Keep Calm and Unclog that Toilet Like a Pro

A clogged toilet is everyone’s worst fear- especially if it happens at someone else’s house! Despite how little it is talked about, clogged toilets happen more often than one might think. So the next time you’re faced with rising water in the porcelain throne, don’t panic! The following tips will help get your plumbing back to normal in no time.

Teach Children How to Properly Use the Toilet

Many clogged toilets could be avoided if children kept their toys out of the toilet. Teach children that the toilet is not a Jacuzzi or water ride for their GI Joes. Additionally, teach children the proper amount of paper that is needed when using the bathroom.

Practice Toilet Maintenance

A properly maintained toilet is a happy toilet. Clean the bowl weekly with a brush, being sure to clean the jets in the bowl’s edge. Jets that are not functioning at full capacity will diminish the power of a flush, which could lead to more frequent clogging.

Purchase the Right Tools

The most effective tool for unclogging a toilet is a plunger. However, not all plungers are created equally. The best kind will allow for a good seal between the rubber and the toilet bowl. Funnel-cup plungers tend to provide the best seal. They have an added piece extending off the bottom of the rubber cup of the plunger.

Consider purchasing an auger to have on hand for more difficult clogs. Augers are found at most hardware stores. An auger is a cable-like tool that is snaked through the hole in the toilet to help loosen a clog.

Keep the Water from Rising

If the water in the toilet bowl keeps rising and is threatening to overflow, remove the lid from the top of the tank and close the toilet flapper. The toilet flapper controls the flow of water from the tank into the bowl. Closing the flapper prevents more water from traveling into the bowl, which should prevent your bathroom from a mini flood.

How to Unclog a Toilet

The first time you  have to unclog a toilet can be scary, but keep calm! There are many steps you can take to give you the best chance of success. And – if you truly panic – there are many helpful guides online to guide you through how to unclog a toilet.

1.Warm up the plunger by running it under hot water. Softened rubber will allow for a better seal, which will make plunging more effective.

2. Be sure you are using the plunger correctly. Be sure the plunger is forming a solid seal over the hole in the toilet bowl. Push down and pull up equally, as both movements are essential to the unclogging process.

3. Consider adding hot water and dishwasher detergent to the toilet bowl. Let the mixture sit a few minutes, and try and flush. The hot water and soap help break up the clog. Hot water alone has been known to break up a clog, which could be useful when you’re at a friend’s house, and you’d rather not suffer the embarrassment of telling them you clogged their toilet.

4. If plunging and hot water doesn’t help, consider using an auger. Simply place the cable in the hole, and start turning the crank on the end until the cable reaches the clog. It will either break the clog apart or hook onto it. If it hooks onto the clog, you will need to pull it out of the toilet hole and discard excess waste. Plunge the toilet a couple of times to be sure any blockage is cleared.

5. If none of these tips work, it could be time to call a plumber. Keep an eye on sinks and showers- if they are filling or backing up with water when you flush, it could be a sign of a clogged main line.