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Blogs from October, 2020

How to Unclog a Toilet with a Plunger

Everyone has dealt with an inconvenient toilet clog before. Perhaps you have to leave your house, and your toilet clogs right before you’re set to go. Or even worse, you’re at someone else’s house and their toilet ends up getting clogged. No matter what the scenario is, there are times when calling a plumber simply does not seem like an option. You need to know how to unclog a toilet fast. Moreover, it’s understandable not to want to spend money on professional plumbing service if it’s a clog you can reasonably get rid of on your own. Keep reading to learn how to unclog your toilet without calling a plumber, and remember, for severe clogs and other bathroom service needs, Smith’s Plumbing Services is always here for you.

7 Easy Ways to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plumber:

  1. Use a Plunger: Wondering how to unclog a toilet with a plunger? This is, of course, the classic way to unclog a toilet, and still probably the most effective if you can find a plunger nearby. If you do not already have a plunger in your home, it is important to know which kind to buy before selecting one. For toilet clogs, you’re going to want to go with a flange plunger—sometimes just called a toilet plunger. This is the kind with the rubber flap, or flange on the end, designed to create a perfect seal with the toilet drain. Push this plunger down gently to get rid of clogs, repeating the process a few times while keeping the tight seal. You should see water rush down the drain if the clog is taken care of. If you are not able to get rid of the clog after several times of repeating this process, you may have to call a professional plumber.
  2. Combine Baking Soda & Vinegar: If you can’t find a plunger and still want to know how to unclog a toilet, the combination of baking soda and vinegar is another classic way to get rid of clogs—toilet or otherwise. For toilet clogs specifically, add one cup of baking soda to your toilet and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, pour in two cups of vinegar. Make sure to pour slowly, as you don’t want the bubbly, chemical reaction these two products cause to come jumping out of your toilet. Once you have let the entire mixture sit for several minutes, flush the toilet and see if your clog has cleared.
  3. Snake It Out: In the plumbing world, a “snake,” also sometimes called an “auger,” is a tool used to break up drain clogs. Snakes can include everything from disposable plastic tools to complicated metal devices. For toilet clogs specifically, we recommend the more professional kind, with a handle on the end. Insert the device into your toilet, slowly turning the handle until you have found the clog and punctured it. When you wind the snake back up, the clog should be broken up and you should be able to flush properly again. Repeat this process if you do not succeed the first time. While toilet snaking is one of the most effective ways of unclogging a toilet without a plunger, if snaking your toilet does not work after several attempts, calling a plumber is probably your best bet.
  4. Pour in Some Hot Water: While it may sound simplistic, hot water and a little dish soap can be a surprisingly effective way of getting rid of toilet clogs. Heat about a gallon of water on the stove, and while you are waiting for it to boil, squirt a little dish soap in your toilet bowl. Next, carefully pour the water into your toilet, ensuring there is no risk of overflow (obviously, this option only works if your toilet bowl is not full.) Then simply wait a few minutes so the clog is softened and give your toilet a flush. Pro tip: if you are in a situation where you don’t want to leave the bathroom, this can also be done with shampoo and hot water from the sink.
  5. Wet-Vac Your Clog Out: While this method is really only appropriate for the most extreme clogs, using a wet/dry vacuum to get rid of a clog can be very effective if you happen to have one lying around. Before you begin, put on rubber gloves, as you will need to get your hands wet for this process to work. After that, insert the vacuum hose directly into the toilet drain and wrap an old towel around it to create suction. Finally, turn the vacuum on, holding the hose firmly in place, and wait till the clog has been sucked out. Make sure you clean and sanitize the vacuum when this process is done. As a side-note, DO NOT try this with a regular vacuum. Only a wet-dry vacuum is equipped with the specific abilities you need to get rid of a toilet clog.
  6. Go the DIY Route: If you desperately need to get rid of a toilet clog and have no other option, there are several household items you can use to help break up the obstruction. One of the most reliable DIY ways to get rid of drain clogs is to straighten a wire to create a homemade plumbing snake. And while it might not seem pleasant, if you are in a hurry, you can break up a clog with a toilet brush (just make sure that brush is either disposed of or thoroughly cleaned later.) Essentially, get creative. DIY is probably not the ideal choice when it comes to your toilet, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
  7. Try a Bio-Cleaner: As any plumber will tell you, liquid drain cleaners contain toxic chemicals which not only tend to be ineffective, but can also eat away at your pipes over time. For a safer store-bought option, go the bio-cleaner route. These organic drain cleaners are harder to find, but are safer for your plumbing system than the usual option, and can be very effective for dealing with clogs that haven’t gotten too big.

Need a clog taken care of ASAP? For when you’ve tried everything or don’t have time to wait, call Smith’s for emergency plumbing service at (901) 290-1110! You can also contact us online.