How to fix a clogged toilet

Do-it-yourself clogged toilet advice from Rooter
Dennis Radle, Owner & Operator

by Rooter
Phone: (727) 265-1911
Serving Pinellas County, FL

How to fix a clogged toilet?

Most clogged toilets can be fixed very easily in minutes by the average homeowner. If you are in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Palm Harbor and unable to unclog your drains, please call and I can come help you with your toilet drain problems. You can accomplish this without the toilet overflowing on to the bathroom floor and making a mess.

This brief article will will show you some simple steps to get your toilet back up and running properly.

Grab that plunger
Using a plunger with the rubber flange pointed outward for the best seal. Push the plunger in and out rigorously while keeping enough water in the bowl to keep the plunger under water. You may want to keep some rags nearby to cleanup any spilled or splashed water.

A flange type plunger
Flange plunger

Nearly all clogged toilets can be fixed by using that special tool called a “plunger.” 🙂 When you purchase a plunger, purchase one that has a flange end and bell shaped top. Consider purchasing an additional plunger for sinks and tub drains too.

A bad flush means that your toilet drain is either slightly or completely plugged. A completely plugged toilet is obvious. The toilet bowl will simply fill with water and may even overflow. Allow the water some time to flow through the toilet drain and then attempt to plunge the toilet.

Most toilets that are clogged simply drain slowly. This allows the water to drain but the waste remains in the toilet bowl. You may also hear a gurgling noise which is an indication of an improperly functioning toilet drain. If you have these problems, grab that plunger.

Plunge your toilet rigoursly with the plunger from 5 to 10 times making sure that you are forcing water in and out of the drain. Make sure there is no air in your plunger. If your plunger has air inside of it, you will not provide enough pressure to free debris from your toilet drain.

Make sure that you have enough water within the bowl to keep the plunger mostly submerged.

Generally the plunger will clear up the clog.

Drain Snake

Drain Snake

If the plunger fails to open your drain, then you might have a more serious blockage. You might be forced to snake out your toilet drain. A snake looks like a long spring with a cork screw type head. The head is larger than the spring wire portion. The idea of the snake is to basically “push” or “grab” the debris and either make it move along to your sewer or pull it back up your drain. Using the snake, you turn the head using the handle at the end of the snake and feed more line down your drain grabbing the spring portion, pulling the wire out of the holder and pushing the wire down the drain. Many small snakes have a thumb screw that you need to losen prior to pulling the snake out of the holder.

Toilet Auger

Toilet Auger

In some cases a snake may not be the best tool to use to clear your toilet clog. A standard snake may scratch the bowl of the toilet since it is metal on porcelean. An auger is designed for toilets and makes the first bend for you and helps prevent scratching. An auger does have limited length as opposed to the standard snake. A snake may reach 20′ or longer. An auger may have a 3′ length. However most toilet clogs are right near the toilet drain.

About the only step left is to remove the toilet from the floor. At this point, you probably want to call someone. If you are located in Pinellas County, FL , please give me a call (727) 265-1911.

Products available from Lowes:
Toilet Auger
Drain Snake

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