Almost everyone has dealt with an annoying toilet blockage at some point, and it’s never fun. Maybe you have to leave your home, and just as you're about to depart, your toilet clogs. Even worse, the toilet at someone else's home clogs while you're visiting. Whatever the situation, there are instances when hiring a plumber doesn't seem like a viable alternative. And you wouldn't want to pay for a professional plumbing service if you could clear the blockage yourself.
Keep reading to find out how to clear a clogged toilet without hiring a plumber, and keep in mind that Stephens Plumbing is always available to help with more serious blockages and other bathroom service requirements.
How Does a Toilet Work?
Before attempting to unclog your toilet, it is important to know how a toilet works in the first place.
Basically, every time you flush the toilet, water is meant to flow in and out of the tank. When you pull the lever to flush, the fill valve opens and the flapper valve lifts, releasing water into the bowl. When the water level within the tank reaches a certain level, a float measures it and closes the fill valve.
We only think about the fundamentals of a toilet flush when it is functioning, but what about when there is a problem?
How to Know If Your Toilet Is Clogged
A clogged toilet can be caused by problems inside the tank, including:
- Flapper valves
- Lift arms
- Fill valves
To tell if your toilet is clogged, see if the water is flushing down the toilet. If you flush the toilet and it stays idle, your toilet may be clogged.
If any of these items malfunction, then the waterline will stay open and running to try and fill the tank. If you want an expert set of eyes on the issue, call Stephens Plumbing for a local plumbing expert.
6 Easy Tips to Fix Your Clogged Toilet Without a Plumber
If you are in a hurry or just want to try to unclog your toilet by yourself, here are some useful tips that may get the job done.
Use a Plunger
If you can locate a plunger nearby, this is still probably the most effective method for clearing a clogged toilet. Before choosing a plunger, it's crucial to know which sort to buy if you don't already have one at home. You should use a flange plunger, often known as a toilet plunger, to clear toilet obstructions.
To clear blockages, simply press down on this plunger a few times while maintaining the tight seal. If the clog is cleared, water should start to flow down the drain. After trying this method numerous times, if the clog still persists, you might need to call a professional plumber.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you can't find a plunger but still need to know how to unclog a toilet, baking soda and vinegar is another tried-and-true method for clearing clogs. It even works whether they are in the toilet or elsewhere.
Add one cup of baking soda to your toilet and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, add two cups of vinegar. Pour carefully since you don't want the bubbly chemical reaction generated by these two chemicals to cause your toilet to suddenly spring to life. After letting the entire combination sit for a few minutes, flush the toilet to check if the clog has been resolved.
Snake It Out
A common instrument used to unclog drains is called a "snake," also known as an "auger." Everything from simple metal devices to throwaway plastic equipment can be considered a snake, but it is advised to use the metal variety specifically for toilets.
When you've located the clog and perforated it, slowly turn the handle of the tool while inserting it into your toilet. The clog should be removed when you wind the snake back up, and you should be able to flush effectively again. If you don't succeed the first time, try it again. Even though snaking is one of the finest methods for unclogging a toilet without a plunger, if it doesn't work, it may help to call an expert.
Use Drain Cleaner
Just like the “makeshift” method of using baking soda and vinegar, drain cleaner can be an effective chemical solution to unclog your toilet.
It works the same way it unclogs drains like the ones in your kitchen or shower. Basically, the lye (or sodium hydroxide) works to break apart the chemical bonds that are holding the blockage together.
When used correctly, this can be an effective method of unclogging a toilet as well.
Use Hot Water
Even though it may seem straightforward, unclogging a toilet with hot water and a little dish soap can be surprisingly successful.
While waiting for the water to boil, sprinkle some dish soap into the toilet bowl while heating up roughly a gallon of water on the stove. Next, carefully fill your toilet with water, making sure there is no chance of an overflow (obviously, this option only works if your toilet bowl is not full). After waiting a short while for the obstruction to soften, flush your toilet.
Pro tip: You can also do this with shampoo and hot water from the faucet if you are in a position where you don't want to leave the restroom.
Use a Wet/Dry Vacuum
Wet/dry vacuums can be really useful if you happen to have one sitting around, even though they are really only ideal for the most severe clogs.
To create suction, place the vacuum hose inside the toilet drain and wrap an old towel around it. Then, once the vacuum is running and the hose is securely in position, wait until the obstruction has been removed. When you're done, make sure to clean and sterilize the vacuum.
Do not attempt this with a standard vacuum, as only a wet-dry vacuum will work in this situation.
Need a Clog Taken Care Of? Call Stephens Plumbing
If you’ve tried to unclog your toilet using the methods listed above, but nothing has worked, you may need to call a professional. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you live in Plainfield, Wheaton, Westmont, Downers Grove, Darien, Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Bolingbrook, Naperville, Oak Brook, Aurora, and the surrounding areas.
In addition, our technicians offer other types of plumbing services, such as water heater repair, sewer line replacement, sump pump repair, and water line installation. Give us a call at (630) 968-0783 or contact us online.