A clogged toilet is not only a major nuisance because it may prevent you from being able to use the restroom, it’s also often a disgusting problem to have to fix. Needless to say, it’s not something that you want to be spending your afternoon trying to figure out, especially if somebody has already dropped a number two in the bowl and now it won’t flush. Here are four essential steps to help you deal with it:
Go Ahead and Call the Plumber
As much as you don’t want to admit it, sometimes you just need a professional with the right tools to get the job done. So, before you spend the rest of your day trying to fix a clogged toilet and sloshing around in dirty water, the wisest action might just be to call a local plumber and get a quote on how much it will cost for them to come out and unclog it for you. An easy way to find a list of plumbers in your area is to use a search engine like Google and type in the name of your city + “plumber.” For example, if you live in Toronto you could type “Toronto plumber” to find plenty of local listings.
Try a Plunger First If You’re Brave
If you have access to a master plunger (the accordion looking ones), you can try working the clog loose with that. The key is to get the plunger all the way around the toilet’s drain hole and then slowly push down to create a vacuum. Once a good amount of suction is built up, then you can work the plunger up and down rapidly, pulling up in swift motions to try and pull or push the clog out.
Resort to a Toilet Auger
If a plunger isn’t working, no matter how hard you try, you may have to pull the big guns out, which in this case would be the trusty toilet auger, also commonly referred to as a “snake.” It’s essentially a long metal coil that you insert into the drainhole and then rotate to work it down into the pipes, where it can knock things loose and retrieve lost items like toys or keys.
Take the Toilet Off
Finally, if you have the tools it’s really not that difficult to take the toilet off. Doing this might lead you to the source of the obstruction if it’s in one of the pipes below the toilet. However, at this point it might be better to just go back to tip #1 instead.
Knowing When to Fix or Replace the Toilet
If a toilet is repeatedly becoming clogged and it’s difficult to fix every time, you might want to consider having it looked at by a professional to see if any parts need to be replaced. Some older toilets lose their flushing ability as time passes, so it may just be time to pick up a replacement at your local hardware store. Fortunately, uninstalling and installing toilets is relatively easy for anyone with basic handyman skills. If you know that clogs are a problem in your household, you may want to look for a model that is specifically designed to have a powerful flushing action.