The average person visits the toilet between six to seven times a day.
But what happens if that toilet stops working? You'll only have a few hours to figure out and resolve the problem before you need to sit yourself back on the porcelain throne.
If you've found yourself with a clogged toilet, don't panic! You might be able to get rid of it on your own. Even if you can't, you can call a plumber in your area; they'll show up at your home as fast as possible so your toilet is ready for use when you need it.
We've put together this article to show you how to unclog your toilet and to help you learn when you should go ahead and call a professional plumber.
Let's get started!
If your toilet doesn't flush properly the first time, the last thing you want to do is try flushing again. The clog will prevent the water from going down the drain, meaning it will overflow the toilet and get all over the floor. This can create a much bigger (and must smellier) mess.
You should never flush a clogged toilet more than once.
Instead, take the lid off the back of the toilet and close the flapper. This will prevent any more water from running into the toilet bowl while you're working.
Try Fishing out the Clog
It could be. You should only try to fish out the clog with your fingers if it's a foreign obstruction, such as one of your child's toys.
Put on some gloves and try to pull the object out of the toilet. If the item is so far down you can't see it, this method won't work. Don't stick your hands into your toilet unless you can see the obstruction--and only if you're wearing proper protection.
Never try to plunge your toilet if you know a foreign object is causing the block. All plunging will do is push the object further down in the drain, which can make the problem much more serious.
Give the Plunger a Few Pushes
If you don't see any foreign objects, it's time to grab your plunger.
Be gentle with the first push. At this point, the plunger is still full of air, and if you push too hard, the air bubble can push the water out of the toilet, splashing you, the wall, and the floor with messy toilet water.
After the first few shoves, you can apply more pressure. You might have to keep plunging your toilet for 10 to 20 minutes before you notice a change, so stick with it. Don't give up until you're sure the plunger isn't doing the trick.
Plunge and Flush at the Same Time
There is one last strategy you can try before picking up the phone and calling a plumber.
Start by opening the flapper in the back of the toilet again. Then, while the plunger is still in the toilet, flush the toilet and keep plunging as the toilet flushes. Try this a few times if you can (without overflowing the toilet).
If it still doesn't work, you should have the professionals take a look.
When to Skip the DIY and Go Straight to the Plumber
There are a few instances where you should get in touch with a plumber right away instead of trying to solve the problem on your own. This might seem like more hassle, but it will get your toilet flushing again as fast as possible and ensure nothing goes wrong in the process.
A Foreign Object Was Flushed
Always call a professional if you (or a family member) accidentally flushed something down the toilet that doesn't belong there. Even if this object makes it down the toilet at first, there's a high risk of it getting stuck lower in the pipe, and that will be a much more expensive problem to fix later.
Letting a plumber remove the object right away will keep the clog from getting any worse.
You Smell Something Unpleasant
Did your toilet clog and start to stink at the same time? That's not a good sign.
Your toilet might have sprung a leak somewhere you can't see. If left on its own, this leak can lead to mold growth, an unhealthy living environment, and an expensive water bill. A professional plumber will be able to take care of the clog and find and repair the leak at the same time.
Leaks tend to form in toilets that get frequent clogs, so keep an eye out for this problem if you find yourself unclogging your toilet often.
The DIY Didn't Work
Of course, you should also call a plumber if you tried all the DIY methods and they had no effect. A plumber has more experience and better tools than you do, so they'll be able to remove even the toughest clogs.
Don't Live Your Life With a Clogged Toilet
You shouldn't put off dealing with a clogged toilet—even if you have another bathroom in your house. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also make the clog worse.
Not sure where to find the right plumbing help?
We've got you covered. Don't hesitate to get in touch with our team at Anchor Plumbing Services. You can call us (or text us if you'd rather!) to set up an appointment or ask us any questions.
We can get your toilet cleared out right away!