Why Does My Toilet Drain Slowly and How Do I Fix It?

Why Does My Toilet Drain Slowly and How Do I Fix it?

If your toilet is draining slowly, it’s because something is clogging the drain. Nothing should go into your toilet other than toilet paper and human waste. If a comb, or a toy, or other object has fallen into the toilet, that can cause a problem. In some cases, certain types of wipes can create a clog and a slow draining toilet.

Homes with small children can frequently run into toilet clogs, whether from toys or an excess of flushed baby wipes, it must be resolved quickly and correctly. For a fast resolution with no muss or fuss on your end, connect with us at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Eastern Iowa. Whether you are dealing with the problem of a toilet flushing slow or a more serious clog, you need it resolved fast.

Getting Started

A slow draining toilet is one thing, but If the drain is plugged completely, the toilet will overflow, and be unusable. It is important that you use the right procedure and understand how to fix a slow draining toilet before the problem gets worse.

The wrong thing to do if you see this beginning to try to flush again! The right thing to do is to reach down and turn off the water supply for the toilet before the water (and whatever might be in it) overflows. Wait a few minutes and allow the water to go down before taking any further steps. If you are not willing to wait, you can scoop some of the water out of the toilet bowl into a container and flush it away once you’ve handled the clog. (If you decide to take this step, wear waterproof gloves.)

In many cases, you may be able to handle the situation with a plunger when the toilet won’t drain. It’s important to note that a toilet plunger is a different type than a sink plunger. A sink plunger is simply a cup-shaped disk. A toilet plunger has a projecting collar or flange at the bottom. The flange creates a seal between the bottom of the toilet and the plunger, greatly increasing the amount of force you can create in attempting to release the clog.

Next, do the following (again, waterproof gloves are recommended):

  • Place the plunger in the toilet bowl, making sure the flange is snug against the bottom of the bowl.
  • Begin the plunging motion with a gentle push. Be aware of the amount of water in the bowl to avoid splashing liquid onto the floor.
  • Increase the force of your plunging, ensuring that you maintain the seal. Don’t expect an instant result; you may need to perform the plunging motion as many as 15 to 20 times.
  • If the toilet does not drain, repeat this step.
  • If the toilet drains, flush it. If it drains normally, you’re done!
  • If the toilet is still not draining properly, make another effort to open the drain by plunging.
  • If, after repeated efforts, you are not able to resolve your problem, you have another option.

The Toilet Snake

A toilet snake (auger) is not the same tool as the snake you would use to clear a drain. It has a rubber sleeve that will allow you to get the snake into the drain without scratching or damaging the porcelain toilet bowl. The snake itself is relatively short, as most clogs are found close to the bowl. In some cases, the clog has moved further down your drain system, and may require more extensive handling from a professional plumber.

Insert the snake into the toilet drain and begin turning the handle in a clockwise motion. If you’re lucky, you’ll run into what is causing the blockage. Keep turning until you are past the clog. When you withdraw the snake, a surprise may come along with it. Flush the toilet to verify the system is functioning.

If you’ve gone this far, and you’re still having trouble, unless you are prepared and qualified to pull the toilet or unclog the sewer drain, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Cedar Rapids. Our trained professionals will get things running smoothly in short order.