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Fixing a Clogged Toilet: When a Plunger Won’t Cut It

A photo of a Done plumber fixing a toilet tank

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning and finding that you have a clogged toilet. There are a lot of things that could clog the pipes such as foreign objects and even toilet paper if someone has been too zealous with it. The majority of the paper would reach for the plunger as a first reaction, but what if that doesn’t solve the problem? In that case you will have to use some other methods.

Hot Water and Soap for the Clogged Toilet

In order to unclog the pipes, you will have to pour some hot water in a bucket. You should use hot water from the faucet and not boiling water because it could make the toilet bowl crack. Pour a generous amount of liquid soap into the toilet or you could chop a soap bar into small pieces and drop them in the toilet. Pour the hot water over the soap to dissolve it.

The soapy water will help the objects clogging the pipes glide through, eliminating the clog. It is possible that this method won’t work at first, so you might have to repeat it. Once you eliminate the clog entirely, flush one last time and you’re done for the day.

Just use hot water

As another option, you should remove the water from the toilet bowl using a small container and rubber gloves. Fill a plastic bottle with hot water and put your hand at its mouth. Fit it right over the outlet of the toilet. Once you’re sure it’s in position, remove your hand and squeeze the bottle for the water to pour out with force.

The pressure of the hot water is supposed to unclog the pipe. It is a good idea to wear protection for the face and the hands because the hot water might splash. Pour some more hot water in the toilet and see if it goes down.               

If it does, it means that you took care of the clog. Flush the toilet again and you’re good to go.

Extra tips for unclogging a toilet

Although it might be tempting to use chemicals to unclog the toilet, you should know that they don’t always work. If you know a product that works, you should let it sit overnight. However, if the pipes are filled with corrosive water, most probably the chemicals will have no effect whatsoever.

In case you have children, you should always keep the cover down because children could drop all kinds of things into the toilet. Also make sure that you don’t pour hardening products into the toilet. These include grease, drywall joint compound, wax and caulk products. These will certainly cause a clog and the clog of this kind is the most difficult to eliminate.

A clogged toilet is never easy to handle. Usually it helps if you know what is clogging the pipes, but if you don’t you should start with the hot water and soap method because it works in the majority of the cases. If nothing takes care of the problem, you might want to call a professional plumber.

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