanding of the circumstances, the professionals at Biard and Crockett strongly recommend consulting a professional before using them.  If your situation is emergent, chemicals are not advised, as you can end up with chemicals all over your floor.  Therefore, the best options for you to fix a clog yourself are mechanical methods.

The following are simple steps for unclogging your toilet using mechanical means.

Plunge the Toilet

  • If the bowl is empty, add just enough water to cover the plunger.  Then add dish detergent to the bowl.
  • Force the plunger down straight into the trap of the toilet, then position it to form a seal around the trap with the plunger’s rubber.
  • Withdraw the plunger out towards the toilet tank and ensure you bring the stuck material out.
  • Repeat the above steps several times to completely unclog the toilet.

Use of a Closet Auger

Sometimes a clog can be stubborn and not easily removed with the plunger.  In that case, it is often advisable to use a closet auger.  This process can get messy sometimes, but it is worth the try, especially if the auger can completely clear the clog and save you an expensive visit from the plumber.

Please be advised: Using a closet auger is not without risk to your plumbing, and they require some care.  If you do not feel comfortable attempting to clear a clog on your own, contact a professional.

The steps are simple and easy to follow:

  • Put on gloves and place a bucket beside the toilet bowl.  Gloves are necessary;  you don’t want to come into contact with toilet waste. 
  • Extend the auger handle to allow plenty of space between your arms and the toilet bowl.  Lift the toilet seat. 
  • Insert the auger end into the trap of the toilet bowl.  You should ensure your auger has a sheath around its end to fit the contour of your toilet’s bowl and trap and to protect the toilet against scratching. 
  • Apply enough force to the auger handle until you feel some resistance.  The resistance means your auger cable has come into contact with the clog and is pressing it forward. 
  • Crank the handle to create a rotation on the cable.  Continue pushing the handle in as you crank the handle to break down the clog, or hook it to the end of the cable. 
  • Extend the handle and remove the cable.  Check whether it brings out with it any clog material.  Offload these wastes into the bucket. 
  • Let the water in the toilet bowl drain.  If it does completely, then the clog has broken down and the waste has flushed.  If not, repeat previous steps.  When you are satisfied that the clog has been completely removed, pour the waste in the bucket back into the toilet in small bits to flush, or throw it in the trash. 
  • Repeat the process enough times to completely remove the clog.  If you are unsuccessful in unblocking the toilet after several attempts, it’s time to call a plumber.  The professionals at BCPSI handle stubborn clogs on a routine basis, and we’re available 24 hours a day.