Knowing how to unclog a toilet is an essential — but nasty — adult skill.
Imagine you flush the toilet but the water doesn’t go down — it rises like a flood. A clog of paper and #2 blocks the drain. Disgusting. One false move and you’ll need a mop and bucket to clean up the damage. Maybe some bleach, too.
You’re face to face with a clogged toilet. Sound like your situation? That nasty skill is about to come in handy — you NEED to know how to unclog a toilet. Read on for the 6 steps to unclog a toilet every time.
How to Unclog a Toilet in 6 Steps
These are the steps to unclog a toilet that you clogged — either with too much toilet paper or too much #2. Or both. If you can’t figure out why your toilet’s clogged, the cause may be a deeper underlying plumbing problem.
These are the steps to unclog a toilet blocked by a normal clog.
Step 1: Ready the Plunger
The first step to unclog a toilet doesn’t involve your toilet — trust us. Run the plunging end of the plunger under warm water. This will soften the rubber, allowing it to form a tight seal with the drain.
Note: only do this if your plunger is clean enough to put in your tub or sink.
Step 2: Submerge the Plunger
Carefully submerge your plunger into the toilet bowl. If the water level is too high, you may need to let it drain slowly.
Too much force can create the mop and bucket mess you’re trying to avoid.
Step 3: Make a Seal
Form an airtight seal between the plunger and the drain. It may take more than one attempt to get right.
Step 4: Begin Plunging
Take a deep breath. You’re about to unclog a toilet. Plunge carefully, but forcefully. At first you may have to force any air out of the plunger head.
Use simple up and down motions for maximum plunging effect.
Step 5: Break the Seal
Pull the plunger up suddenly to break the seal. Breaking the seal can do one of two things, both of which are helpful.
One, it can pull the clog down the drain — where it belongs.
Two, it can dislodge the clog from the drain and leave in the toilet bowl — where it can be flushed with ease.
Step 6: Test Flush
Test your unclogged toilet with a flush.
If your toilet drain is unclogged, you’re good to go. Clean your plunger with soap or disinfectant, wash your hands, and pat yourself on the back — you just learned to unclog a toilet.
If it clogs again, repeat steps 2 through 6.
How to Handle an Overflowing Toilet
Jamming the plunger in the toilet violently, as a last-ditch move, will only make a bigger mess.
Instead, turn off the water using the emergency shutoff valve. That will prevent a mess and give you time to allow the water to drain. That way you can unclog the toilet without risking an overflow situation.
Frequent Toilet Clogs — Sign of a Bigger Plumbing Problem
Does it seem like you need to unclog a toilet WAY TOO OFTEN, like every other day?
Or do you find yourself with a clogged toilet after going #1?
Sounds like you have a bigger plumbing issue that demands professional attention. Most common causes:
- Sediment build up in toilet -If you have hard water, sediment can build up in your toilet, preventing enough water from clearing the bowl. The lack of water needed to flush causes frequent clogs.
- Clogged pipe - A clog deep in your home piping system can prevent your toilet from flushing, creating seemingly normal toilet clogs.
- Blocked or damage sewer line - A blockage in the sewer line that connects your home to the public sewer or septic can create a variety of issues. A blocked sewer line can start by causing toilet clogs and overtime even force raw sewage back up into your drains, like your sink and bathtub.
All three of those issues require the expertise of professional plumber. Give us a call.
How to Unclog a Toilet: wrap-up
Now you’re equipped with the knowledge of how to unclog a toilet. Size up the situation, grab your plunger, and get to work. You’ve got this.
Send this blog to somebody who can’t unclog a toilet, and put the power — and plunger — in their hands.
Remember, if your toilet clogs frequently, it could be the sign of a more serious plumbing disaster. Get in contact with us to diagnose and remedy the situation.
Contact us to fix frequent toilet clogs and for all of your plumbing needs.