How to easily unblock a toilet
We all know unblocking a ‘log’ clog is never a pleasant task but it has to be done quickly and efficiently before the next flush rises up and over the toilet bowl and swamps the floor! It could be worse, imagining if you’re on a first date how embarrassing can it be? An otherwise romantic evening about to unravel due to a stinky package clogging your date’s toilet! A classic elephant in the room moment!
We deal with these unpleasant tasks on a regular basis. However, before you call us out, here are some simple suggestions you can easily try yourself to get things ‘moving’
Tools on standby: –
- Rubber gloves
- Wire coat hanger
- Old rags, towels/newspapers
- Washing up liquid
It could very well be a simple ‘clog’. So, first try this. Surround the toilet with the rags to soak up any splashes. Squirt a good dose of washing up liquid into the bowl. Leave for 15/20 minutes. Don’t flush the toilet, just pour a bowl/bucket of hot water down the pan (in stages) and wait for it to soak away (make sure the amount of water does not spill over the toilet rim).
Wait until it has drained away. Then pour another bucket of hot water down the pan. If it has removed the blockage, all well and good! You can then give the toilet a reassuring flush to see if it flushes normally. If that doesn’t work we can move on to the next one.
Are there any obvious signs as to why the blockage i.e. too much toilet paper, foreign bodies, etc? First makes sure you are wearing the correct attire to tackle this task as it’s a bit more ‘hands-on!’ Rubber gloves, face mask and goggles will give adequate protection. With rags still surrounding the toilet bowl, it’s time to ‘go in’.
Remove any excess paper or debris other than the stinky poo (place in a suitable bag for disposal). Next, unwind a metal coat hanger (don’t straighten the hook end) push the hook end down, and through the poo, so it enters the bend, twisting it as you go to accommodate the sharp turns of the toilet trap, without damaging the bowl as it goes deeper.
When you’ve gone as far as you can, begin twisting the coat hanger clockwise/anticlockwise (quickly). The hook whilst turning will break up any soft waste. When you’re satisfied the ‘clog’ has been ‘mashed’, slowly retract the hanger, as the hook could pull out more paper, cotton buds, etc? Carefully place the ‘soiled’ coat hanger on the rages (remember to dispose of this, safely when the job is completed). After a decent ‘rodding’ with the coat hanger, it’s time for a test.
If you’re not convinced the clog has been broken down don’t flush the toilet just yet, pour a bowl of hot water slowly down the pan, watch to see if it flows away as normal. If it does, you can give the toilet a proper flush. Observe if it drains away smoothly, if not repeat the process above until it does.
A plunger is a handy accessory. It can be used for sinks, basins, and toilets
With the floor still covered with rags to catch any splashes or spillages, you can now try the plunger.
The heavy-duty plunger. It can be either a bell-shaped or fold-out flange type. There are numerous types of plungers available (read the reviews before making your purchase). Below are a couple of common designs, both are very effective
To make a decent seal try soaking the rubber flange in some hot water to make it more pliable and improves the seal.
Push in the plunger so it completely covers the exhaust hole at the bottom of the bowl. The key lies in pushing and pulling the water and not air so add some water if required.
Begin slowly by pushing down the plunger and quickly pulling it up, without it breaking the suction seal. The clog is likely to start moving due to the force produced. Continue to repeat this action until the clog begins to flow away and the bowl drains as normal. When you’re satisfied it has cleared, flush the toilet and gauge the speed of the water drop, has it returned to normal? If it has, you’ve been successful!
Don’t Have a Plunger?
Don’t worry! There a couple of simple tried and tested ‘fixes’ that just might do the job?
By far the simplest. Slowly pour a bucket of really hot water into the bowl. Hot water can breakdown (to a degree) and dissolve the clog. Pour it carefully so it does not splash or spill out onto the floor. Wait to see if it has resolved the blockage. It may take a couple of minutes. Then flush the toilet to check if it flows away as expected. If it doesn’t, there are a couple more ideas you can try. Even a combination/mix of these ideas can resolve a clog.
The trusty toilet brush
For small clogs a sturdy toilet brush using an up and down movement similar to the plunger technique, can be very effective, give it a try!
Washing up liquid/shampoo
Washing up liquid/shampoo lubricates the clog. Take a generous measure and pour it into the bowl. It will work its way down, oiling and lubricating as it goes. Give it enough time to penetrate the clog, usually about 20 minutes (just enough time to have a tea break). After the set time, pour some hot water into the bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes. The clog should have started breaking up. Before you flush, there may be a risk of the water rising too high, and over the rim? If so resort to using a bowl of hot water. Alternatively, you could adjust the water level in the cistern so there’s just enough water to complete a decent flush without using the bowl or bucket routine? It may require trial and error before you get the level right. Don’t forget to return the cistern water level back to its original level, when the clog has been removed.
Epsom Salt and Vinegar
Not always on hand but worth investing in. A tub of Epsom Salts is ideal for tackling a clog in the toilet. It can also double up a cleaner as well for many different surfaces. Take a cup full and sprinkle it over the clog making sure it covers the surface. Then take a cup full of vinegar and slowly pour it over the area covered with salts. An effervescent action is produced which begins to break down the clog. Leave it for at least an hour to really start doing its stuff! (time for another cup of tea). When the time is up, flush the toilet, if it flows away normally it’s worked. If it’s a stubborn clog use the same mixture and leave it overnight (if possible).
Next up is household bleach. A simple, quick, and cheap way to tackle a clog!. Pour 3 to 4 cups of strong bleach it down the bowl and wait for 15 minutes for it to work on the clog. Decide if you’re going to slowly pour hot water down the bowl or risk a flush? Probably best to pour the water in, just to be on the safe side and avoid any spillages.
For the more stubborn clogs, you may need to turn to a more aggressive cleaning. These products have to be handled extremely carefully to avoid any contact with the skin. Protective goggle, rubber gloves, face mask, and clothing is an essential prerequisite before you commence work. Be aware that pungent fumes/vapors are produced as the chemical gets to work, steer clear of these fumes, and remove any pets nearby before pouring – make sure the area is well ventilated. Search online for the best, safest, and strongest chemical cleaner, that can be legally sold ‘over the counter’. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to the letter, your personal safety and that of others is essential?
Another point to note is that these methods are not for rock-solid obstinate clogs that are deeply rooted in the pipes, no, clogs of this type are for a professional jetting company, with motorized equipment designed to tackle the toughest clogs!
Most of these methods are effective even without a decent toolbox or plunger. However, when you’ve tried everything without any success, it’s time to call marvel property maintenance. our trained professionals will do all that’s possible to clear any blockage and at affordable prices.
Call us now on 0203 3918 3604.