Can’t get a handle on a clogged toilet?
Thankfully, most clogs can be cleared without having to call in a plumber. A good plunger, a homemade drain cleaner, a toilet snake, or a wet/dry vacuum will normally do the trick when it comes to average clogs.
In most situations, you may only need a plunger when experiencing a clogged toilet. Plungers with an extension flange usually work best, and they also can unplug a sink or tub drain.
However, if your toilet is clogging on a regular basis, leaving you plunging more than once a week, there could be bigger issues, as frequent clogs are not common. This is when you should call in a professional.
Despite what some people may think, a toilet is not a garbage disposal nor a trash can. One of the worst things you can do is throw virtually anything away in your toilet to dispose of it. There are better ways to dispose of trash. Never flush anything except toilet paper and human waste down the toilet.
Here are a few tips for dealing with a clogged toilet:
- If you can see the cause of a clog, put on some rubber gloves and change into some old clothes, just in case a mess ensues. Try to clear the obstruction by hand before plunging. Only use the plunger when you know for sure that there is no hard object causing the clog. Difficult clogs might require repeated plunging and flushing until the toilet is clear.
- If plunging is not working, next try a plumbing snake or flexible cleaning tool. This flexible coiled tool can twist through your toilet to reach deeper clogs without damaging your toilet.
- If a snake tool doesn’t work, next try a wet/dry vacuum to do the trick. When using a vacuum, you need turn off the water lines, then empty the water out of the bowl with the vacuum. After that, try to suck out the obstruction with the vacuum.
- You also can try a homemade drain cleaner. Normally this mixture includes hot water, baking soda and vinegar. Or you can purchase a safe enzyme waste removal product to try clearing the clog. Many drain-clearing chemicals can actually harm your pipes.
- Enzymes and drain-clearing chemicals will only work on organic waste clogs, not clogs due to toys or harder objects. For clogs caused by toys or hard objects, it may be best to contact a plumber.
Toilets are part of our daily lives and were invented to dispose of human waste. There is a very long list of items that should never be flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately, many of these items end up in the commode, but remember, it’s not a trash can.
While most people know the obvious things that shouldn’t be flushed, here is a list of the not-so-obvious: bathroom wipes, baby wipes or cleaning wipes, condoms, sanitary napkins or tampons, diapers, paper towels, cotton balls, prescription medications, cigarette butts, band-aids, dental floss, fats, oil, grease, hair, chewing gum, cat litter, bleach, poisons, and other hazardous waste should never be flushed down the toilet.
Always flush smart.