How to Unblock a Toilet Drain in Your Home
Being able to unblock a toilet drain in your home can save you valuable time and money. Blocked toilets can happen for several reasons, but most are not serious can be removed by following a few easy steps.
Before attempting to unblock your toilet drain, first, apply some damage limitation. Don’t repeatedly flush your toilet to remove a blockage – it may overflow and then you’ll have a mess to clear up as well as a blocked toilet drain.
- Source & Locate the Problem
If the cause of the toilet blockage is visible, put on a pair of rubber gloves and remove it. If you cannot see the cause of the blockage then it’s time to experiment.
- Add Dishwasher Liquid & Hot Water
Keep your rubber gloves on and drop a small amount of dishwashing liquid and a half bucket of hot water, pour it into the toilet bowl from waist height and leave for a few minutes.
- Plunge the Toilet to Loosen Blockage
Choose a heavy-duty plunger with a flange on its base. Place the plunger completely over the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl until it is submerged in water. Press down firmly and slowly. Repeat.
- Hook Toilet Blockage With Coat Hanger
Next, try using an unravelled wire coat-hanger to hook the blockage. This technique is most effective when the toilet blockage is in the first 5cm – 10cm of the drain.
- Remove Deeper Blockages With a Plumbing Snake/Auger
If the blockage is too deep to unblock with a coat hanger, a plumbing ‘snake’ or ‘auger’ is great at removing difficult toilet blockages. A plumbing auger is a coiled wire that can ‘snake’ through twists and turns in drains. Due to its high flexibility, a plumbing auger is incredibly effective in locating and removing deep toilet blockages.
- Enzyme-Based Chemicals
Another method to unblock your toilet is utilising enzyme-based chemicals to break down the solid matter that is causing the blockage. This will only work on organic matter (not objects or hair) and takes some time for effects to take place. Alternatively, find a bucket and half fill it with hot water, baking soda and vinegar. This water-based solution is a great alternative to enzyme-based chemicals and is very effective at breaking down solid matter.
How To Clear Blocked Drains – DIY
The methods for draining a blocked drain depends on whether the clog is partial or full-on. The former, or partial clog, will allow at least some water down the drain. The latter, however, means the drains are fully blocked and no water is going down at all.
Refresh your drains with soda!
Ever heard that a nail put in a glass of soda will dissolve and eventually disappear with time? It’s true. This may take you by surprise – soda is great for vanquishing a clog in your drains. It can even be more effective than many commercial clog removers packed with strong dissolving agents
Clear a Blocked Sink with Boiling Water
This is an easy DIY method of unclogging a blocked drain pipe. The high temperatures in hot boiling water should be able to do the work.
Use vinegar and baking soda to remove clogs
Pour half a packet of baking soda down the clogged drain without adding any water. Then add half a cup of vinegar down the pipe. Use a metal stopper or some rags to stop up the drain and let the two substances react for 30 minutes. Remove the stopper and pour hot water down the drain.
Plunger for more stubborn clogs
A hand plunger may be necessary for a sink or toilet that has a large, stubborn obstruction. The suction action of the plunger can help to dislodge clogs so they can be washed away down the drain.
What to Do If Your Main Sewer Drain Is Clogged
Don’t run the water or flush the toilet! If you don’t add water to your drain system, you can’t make the problem worse (that is, if the clog is in your line and not the city’s main; see below). As an added precaution, you can shut off the main water supply to the house so that no one runs the water by accident. Tell everyone in the house not to use water, then call a plumber or drain specialist to have the drain cleared. These professionals have special equipment, including motorized augers, to quickly and effectively remove large clogs in the main sewer drains.
The Most Common Methods to unblock a Toilet
If the toilet bowl is not overflowing, you can use a drain-opening chemical to soften or break down the materials that are causing the blockage. Pour the chemical into the toilet bowl and leave it for about 15 minutes. This should loosen up the blockage. The water level should go down at this point which indicates that the blockage is moving and the toilet may eventually drain on its own. When the water level is low, flush it once to finally clear out the blockage.
Use the Toilet Plunger
The plunger you use must have a fold out rubber cup that is definitely designed for the opening of a toilet trap.
Thrust the plunger into the opening then pull it back without the cup leaving the opening. Use an even force when thrusting and pulling back the plunger to have a solid close on the opening. Repeat it several times until you see the water go down to a low level.
Finally, flush the bowl once. If the water is still slow in going down, repeat the plunging process again.
If the problem still persists, do the next option which is the toilet auger and it is shaped like the letter “J” with a cable and a handle. Fully expose the tip of the cable by pulling the handle all the way out.
Introduce the tip of the auger into the opening of the toilet trap. Gradually drive the handle forward through the opening and turn the auger at the same time.
When all you can see is just the handle pull out the whole length and repeat the process at least 3 times to ensure the blockage has been removed.
How to Unclog Your Toilet with a Plunger
Get your clogged toilet back up and running again the good old-fashioned way—with a plunger and some serious elbow grease. Here’s how to restore your toilet to working order in just six easy steps:
- If the toilet bowl is already filled to the brim, manually remove enough water to use the plunger without splashing or overflowing in the plunging process. We recommend using a small bowl or bucket to gently scoop out excess water to give your plunging process some space.
- Gently place the plunger in the toilet bowl, lowering it gradually and letting air from inside the plunger bubble out.
- Form a snug seal around the opening at the bottom of the toilet bowl. You’re now in position to push the clog out of the pipe.
- Begin to plunge firmly into the toilet with a straight, up-and-down motion. The plunger should force the existing water into the trapway of the toilet and into the pipes and push the blockage out. If the toilet is successfully plunged, you should see the water level in the toilet bowl diminish.
- Fill a large container with a gallon of water, and carefully pour it into the toilet bowl. The water level of the toilet bowl should go down, indicating that the blockage has been removed.
- If the water level does not drop, continue plunging and pouring water until the clog is dislodged.