A clogged toilet is not only a serious inconvenience but it can also be a costly repair. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.
Don’t flush anything you don’t want down the drain: Paper towels, feminine products, tissues, cotton balls and even hair and floss can all easily clog your toilet. If you have children in your home, teach them to use the bathroom for their regular needs and to dispose of waste in a bin rather than flushing it down the toilet.
Get a good flange plunger: A flanged plunger, which you can buy for under $5 at most hardware stores, will seal the hole and give you the power you need to remove a clog. To use it, lower it into the toilet bowl until it comes to rest over the drain, making sure you can push down gently to remove any air from the flange. Then pump the plunger up and down repeatedly until the water drains out. This process should take about five to six times before the clog becomes dislodged.
Soak the clog: A combination of hot (not boiling) water and soap will act as a lubricant and help break up the solids that can impede drain flow. Houselogic suggests adding half a cup of dish soap to the hot water before pouring it into the toilet.
Alternatively, you can put an empty plastic bottle upside down in the toilet drain and squeeze it to force air into the pipes. This can disrupt the clog and make it easier to unclog.
If you don’t have a plunger, try using an old wire coat hanger to break up any buildup. Simply unravel the hanger until it’s straight and then push one end down into the clogged pipe. It’s best to call a plumber if this method doesn’t work, but it can be useful in a pinch.
A plumbing snake can also be used to clear a toilet blockage. This isn’t recommended for smaller clogs in the trap or for larger sewer line problems, which may require a professional plumber to diagnose and fix.
Removing a clog with a plumbing snake is a delicate job, so be careful not to damage the pipe or the toilet. If the clog is deeper, a plumbing professional will need to use an auger or other device to dislodge it.
Use a wet/dry vacuum to unclog your toilet: A ShopVac will quickly and effectively clear up a clogged toilet in Long Beach when it’s stuck with liquids. Before starting, remove any bags from the vacuum and attach a small-diameter cleaning head to it.
If this doesn’t work, you can always try a combination of soap and hot water to dislodge a clog. Squirt some bar soap or a baking soda and vinegar mixture down the toilet. Then chase the clog with hot water, which should loosen it and let it slide down the pipes.