A clogged toilet can be a frustrating and unsanitary problem to deal with. When a toilet won’t unclog, it can cause water to overflow and create a messy situation.
In addition to being a nuisance, a clogged toilet can also be a sign of a bigger problem with your sewer line. In this article, we will go over the causes of a clogged toilet, the tools and materials needed for unclogging a toilet, and both DIY and professional unclogging methods.
Causes of a Clogged Toilet
There are several common causes of a clogged toilet. One of the most common is when foreign objects are flushed down the toilet.
This can include things like wipes, sanitary products, and even toys. These items can get caught in the pipes and create a blockage.
Another common cause of a clogged toilet is the buildup of waste and toilet paper. Over time, this can create a clog that is difficult to remove.
Tree roots can also be a cause of a clogged toilet. If tree roots have grown into the sewer line, they can block the flow of water and cause a clog.
Tools and Materials Needed for Unclogging a Toilet
There are several tools and materials that can be used to unclog a toilet.
The most basic tool is a plunger. A plunger is a simple tool that uses suction to remove blockages.
Another tool that can be used is a toilet auger. A toilet auger is a long, flexible cable with a small auger on the end. It is inserted into the toilet and used to break up and remove blockages.
A drain snake is another tool that can be used to unclog a toilet. A drain snake is a long, flexible cable with a small snake-like head on the end. It is inserted into the toilet and used to break up and remove blockages.
When unclogging a toilet, it’s important to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from any potential bacteria. Additionally, you may also need a bucket to collect any water that may overflow while working on unclogging the toilet.
DIY Unclogging Methods
Using a Plunger:
- First, make sure that there is enough water in the toilet bowl to cover the plunger. If there is not enough water, add some from a bucket.
- Place the plunger over the drain hole and press down firmly to create a tight seal.
- Push the plunger up and down several times to create suction. This should help to break up and remove the blockage.
- After several pushes, lift the plunger and check to see if the water is flowing freely. If it is, the toilet is unclogged. If not, repeat the process until the blockage is removed.
Using a Toilet Auger:
- Insert the auger into the toilet bowl and feed it through the trap.
- Turn the auger handle clockwise to move the auger through the pipes.
- Continue to turn the auger handle until you feel resistance. This is an indication that you have found the blockage.
- Once the blockage is located, turn the auger handle counterclockwise to break up the blockage.
- Continue to turn the auger handle until the blockage is removed.
Using a Drain Snake:
- Insert the snake into the toilet and push it through the pipes.
- Continue to push the snake through the pipes until you feel resistance.
- Use the handle to turn the snake to break up the blockage.
- Continue to turn the handle until the blockage is removed.
It’s important to note that, while these DIY unclogging methods can be effective in some cases, they may not always work. If your toilet is still clogged after trying these methods, it may be time to call in a professional.
Professional Unclogging Services
If your toilet is still clogged after trying the DIY methods, it’s important to call in a professional plumber. A plumber will be able to properly diagnose the problem and determine the best course of action.
The cost of professional unclogging services can vary depending on the severity of the clog and the plumber you choose. It’s important to choose a reputable plumber with good reviews and a solid reputation.
To prevent a clogged toilet in the future, it’s important to properly dispose of waste and foreign objects. Items such as wipes, sanitary products, and toys should never be flushed down the toilet.
Regular maintenance and cleaning can also help to prevent future clogs. This can include regular cleaning of the toilet bowl and pipes, as well as inspecting the sewer line for any potential problems.
A clogged toilet can be a frustrating and unsanitary problem to deal with. By understanding the causes of a clogged toilet and the tools and methods needed to unclog it, you can take steps to prevent future clogs.
If your toilet is still clogged after trying DIY methods, it’s important to call in a professional plumber. Regular maintenance and proper disposal of waste can also help to prevent future clogs.
Can I use chemicals to unclog my toilet?
Chemicals can be used to unclog a toilet, but they should be used with caution. Some chemicals can be harsh and damage pipes, and some can be dangerous if not handled properly.
It’s best to stick with the DIY methods outlined in the article, such as using a plunger, toilet auger, and drain snake, or to call in a professional plumber.
How can I tell if the clog is in the toilet or the sewer line?
One way to tell if the clog is in the toilet or the sewer line is by checking the other plumbing fixtures in your home. If the clog is in the sewer line, you may notice that multiple fixtures, such as sinks and shower drains, are also clogged.
If the clog is only in the toilet, then it is likely that the blockage is within the toilet or its pipes.
Can I prevent tree roots from blocking my sewer line?
Tree roots can be a common cause of sewer line blockages, but there are steps you can take to prevent them. One way to do this is by having regular sewer line inspections and maintenance done.
Another way is to have any trees near your sewer line trimmed to prevent them from growing into the pipes.
How often should I have my sewer line inspected?
The frequency at which you should have your sewer line inspected can vary depending on the age of your home, the type of soil it’s built on, and the type of pipe used.
It’s recommended to have a sewer line inspection done every 3-5 years, or if you notice any signs of blockage or damage.
Can a clogged toilet cause damage to my home?
A clogged toilet can cause water to overflow and create a messy situation. If left untreated, a clogged toilet can also cause damage to your home. It can cause sewage to back up into your home, causing damage to your floors and walls.
A clogged toilet can also cause damage to your sewer line, which can be costly to repair. It’s important to address a clogged toilet as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.