A clogged toilet can throw a wrench in your plans for the day, especially if it overflows before you can get it fixed. Whether it’s an unexpected issue of a backed up toilet or whether you’ve noticed a tendency toward slow flushing for some time, you can take some basic steps to limit the potential for a disaster as you attempt to unclog it. In most cases, a quick resolution is possible.
How to Unclog a Toilet
There are a couple of different scenarios to consider with a backed up toilet. If water is flushing through the system but moving slowly, you don’t need to panic. However, if water is rising quickly in the bowl with no indication of going down, you’ll need to act quickly to avoid an overflow. Lift the top off the tank, and lower the flap manually. This will prevent further water from moving into the bowl.
A plunger should be a standard utility item for your bathroom to ensure that clogging can be dealt with easily. A strong unit with a wood handle is ideal to ensure that it is sturdy enough for the job. A plunger that fits into the drain is better for heavy plunging than a unit that merely fits over the drain. After you place the plunger, you will push down hard with the handle, and you will pull the handle back again. You may need to repeat the process a couple of times, and the pressure should loosen any blockages in the trapway or outlet of your fixture.
If plunging the toilet doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to resort to using a plumbing snake to address the problem. Ninety percent of the time, a plunger is sufficient. However, some materials may lodge, leading to a backed up toilet or clogged pipes that require more aggressive measures. A plumbing snake is a long, thin piece of wire with a coiled end to either push or pull lodged material. In some cases, this will loosen the blockage so that it can continue through the pipes and out of the home. In other cases, dislodged material may be pulled back up from the outlet.
Calling a Plumber
When a snake can’t loosen a blockage, it may be time to pull the toilet. Unless you are confident of the process and familiar with the anatomy of a toilet, it’s wise to enlist the help of a professional. In addition to being a potentially messy job, pulling a toilet requires that you replace the wax ring between the fixture and the floor. Done incorrectly, this replacement can leave you with a leaky toilet and a wet floor.
Families with children are often faced with such issues. It’s important to avoid the placement of foreign objects in the toilet and the use of too much toilet paper. However, if objects such as a bar of soap, crayons, bath toys or clothing make their way into your system, you can count on the plumbing experts at Dent to come to the rescue. Additionally, we can diagnose your slow toilet if your plunger and snake haven’t produced a solution. Call our Madison, MS, office for an appointment.