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How Do I Unclog a Toilet?

A clogged toilet can turn into a red alert crisis situation very quickly if it's not handled correctly. Whether toilet paper, waste or other items are the culprit, it's essential to understand how to remove the blockage in a fast and effective manner. Here are a few tips to help you unclog a toilet:

Use a plunger

Most clogs occur inside the trapway beneath toiletsA plunger should be a mainstay tool for any bathroom. In fact, two different types plungers should be in every home. A toilet plunger and a sink plunger. A toilet plunger is usually black and has a deeper cup than a sink plunger, which is usually red with a shallow cup. Sink plungers aren’t very effective on toilets so you’ll get far better results if you’re using a proper toilet plunger. Obstructions in your toilet, sink or bathtub pipes are going to happen, so a pair of quality plungers will be a worthwhile investment. Position your plunger to make a seal with the drain opening. You should start with soft plunges at first, then use more vigorous motions to loosen the clog and push it through. It may take some time to fully force down the blockage, but alternating between steady strokes and vigorous ones will often create enough pressure to get the job done. Watch Roto-Rooter’s video to learn how to plunge a toilet like a plumber.

How to Plunge a Toilet

Grab plumbing tools

If you're not getting anywhere with the plunger, you may need some other tools to help your efforts. A plumbing snake can clear the drain of debris by either breaking it up or pulling it out. Twist and pull the snake through the obstruction to clear it. A toilet auger can deliver similar results and will effectively eliminate stubborn clogs.

Pour in chemicals

Chemicals should only be used if you've already tried the first two options. An enzyme waste removal product can break down waste and can be found in most hardware stores but they tend to take longer than caustic chemicals. Don’t forget to wear eye protection when using chemicals. It’s important to follow the directions as shown on the bottle, and you will likely have to wait overnight for chemicals or enzymes to clear a toilet clog.

If you need a more immediate solution, hot water and dish soap can be your best bet. Carefully pour some dish soap into the toilet, water for a few minutes, then wash down with a bucket of hot water. This should help break up the obstruction enough to flush it. This method can get messy, so make sure to prepare your bathroom beforehand.

If you've tried all of these methods to unclog a toilet and still can’t clear the clog, it may be time to call in a professional. If a kid puts a toy down the drain or another object ends up in your drain system, a plumber can easily find and remove the item. Contact a Roto-Rooter plumbing professional to help with your plumbing, sewer and drain problems any time of day or night.

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