Unclogging a toilet can be one of the most frustrating plumbing problems. If you’ve tried plunging and other traditional methods to dislodge the mess, it’s time to try something different. Here are some unusual techniques on How To Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works when nothing seems to work.
Causes of Clogged Toilet:
Before we discuss them, let’s talk about what causes the problem in the first place. A clogged toilet is most commonly caused by flushing anything but human waste and toilet paper down the commode. Things like paper towels, feminine hygiene products, Q-tips and other “flushable” wipes can cause blockages.
How To Unclog Toilet When Nothing Works: Considerations
Before you begin unclogging any drain or toilet, consider these household safety tips:
- Don’t use harsh chemicals like Drano in your home because they could destroy your pipes, septic tank, or nearby water supply. The same goes for lye-based products that are common in store-bought drain cleaners.
- Avoid disposing of flammable household items down your drains. That includes items like cigarette butts, paper towels, sanitary napkins, and feminine hygiene products.
- If you’ve got a septic system for waste disposal, do not flush down items that can plug or damage the system like Q-tips, disposable diapers and baby wipes . Clogged Septic Tanks
- If you’re dealing with a clog in your home’s main drain line , chances are it has something to do with the household’s septic tank. Before doing anything else to clear up your clogged toilet, check out these tips:
- Use commercial enzyme cleaners like Bio-Clean (available online). These special cleaners use bacteria to break down organic materials like food, hair and soap scum. When used religiously, they can help keep your septic tank clear.
- Cut down on water usage. The more demand you place on the septic system, the harder it has to work and the greater the chances of a clog. Consider installing low-flow toilets and faucets if your home’s system is old or not operating properly (more frequent back-ups).
- Avoid dumping fatty foods like oils and dairy products in your sink and avoid washing greasy pans in the kitchen drain. These kinds of items cling to pipes and weigh them down, increasing the chances of a clog.
Using Mechanical Items to Unclog Toilets (vacuum cleaners)
When plunging alone cannot get rid of a clog in your toilet, it’s time to bring out the big guns. A vacuum cleaner fitted with a special hose is up for the task and can dislodge even deeply embedded objects like toys and sanitary napkins.
If you’re going to use a strong appliance like this, keep these things in mind:
- If you’ve got a septic tank at home, avoid using high powered cleaners because they may tear or damage the system.
- Do not use corrosive cleaners that contain chemicals. They could corrode the seals on top of the commode, leading to leaks or explosions if handled improperly.
Methods Unclogging Toilets at Home (Using The Powerful Tools)
1. Using the plunger
The plunger is a good first step because it can break up all kinds of clogs and dislodge them without any costly or dangerous tools. Even though the plunger’s suction cup should not be used on porcelain, it can still create enough suction to loosen up tougher clogs (like hair and grease). To use the plunger properly:
- Fill up your sink with water and place the rubber cup flush against the drain opening
- Pump up and down several times in rapid succession before pulling away from the lines quickly
- If you’ve got a double-flush commode , cover-up both flushing holes and plunge simultaneously
2. Using a plumber’s snake
Using a plumber’s snake is the next logical step when your plunger doesn’t work. This specially designed cable can unclog all kinds of lines and lines, even if they’re clogged with something as tough as toilet paper. Sometimes, however, these devices can get caught up in their own mechanism and require additional strength to pull out:
For stubborn tools like these, tie a length of string or rope to one end and secure it around a nearby doorknob or door handle.
The other end should be secured down by the commode itself (by wedging the string under the rim). Then, use this makeshift pulley system to pull out items like large chunks of tissue.
3. Using the toilet auger (plumber’s snake)
The toilet auger is a long corkscrew that can unclog just about any line. If you’re not sure which tool to use, err on the side of caution and choose this one because it’s the most versatile. This tool works best after you’ve already used your plunger or plumber’s snake. To use an augur properly:
- Unwind the lines until you reach the clog (it may take several rotations)
- Turn the handle clockwise to wind up the line and dislodge whatever lies following it then pull out slowly
4. Using caustic drain cleaner
Caustic chemical cleaners like Zep are the last option because they’re very dangerous to use. Avoid using these cleaners if you can, but if you must then follow these tips:
- Read all warning labels and instructions on the chemical before handling it
- Never put chemicals in your toilet (flush them down the drain or store them in a different container near your sink)
- Wear gloves, goggles and protective clothing while working with caustic chemicals like Zep
The Bottom Line:
Although some people believe DIY plumbing is not difficult, emergencies happen without warning. The best way to avoid clogs or any other unexpected surprises is by being proactive. Keep tissue paper stocked in every bathroom so at least one person has something to grab onto when flushing. It’s also a good idea to have a plunger and auger readily available.
Will a toilet eventually unclog itself?
A toilet will eventually unclog itself given that it is not continuously flushing or filling with water. A really clogged toilet might need an auger to be cleared out, but even then the roots of the obstruction should be able to release enough for them to clear away on their own over time without human intervention. That’s how nature works, and toilets are made up of natural items like this too. Many think that because it’s unnatural, man-made “synthetic” products shouldn’t work at all – but they do quite well because they are still very bio-compatible.
Is there a liquid to unclog toilets?
Yes. There are products on the market called “drano”, and they’re typically available at any hardware or grocery store. Just make sure you don’t use it if there’s a garbage disposal because Drano can damage it. For something like a clogged toilet, follow the instructions on the package and be careful to get it all below the water line before turning on the water.
Is it bad to let a clogged toilet sit?
Yes, it is bad. If you let a clogged toilet sit, you will be unable to flush the contents down the pipe, and this will inevitably cause the toilet to overflow and stink up your bathroom. However, if you can remove what is causing the problem at hand, either by plunging or “eliminating” manually (*hint* involve rubber gloves), then it should not be an issue anymore.