A toilet can clog for many reasons, but the usual culprit is a foreign object getting wedged in the drain pipe. This may cause the water to rise and threaten to overflow and cause a nasty smell. You need to act fast to prevent an un-hygienic spillage from the bowl and usually with the right tools, you should be able to dislodge the foreign object yourself, otherwise you may need to call an emergency plumber!
- Plunge away.
A plunger is an essential tool for toilet unblocking and should always be kept close to the toilet. Place the rubber cup over the centre of the bowel and apply gradually increasing downward pressure. Once the pressing force reduces, you’ll know you have removed the blockage.
- Pour boiling water
If the clog is organic in nature, boiling water has a good chance of breaking down the obstruction. Try pouring the water slowly and in three stages, allowing the water to take effect in-between pours.
- Baking soda and vinegar
Mix a 1/3 of a cup of baking soda and a 1/3 of a cup of vinegar together and leave till it starts to fizz. Pour it into the clogged toilet and leave it at least an hour or ideally overnight for best effect.
- Use a wire hanger
You don’t need a full tool kit to get your toilet unblocked, just cut a wire hanger and bend it into a straight rod keeping one end with a bent hook. Push the wire down the toilet bowl and try turning the hook in circular motions. This may break down organic matter or allow you to fish out the foreign object.
- Caustic soda
Not to be used without protection, this is a chemical that can burn if in contact with skin. Get your rubber gloves and goggles on and mix three cups of caustic soda in water and stir well. When it begins to fizz and heat, you can pour it down the toilet bowl and leave for 20-30 minutes. Flush with boiling water and repeat if still clogged.
- Get gloved up
If you’re brave enough and determined enough, you may even be able to fish out the blockage with your rubber gloved up hands. Reach down and try to crush or pull the object out, then try a few flushes to see if the debris is dislodged.
- Wet/dry vacuum
If you’re lucky enough to own a wet/dry vacuum this could be the answer to your toilet blockage prayers. Note this is only best used if the toilet bowl is not full up with water. Set the vacuum to liquids and place the hose into the bowl using a cloth to seal around. Turn on the vacuum and hopefully the blockage will be sucked up.
- Use a drain snake
This handy tool is great for unblocking toilets, drains and pipes. Push the flexible metal rope down the bowl and twist in circular motions when you hit the obstruction. This should break the obstruction into small pieces, allowing the toilet to flush freely.