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Can I Fix My Clogged Toilet?

A photograph of a plumber using a camera to investigate a clog in a toilet

Clogged toilets. Ninety percent of the time a clogged toilet can be fixed with a plunger. To make certain that you are doing it correctly, follow these steps:

  • Grab the Plunger
  • Place the Plunger head in the toilet bowl
  • Make sure the whole plunger head is under water, and the opening end of the plunger is resting against the drain at the bottom of the bowl
  • For your first plunge, make it slow and easy. The bulb of the plunger will be initially filled with air, and pushing too hard will spray the contents of the bowl right back you and around the bathroom!
  • Once the first plunge is done slowly, rapidly plunge in and out about 20 times vigorously while keeping the plunger head submerged.
  • This forces water both directions in the drain and breaks up most clogs.

If this is unsuccessful, repeat the previous steps multiple times.

What if the Plunger Does Not Work?

If the toilet is still clogged after multiple plunger attempts, grab a drain snake. There are no brands of drain snakes that we recommend for homeowners as even the cheapest one will get the job done. If you are looking to avoid scratching the enamel, find one with a rubber or plastic casing.

In essence, a drain snake is a long flexible wire that twists and hooks any debris caught in the drain. The device can either push through the debris, or pull it out for removal.

If this process is still unsuccessful, there is going to be a need to disassemble your toilet in order to access the drain. This job will take several hours, because you must turn off and disable water supply, partially disassemble the toilet, and  also unscrew it from its mounting ring. You will likely be able to get at the problem. Be sure to buy a new wax ring and new mounting bolts to reseal the toilet base to the mounting ring.

However, if drains deeper down in your home’s plumbing are plugged, or if water comes back up through them, the problem is most likely further down in the main drainpipes. This means that they are often out of easy reach. For these types of clogs, you may need to call a plumber.

What to Avoid When Unclogging Your Toilet

It is our recommendation that you do not use chemicals to break up a clogged toilet. Although they may work at times, the majority of times a chemical will not work for toilet clogs. In the case the chemical does not work, you are stuck with even further contaminated water in your pipes, and at times this creates a corrosive situation for the pipes, and for the person dealing with the clog.


Best practice is to plunge first, then snake, then take apart the toilet, and if those measures do not work, or if any of these measures are beyond the effort you are willing to put forth, give the expert plumbers at Done Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electric a call at 833-539-9153!

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