Although we do not always consider it, few industries provide as much value as modern plumbing.
In the United States alone, people spend about $125 billion on the services of plumbers every single year! It takes more than 530,000 people around the country to take care of our essential plumbing needs.
Of course, people might not have to spend quite as much on plumbing services if they knew more about how to unclog a toilet. This is one of the most common plumbing problems that people experience. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most debilitating ones that require the fastest resolution.
However, there is a lot about knowing how to unclog a toilet that most people never learn about. Spending a little time to learn about unclogging toilets can save you from unnecessary calls to the plumber. So how can you deal with a stubborn clog in your toilet?
Read on to learn all about the top tips for unclogging a toilet!
Avoid Making a Clogged Toilet Worse
When some people find a clogged toilet, they proceed to make it worse. They try flushing it repeatedly in hopes of clearing out the clog. Here is a news flash: that does not work!
You do not want to roll the dice with a clogged toilet. In most cases, this will lead to an overflow—the most minor outcome. At worst, you will have more serious problems on your hands.
If you insist on trying this method, you need to wait for the toilet bowl to empty all the way before trying to flush again. However, again, this will still risk some chance of an overflow.
You do not want to be standing there watching the water rise, crossing your fingers, and hoping it stops in time. The good news is that if you find yourself in this situation, it is not too late to do something about it.
If the water is in the process of rising, try to remove the lid of the toilet tank quickly. Then, press down on the rubber floater to keep more water from flowing into the bowl.
You can also try turning off the valve that provides water to your toilet. You can usually find this valve behind your toilet.
Using a Plunger for Toilet Issues
Most people have some idea of how to unclog a toilet drain with a plunger. At the same time, people often try to unclog their toilet with a plunger and then give up when it does not seem to be working.
In most cases, people have a lot to learn about how to get the most use out of a plunger possible. If you don’t know how to use a plunger most effectively, you may give up unnecessarily.
The first thing to keep in mind is that it is worth putting in a few minutes of effort before you give up with a plunger. You might want to try for a solid 5 or 10 minutes before you decide that you will need to call the professionals for help.
However, the time you spend using the plunger will go much further if you use the proper techniques.
It is vital to ensure enough water in the toilet bowl so your plunger can work the way it should.
If the toilet bowl is too empty, you should take time to fill it with water from a faucet before you move on to using the plunger. Otherwise, air pockets will keep you from achieving the necessary watertight seal while using your plunger.
Next, ensure your plunger can cover the entire drain hole. You may need to try a few different angles to find the one that allows you to create a complete seal.
Sometimes, the plunger will be too stiff to allow you to get the seal you need. If that happens to you, you can try letting your plunger sit in hot water until it softens up so that you can get a good seal. This can also help if you need to know how to unclog a drain in your sink or shower.
The last thing to keep in mind is that you want your plunger to contain as little air as possible while you use it. The compression force created as you use the plunger will be wasted on compressing the air left inside, if there is any.
Managing Toilet Problems With Hot Water
There are also several methods you can try to use to unclog a toilet without using a plunger. In some cases, hot water can be enough to clear out a stubborn clog.
The most important thing to keep in mind as you use hot water is that you should not let it reach the boiling point. If your water is boiling, it can end up cracking your toilet bowl’s porcelain. However, you want your water to be as hot as possible without reaching the boiling point.
Then, fill up your toilet bowl with this hot water and wait a few minutes to see if it clears the clog. The more hot water you add, the higher the chance this method will work. However, make sure not to overflow.
Add Soap to Unclog a Toilet
You can also try adding soap to the hot water method if hot water alone does not work. Dish soap is generally better than hand soap. However, almost any kind of soap may be effective.
Pour about a quarter cup of soap into the very bottom of the toilet bowl. Then, follow up by adding hot water.
Use a Brush for a Clogged Toilet
You can also try using your toilet brush if you do not have a plunger handy. While taking care not to damage your toilet, you can try pushing the brush down the drain of your toilet to see if this can eliminate the clog.
You might find that you cannot get the bristles of your toilet brush very far down the pipe. In some cases, it can be helpful to use the handle instead.
Try Improvising a Snake
However, you will often need to reach deeper down into the drain to get rid of a clog. If you are improvising, you can try using a wire hanger to reach deeper. In principle, any kind of long wire can suffice.
All you need to do is feed it down the toilet drain as far as you can. It can also help to rotate the wire to help break up whatever has created the clog. You can compare this method to using a plumbing snake.
Buy an Actual Snake
On the other hand, you can find a real plumbing snake for less money than you might think.
Most of the methods we have discussed are less effective than using a plunger if you know how to do it. However, using a snake can be even more effective than a plunger in some cases.
Using a snake can allow you to reach many feet down into the pipe. This is one of the main tools a plumber will use if you call them to take care of your clogged toilet.
Try Calling a Plumber
Of course, plumbers also have much more sophisticated equipment and training to help them deal with stubborn clogs. If none of these methods work for you, getting professional assistance is the most reliable way to solve your problem.
This is also the safest way to take care of a clogged toilet. If you are trying out any of the methods we have discussed, be careful not to cause any damage to your toilet or pipes.
If you do decide to get the help of a plumber, it may be helpful to look at reviews online. That way, you can maximize the chance of finding a plumber with a track record of doing great work for happy customers.
Know How to Unclog a Toilet Explained
Most people go through their whole lives without knowing how to unclog a toilet.
Taking the time to learn a little bit more about how to do so can save you from needing to call on professional plumbing services to help you. It can also help you know when you will need the best plumbing help in Boise, Idaho, to help you solve a problem.
To learn more about how you can find the right plumbing solutions for your needs, get in touch with us.