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Plumbing Problems: How to Handle a Clogged Toilet

March 13, 2023

clogged toilet

Did you know that one in every five American homeowners needs to deal with a clogged toilet on a regular basis?

A clogged toilet can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. It’s an embarrassing problem that can quickly turn into a smelly mess if not handled promptly.

Whether it’s due to excess toilet paper, foreign objects, or a buildup of waste, a clogged toilet is a frustrating issue that needs to be resolved quickly. To help you understand how to unclog a toilet, we’ve put together a guide.

Keep reading if you want to find out more.

Familiarize Yourself With the Causes of Clogged Toilets

There are various causes of clogged toilets, and knowing what they are can help you to take the necessary measures to prevent them.

One of the primary causes of clogged toilets is flushing wipes, feminine hygiene products, cotton balls, and dental floss down the toilet.

These types of items can cause a buildup in the pipes. Another common cause of clogged toilets is using too much toilet paper.

While toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water, excessive use can cause it to clump together and create a blockage.

Tree roots can also be a culprit in clogged toilets. These sometimes grow into pipes and create blockages. Older plumbing systems also tend to frequently clog because they are susceptible to corrosion and breakage.

If you have an old plumbing system or if you are worried that it has been damaged, you should get ahold of a skilled plumber. When doing this, make sure to familiarize yourself with the top tips for hiring a plumber.

Add Hot Water

Hot water can help to break down any materials that are causing the blockage. This will make it easier to flush them away. This is particularly effective if the clog is caused by a buildup of toilet paper or organic matter.

This is because hot water can help to dissolve these materials.

Adding a bit of liquid dish soap to the hot water can further enhance its effectiveness. The soap can act as a lubricant. It can also help to break down any greasy or oily substances that might be contributing to the clog.

But it’s important to not use boiling water. This can cause the porcelain to crack, which can create an even bigger problem than a clogged toilet. Instead, use hot water that’s just below boiling temperature.

Force Airflow

When dealing with plumbing problems such as a clogged toilet, forcing airflow can be a useful technique to clear the blockage.

You can use a two-liter soda bottle to create a makeshift plunger that will help to push air into the pipes and dislodge the clog.

To do this, start by filling the bottle with hot water (not boiling) and then quickly flipping it over and inserting the neck of the bottle into the toilet bowl’s drain hole.

Make sure to wear rubber gloves for hygiene and safety purposes.

Next, press the bottle downward and then release it. This action will create suction, which will then push air into the pipes and dislodge the clog.

Repeat this process several times until you notice the water level in the bowl starts to go down.

The force of the water from the soda bottle should be enough to clear the blockage. If the clog persists, try using a toilet plunger or a plumbing snake to remove the obstruction.

If you still can’t get rid of the toilet clog, consider hiring a professional plumber.

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

This natural combination creates a chemical reaction that can get rid of the waste that is creating the blockage.

Start by pouring a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Follow this by pouring a cup of vinegar into the bowl as well.

The mixture will begin to fizz and foam. This reaction is what helps to break down the blockage.

Allow the mixture to sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes. This will give it time to work its magic. After this time has passed, pour a pot of hot water into the bowl to flush away the clog.

It’s important to note that this method is best used for small or moderate toilet clogs.

Use Store-Bought Cleaners

Store-bought cleaners can be a quick solution to a frustrating problem. But it’s important to keep in mind that store-bought cleaners do have their limitations.

Many of these cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can damage your plumbing system, especially if they are used excessively. These chemicals can also be harmful to the environment.

Another limitation of store-bought cleaners is that they may not be effective for severe clogs.

If the blockage is too big or has been present for too long, these cleaners may not be able to fully remove the obstruction.

In such cases, a plumbing snake or professional plumbing services may be necessary to resolve the problem.

Lastly, the cost of repeatedly buying cleaners can add up, and if the problem is persistent, you may end up spending more money than if you had hired a professional plumber.

How to Fix a Clogged Toilet

It can be frustrating to have a clogged toilet. The good news is that there are various things you can do to solve the problem.

Start by flushing hot water down your toilet. You should also force airflow into the pipes. If you are still having problems, consider using store-bought cleaners.

Do you need to hire a professional plumber? If so, we can help you. Don’t hesitate to contact us to get started today!

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