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How to Unclog a Toilet

It's a messy job but somebody's got to do it - unclogging a toilet may not be the prettiest of projects, but everyone knows that it needs to be done from time to time. Luckily, if you know how to properly handle the situation, getting rid of clogs is not very difficult.

  1. When a toilet becomes clogged, do not continue flushing. Pushing the flusher more than once doesn't help the clog and can lead to a flooding toilet. If you need to remove excess water from the toilet bowl, bail it out until it's only half full. Leaving too much water behind will make unclogging the toilet a big mess if you plunge, but at the same time, not enough water means the plunger won't be able to seal tightly around the outlet. You should add water if there's not enough in the toilet. In most cases a toilet becomes clogged because the toilet trap is blocked. In the case when a plunger or toilet auger has no effect, the waste-vent stack could be blocked.
  2. Any old plunger can do the trick when it comes to unclogging toilets, but for stronger suction a molded-cup version works wonders. Plunge up and down strongly a dozen times and then quickly remove the plunger. If you hear the water move along making a "glug" sound, you have most likely removed the clog. But before you flush again, pour more water into the bowl, allowing it to empty more than once. If several plunging attempts fail, auguring may be required.
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  • Any toilet clog can be resolved with a closet augur. An augur is a tool with a long handle and a plastic cover for protecting your toilet from scratching. To begin, pull the spring to the top of the handle so that it only sticks out a little at the end. Place the bit into the bowl outlet and crank. As you do this, if you feel resistance just pull away a little, jiggle the handle, and crank again. A closet augur works well because it can grab blockages and remove them from a toilet, but it can't deal with solid objects such as toys. If you suspect something solid may be blocking the toilet, remove the toilet to reach the blockage.
  • Note: Chemical drain cleaners are not meant for toilet clogs. They don't solve toilet blockage problems and can make it more dangerous to plunge or augur through a clog.


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