The next article in our homeowner’s how-to series is going to show you what to do for a clogged toilet.
What NOT to Do
While there are a number of chemical products on the market that claim to break down blockages, we don’t recommend using these for your clogged toilet, especially not Drano. (Even the packaging says not to use Drano in a toilet, it can lead to serious problems and health risks.)
Not the least of these concerns are the potential for accidentally mixing chemicals in your quest to clear the clog, and creating possibly deadly toxic fumes. Even if you were to just use one product, say Drano, here’s what could happen to your plumbing:
The product uses chemicals to break down the blockage, and this process generates heat. This is only meant for certain types of clogs in drains, and your toilet isn’t equipped to handle this type of chemical reaction.
If you have PVC pipes, which is a type of plastic, they could soften from the heat. If you have older, corroded pipes, they can be damaged from this reaction, too. Not to mention the porcelain itself can crack, meaning you’d need a whole new toilet.
And, best case scenario, if none of these problems happened to your plumbing, but the blockage didn’t clear, and you tried to plunge again, some of the product could splash up and burn your skin.
What TO Do
So if you shouldn’t use chemicals to unclog your toilet, what should you do?
Clearing toilet blockage is, as you might have guessed, best done with a plunger.
The bell-shaped plungers that are created specifically for toilets are what will work best, as this forms the best suction around the opening in the toilet.
If your plunger is extra stiff, it will be hard to get a good seal, which is vital to a proper plunge. To soften it up a bit, you can run the plunger under hot water in your sink for a few minutes until the rubber is a bit more supple.
Remember to start slowly, as sudden pressure from the plunger can often cause waves of water to cascade of out the toilet and onto your bathroom floor.
Put the emphasis on the pulling motion, not the pushing, as you are trying to dislodge whatever is stuck in the pipes beneath the toilet so that it can drain again.
Troubleshooting a Clogged Toilet
If the blockage was caused by too much toilet paper, and plunging doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, you might try letting the toilet sit for a while. The toilet paper will break down after a short time, and the clog may then pass with another flush, or it may be able to be passed with another round of plunging.
If That Doesn’t Work
It’s time to call BEST Plumbing Service of Cincinnati. We’ll bring out a professional-grade auger and get to the root of the clog. Give us a call now if you need help unclogging your toilet!