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How to unclog a toilet by yourself!

By jessicachu Jessicachu in Do It Yourself

Toilet clogs seem to happen at the most inopportune moments. Fortunately, you can unclog a toilet by yourself without having to pay a plumber. Most clogs can be cleared with a good plunger or homemade drain cleaner made with hot water, baking soda and vinegar. For deeper clogs, try snaking the drain or using a wet/dry vacuum to do the job. It’s saves a lot of money on the professinal plumber.

Method 1: Unclog with plunger

Keep the toilet from overflowing. If your toilet doesn’t flush properly after one flush, don’t flush again. This will cause more water to be pumped into the toilet bowl. Instead, take the lid off of the toilet tank and close the toilet flapper. Closing the flapper will keep more water from entering the bowl.

Prep the bathroom. In case splashing occurs, place newspapers or paper towels on the floor to soak up liquid. The paper will make for easier cleanup later. You should also turn on the ventilation fan or open a window to minimize foul odors.

Instructions

The flapper looks like a circular drain stopper attached to a chain. The water in the tank isn’t dirty, so it’s fine to stick your hand inside to close the flapper.If the clog is serious, put on a pair of rubber gloves. Toilets are unsanitary, but a good pair of rubber cleaning gloves will protect you from any germs within. Choose gloves that reach up to your elbows.You may also want to put on an old set of clothing, just in case things get messy.

See if you can clear the obstruction. If you can see the cause of the clog, reach in and remove it from the toilet if possible. If you can’t clear it with your hands, but you know there’s an object (such as a child’s toy) causing the clog, skip the plunging and go straight to another method.

Use a high quality plunger. It is important to use a large heavy-duty rubber plunger, either the ball-shaped type or one with a fold-out rubber flange on the bottom which forms a seal. Do not use the small cheap suction-cup type of plunger. These will often not work.

Instructions

If your plunger is not making a tight seal, try wrapping an old rag around the end of the plunger to stop any leaks.

Run the plunger under hot water before using it. This will soften it up, which will help with create a seal.

Insert the plunger into the bowl. Make sure the plunger completely covers the hole. The plunger should be submerged in water to be effective. It is important to be pushing and pulling with water, not air. Add water from the sink to the bowl if necessary.

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Instructions

Pump the plunger over the hole. Start slowly at first, since the first plunge will push air into the bowl. Push down, then pull up sharply to disturb the clog and loosen it. Continue vigorously pushing and pulling until the water begins to drain. It may take 15 to 20 times before the toilet unclogs.

Flush the toilet to check the drainage. If the plunging eventually drains the bowl, but the clog is still blocking a free flow down the drain, leave the plunger in the bowl and fill the bowl with water again. Fill it to the point it is normally after a regular flush, then plunge again. Stubborn clogs might require you to do this a number of times.

Method 2: Unclog with a product

Purchase an enzyme waste removal product. Look for a product that contains a mixture of enzymes that liquify waste materials. These enzymes are used in septic systems to break down waste.

Follow the instructions on the container. Pour the recommended amount of the enzyme product into the toilet bowl. You will typically be instructed to wait overnight for the enzymes to go to work on the clog. The toilet should drain once the clog has cleared.

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Instructions

Products of this sort can be usually be purchased at home improvement stores in or near the plumbing aisle. Enzyme waste removal is preferable to using a drain-clearing chemical because it will not harm your pipes or the environment. This method will only work on organic waste, not toys or other objects.

Method 3: Unclog with plumbing Snake

Instructions

Purchase or borrow a plumbing snake. A plumbing snake (also sometimes called a “flexible cleaning tool” or “auger”) is a flexible coil of wire that can “snake” through the curves of a drain and get deeper than a wire can. The best snake is a “closet auger” which is designed specifically to clear toilet clogs without damaging or staining the bowl. A plumber would likely use a closet auger.

Insert one end of the snake into the drain. Push down, feeding the snake further into the drain until you feel an obstruction.

Twist and push the snake through the obstruction. The goal is to break up the obstruction into smaller pieces that can move through the pipes. It may take a few minutes of maneuvering to clear the obstruction. Once the water drains, flush to toilet to see whether it drains as quickly as normal.

Snake in reverse. It may become necessary to remove the toilet and run the snake through in the opposite direction. This is especially true with hard obstructions that may have been flushed by a curious child. If a hard obstruction is known, and you are not comfortable removing and replacing the toilet, contact a plumber.

So now do you know how to unclog a toilet without a professional plumber. Good luck!

Plumber-Snake

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