Means of Fixing a Clogged Toilet
Posted Jan 07th 2014 | By:
Toilet clogs, disgusting though they may be, are a part of life that must be addressed from time to time. While there are many tried and true methods of solving clog problems, some work better than others and is best to have as many as possible in your arsenal. If you have a clog that one remedy will not fix, try another! Also, if you do not have the tools to apply a certain technique, move to the next one on your list. It may seem like toilet clogs are fairly universal, but they can be diverse in how they respond to encouragement to move on, so you never know when you might have to step things up a notch to get the clog gone.
The trusty stand-by items for removing toilet clogs are the plunger, auger, and the snake. With many years of experience under their belts, you would think these items can get the job done, but that is not always the case. For example, someone in my household (me) dropped a hair comb into the toilet. That someone (also me) failed to realize that the comb, being long, could not maneuver through the curves in the toilet to escape. Plunging was hopeless and a professional had to be called to the rescue (of me). I felt really stupid, of course, and a little less financially stable after having to pay someone to fix this problem, but the point is that sometimes a plunger will not save you so do not rely on that and that alone.
There are a lot of chemicals on the market that promise clog removal in pipes, but those products are geared towards sinks. Due to the shape of a toilet's plumbing, such products generally will not be able to reach the clog to begin with. This is because those products are heavier than water and will sink to the lowest point in your toilet and settle there. Toilet plumping moves upwards from the bowl, so an anti-clogging agent that is heavier than water may not make it up through the plumbing to access the clog. The result here is a bowl full of water laden with chemicals that can be harmful to your skin if you are forced to reach into it or it overflows, which could very well be the case.
If your clog is human waste in nature as opposed to due to too much paper or a foreign object, try using Coca Cola to clear the clog. As scary as it may sound considering some of us drink Coke, you can also use it to help with your toilet issues because it will eat through human waste. Just pour a two liter bottle of Coke into your toilet (provided the water level is down enough to accommodate two liters) and let sit for about 30 minutes before flushing.
Another option to try in the event of a stubborn clog is dish soap and hot water. This technique will not work if your toilet is already overflowing, however, as adding more water to an overfull toilet will result in spillage. You need to attempt this only in a bowl where the water level has gone significantly down to lower than normal. Squirt some dish soap into your toilet bowl. It will sink, as it is heavier than water. A few minutes later, add some hot water (not boiling!) to the bowl and let sit. The goal is for the soap to grease the clog, enabling it to slip on through. If this doesn't work the first time, you can repeat it, but take care not to get overzealous with the dish soap so you do not wind up with a mess of bubbles on your hands.
If you are ever in doubt about how to handle a clog, call a professional for assistance. Always wear gloves when cleaning or unclogging toilets. Even after taking those gloves off, be sure to wash hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and warm water. Be mindful of any chemicals used in the process and clean those up as well, also tending to any overflow or splash out that resulted from your toilet unclogging efforts. The methods above may not always work as each clog is unique and some clear easier than others, but each is a good jumping off point for you to possibly solve your problem. If nothing else, these tricks of the toilet can help you to realize when a clog is beyond your scope and requires a call for help.
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