Ah, a clogged toilet. Everyone knows that sinking feeling when the flush just doesn’t sound right and they turn to see that the water is just not going down – or that the water is all gone and there is a clump of toilet paper in its place. Dealing with a clogged toilet is never pleasant, and it can be extremely annoying, especially since it only ever seems to happen when you are expecting company. However, it is usually not a job that requires the expertise of a plumber. Clogged toilets can often be fixed relatively easy with a few tricks and techniques.
First, here is what NOT to do. Don’t keep flushing and flushing, hope that this will be the time the toilet magically repairs itself. It’s not going to happen, and you’ll only add more water to the bowl. Sometimes that water will eventually drain back out, but if it doesn’t, your repair job will be that much harder.
Your first step in really repairing the toilet is to put on some rubber gloves and put some old newspaper or towels you are willing to part with on the floor. If it overflows, you’re not going to want what comes out all over your bare floor.
Next, get a bucket of cold water and pour it down the drain. You want the water to have some pressure behind it, so stand up and pour it from around chest level. Make sure not to pour too fast – if the water is not helping to push out the clog, then it will only sit in the bowl. Make sure you don’t pour it to over halfway up the bowl in case you have to use your plunger – it will only splash everywhere.
If that doesn’t work, it is time to turn off the water supply and grab the plunger. The plunger needs to be underwater for the best results, so if there is not enough water in the bowl, add some so that the plunger is submerged. Make sure the plunger covers the hole in the bowl entirely, and then give it a few firm, fast pumps. Sometimes this will do the trick right away and the water will drain.
If the plunger is not working, sometimes a combination plan is required. Get some hot water – but not boiling – and dump it into the bowl. Then, add a few squirts of dishwashing detergent. Allow to sit and break up the blockage. Then plunge again. Sometimes alternative these processes will break up a tough clog.
Should these tricks fail, the last trick you have up your sleeve is a chemical drain cleaner. Should that fail, then it is time to get the plumber in. Almost every clogged toilet can be fixed at home without professional help, however. Just remember to turn the water supply back on before the next flush