Ways To Unblock A Toilet
We all know unblocking a ‘log’ clog/blockage is never a pleasant task but it has to be done quickly and efficiently before the next flush rises up and over the toilet bowl swamping the floor!
To deal with the issue, either call a professional or tackle the clog yourself?
In this article, we will outline a number of steps that are easily administered, which will hopefully clear the blockage.
Before any attempt to unblock the toilet please bear in mind your safety and that of others. It makes good sense to have the following to hand.
- Rubber gloves
- Wire coat hanger
- Old rags, towels/newspapers
- Washing up liquid
Its better to try all the methods before calling a professional for toilet repair
The simplest of all is to boil a kettle full of water. Pour the hot water down the toilet bowl, and wait for at least 5-minutes. It should be enough to soften the clog. Then pour a bucket of water down the toilet bowl to see if the clog has receded to the usual water level.
If it has, you may want to give it a flush to see if all has returned to normal. If you decide to flush it the water may overflow the toilet rim (that’s why it’s best to pour water in measured doses from a bucket/bowl). You can add vinegar or caustic soda or a hefty measure of washing up liquid to the hot water, this helps to dissolve the waste.
Using a coat hanger
Unwind a metal coat hanger (don’t straighten the hook end) push the hook end down and through the ‘clog’, so it enters the bend, twisting it as you go to accommodate the sharp turns of the toilet trap, as it goes deeper.
When you’ve gone as far as you can, begin twisting the coat hanger clockwise/anticlockwise (vigorously).
The hook whilst turning, will break down and dislodge any soft waste. When you’re satisfied the ‘clog’ has been ‘broken down’, slowly retract the wire, as the hook could pull out more paper, cotton buds etc?
Carefully place the ‘soiled’ coat hanger on the rags (remember to dispose of this, safely when the job is completed).
After a decent ‘rodding’ with the coat hanger, it’s time for a test. If you’re not convinced the ‘clog’ has been broken down don’t flush the toilet just yet, pour a bowl of hot water slowly down the pan, watch to see if it flows away as normal.
If it does, you can give the toilet a proper flush. Watch to see if it drains away smoothly, if not repeat the process above until it does.
Unblocking with a plunger
The faithful plunger has been around for over 100 years, a trusted and proven piece of equipment to unblock your toilet by creating a vacuum. A heavy-duty plunger can be either a bell-shaped or fold-out flange type.
There are numerous types of plungers available (always read the reviews before making your purchase).
- To ensure a decent seal immerse the rubber flange in some hot water to make it more pliable thus improving the seal.
- Push the plunger down so it completely covers the exhaust hole at the bottom of the pan. The key lies in pushing and pulling water and not air, so add some water if required.
- Begin slowly by pushing down the plunger and quickly pulling it up, without it breaking the suction seal. The clog is likely to start moving due to the force produced. Continue to repeat this action until the ‘clog’ begins to recede and the bowl drains as normal. When you’re satisfied it has cleared, flush the toilet and gauge the speed of the water drop, has it returned to normal? If it has, you’ve been successful!
This can be a useful remedy to clear clogs/blockages chemically. However, EXTREME caution must be observed when using this product as it is highly corrosive! Goggles and rubber gloves must be worn when using it!
Pour a decent dose into the toilet bowl and leave it for 10 minutes to soften the waste.
After that, pour a kettle of hot water into the toilet bowl (be careful to avoid any fumes or splashbacks). Then pour some more hot water from a bowl or bucket (in case it’s not ready for a full flush, which may cause an overflow). If the clog is gradually dissolving and draining away, wait a few minutes and then flush the cistern. Hopefully, this technique has done the trick?
Use a Toilet Brush
For small clogs a sturdy toilet brush using an up and down movement similar to the plunger technique, can be very effective, give it a try! Just wrap a plastic bag around the brush and plunge it through into the toilet bowl and use a vigorous up and down movement.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Mix 1 part of vinegar with 1 part of common baking soda and leave until the mix begins to ‘fizzle’. Pour it down the toilet bowl.
Leave for 10 – 15 minutes, which should be enough time to soften and dissolve the ‘clog!’ After, and only when safe to do so, flush the toilet to see if the flush has carried away the ‘clog’. With all of the above, you may need to repeat the steps in order to achieve a normal flush?
You may be fortunate to own a pressure washer that’s used for cleaning the patio, paving, decking or car.
For the more stubborn clog, they can be a real blessing as they can deliver a pressure ranging from 135 bar to 210 bar, which should be enough to get that toilet ‘clog’ moving!
It may be somewhat cumbersome when used indoors and even more so if the WC is upstairs. However, it could be worth the inconvenience if it clears it?
Due to the pressure involved, be prepared for some blowback? Therefore, cover the toilet with a couple of layers of cling film or something stronger, make sure it is secured to the toilet bowl with Duck Tape or similar.
You may need a drain cleaning hose attachment to get around the ‘S’ bend. Slit an access hole the covering only wide enough to receive the jet nozzle and hose.
Push through any waste matter so it travels around the ‘S’ bend. Once in position, you are now ready to apply the water pressure. It may take several long and short bursts to shift it. If it’s rather stubborn it may take several attempts to clear it.
When retracting the jet nozzle and hose, upon completion, a large section of it will be contaminated with waste! Therefore, apply all means necessary to handle it with care until you are able to thoroughly clean the equipment with disinfectant before storage.
If this doesn’t work, then you will have to engage a professional ‘unblock’ company with motorized equipment to remove it as the problem could be deeper in the drainage system?