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Unclog Your Toilet

Why Do This?

Is your toilet clogged? Don't panic! We can get you back in business fast. If you can manage this fix yourself, you can save as much as $250 by avoiding a professional plumbing bill. Plus, by unclogging your toilet the natural way you'll keep toxic chemicals out of your water source and away from your family.

Difficulty:
Time: 30 minutes

How To:

Note: It's a good idea to wear plastic gloves while you unclog your toilet to protect yourself from bacteria.

Note: If water is backing up out of your sinks and shower as well as the toilet, call a plumber. This means that you have a clogged main line, and a plunger won’t do the trick.

  1. 1

    Assess the situation. If the toilet water fills to the brim or you have to put on galoshes to step into the bathroom, there is an obvious issue. But, a poor flush (water fills in the bowl but doesn’t rush out with the waste) can also indicate a partial or full clog. If you suspect a problem but aren’t certain, don’t wait for a full on flood, give your throne a proactive plunge.

  2. 2

    If it looks like your water might overflow out of the toilet bowl, quickly remove any bath mats or other things in the path of the waterfall. Spread old newspaper or towels on the floor to catch the spill.

  3. 3

    You need to stop the toilet bowel from filling with water. To do this, take the lid off the toilet tank and close the toilet flapper with your hand (by pushing it down).

  4. 4

    Before you start plunging, pour a pot of hot water into the toilet bowl and let it sit for several minutes. The heat helps break up the clogged material, which will aid the plunger in unclogging your plumbing system. Sometimes, the hot water can do the trick on its own. (So, this might be a good approach if you’ve clogged a friend’s toilet and don’t want to fess up to your crime.) Note: The water should be hot, but not boiling to prevent the porcelain from cracking.

  5. 5

    If that doesn’t work, grab your plunger. We recommend you use a funnel-cup plunger, which you can find at your local hardware store for about six dollars. These plungers have an added piece on the bottom of the rubber cup, which creates a stronger seal and provides more pop when you plunge.

  6. 6

    Proper form is important when you plunge. Place your plunger directly over the exit hole in the toilet bowl and push down gently to form a strong seal. Make sure there is enough water in the toilet bowl to cover the entire suction cup. Tip: If you’re having trouble getting a strong seal, run your plunger under hot water before you use it to soften the rubber.

  7. 7

    Stroke up and down about 10-15 times. Don’t focus solely on the downward push – the pullback is important, too.

  8. 8

    Remove your plunger, and then flush the toilet. If the water clears from the toilet, then congratulations you’ve unclogged a toilet! If the water starts to rise again, close the flapper and plunge again.

  9. 9

    To avoid clogged toilets in the future, make sure that nothing goes down the toilet except paper specified for toilet use. If you’re having a party, you might want to place a sign on or near the toilet to remind guests not to get creative with the items that they flush.

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