A clog in your toilet seems to be one of those things that happens when it isn’t that convenient. Granted, I’m sure no one wakes up in the morning, hoping that they will spend their day plunging their toilet. No matter how it happens, it is never a convenience.
Do you know what to do if you experience a clogged toilet? There are several methods you can try on your own, but it might be necessary to call in the professionals to take care of it. Professionals at Anytime Plumbing Santa Cruz are available day and night for all your clogged toilet needs.
Method #1: Plunging
One of the most common methods used to unclog a toilet is by using a plunger. Make sure that if you choose to use this method, you are using the right kind of plunger. Believe it or not, the type matters.
The best style of heavy-duty plungers available are the type that are ball-shaped, or have the rubber flange that juts out from the bell. These are the types that form the best seals, which is essential in dislodging a clog. Cheap suction cup type plungers are not suitable for use in a toilet.
A little known fact, if you run hot water over the plunger before using it, the rubber softens and forms a better seal.
Insert the plunger over the hole in the toilet and push down to create the seal. Began using a pumping motion to create movement within the pipe. The idea is to dislodge the clog. Do this for multiple cycles before trying to flush the toilet. You may have to repeat this several times before you achieve correct drainage.
Method #2: DIY Drain Cleaner
Start by heating a half-gallon of water. This water should be as hot as you would drink tea. DO NOT USE BOILING WATER. Boiling water can cause the porcelain to crack, and then you will have a bigger problem than just a clog.
Pour one cup of baking soda into the toilet, followed by two cups of vinegar. The combination of the two will start a chemical reaction that will aid in dissolving the clog. If you do not have these items on hand, a little bit of dish soap could have the same effect.
Pour in your hot water. Do this from a waist-high level to add a little force to the water. Let this mixture sit overnight. By the time morning comes, the water should have drained from the toilet (if it worked). If the water doesn’t flush after doing this, you may have a hard obstruction, like something stuck in the bowl. This requires a method that is a little more intrusive, a.k.a. Method number three.
Method #3: The Plumbing Snake
You can either purchase a plumbing snake or borrow one from someone who has one already. These are often referred to as a flexible cleaning tool or an auger. This flexible tool can maneuver its way through the drain and to the clog. They are especially helpful when there is a hard obstruction.
Start feeding the plumbing snake through the toilet. Once you get to the obstruction, begin twisting the snake to break through the blockage. The goal is to bust it into smaller, passable pieces.
It may be necessary to do a reverse snake. A reverse snake requires you to remove the toilet from the base and go in from the opposite direction. If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of doing this, seek a professional plumber.
Method #4: Chemical Drain Cleaner
As a last resort, there are chemical drain cleaners. The reason these are last resort is that they can often do more harm than good in a clog situation. The DIY method was a chemical reaction, but it was not a harmful one. The chemicals in store-bought drain cleaners can cause a lot of trouble.
Keep in mind before using a chemical drain cleaner that it is toxic. It can harm people, children, animals, and if it has a chlorinated component, it is terrible for the environment.
Only use chemical drain cleaners that are specially made for toilets. The use of ANY other type of drain cleaner could cause irreversible damage to your toilet. You could find yourself in the market for an entirely new toilet to replace the one damaged.
Follow the manufacturer’s suggested usage. Failure to do so can not only damage the toilet but cause severe toxic fumes to be released, endangering you or your family’s health. Make sure to put the lid down after incorporating it into the bowl.
DO NOT PLUNGE. Using a plunger with a chemical drain cleaner can be harmful. The method can cause splashback, which can be dangerous to skin and other exposed body parts. Make sure that you use extreme caution and personal protective equipment when using chemical drain cleaners due to their corrosive properties.
Use proper ventilation. If you do not have adequate ventilation in your bathroom, avoid this method. Fumes can be just as dangerous as the chemical itself. Open windows, turn on exhaust fans, and keep the door open to avoid trapping the fumes.
Call Anytime Plumbing
Whenever you find that your toilet is clogged or is repetitively clogged, it may be time to call a plumber for a professional consultation. If it is an emergency, Anytime Plumbing is the solution you need for day or night plumbing needs.
There are situations where doing your own plumbing work is not recommended. If you have a curious toddler who flushed something down the toilet, it may be worthwhile calling a plumber to remove it, especially if you want it back. Professional plumbers have a variety of methods to unclog a toilet that is not available to the general public.
Anytime Plumbing is fully licensed and insured for your protection. We take pride in our knowledge and reliable service. So when you find yourself in need of getting your toilet unclogged, reach out to the professionals for quick and affordable service.