How to unclog a toilet

toilet flapper diagram resized 600

toilet clog

Unclog a toilet with a few simple steps

In our last blog post, we pointed out a cool, innovative toilet design that can help eliminate the damages done by a toilet overflow.  But, what if you don’t have one of those new toilets? What should you do if your toilet is clogged or it is getting ready to overflow? Follow these simple steps to avoid a major mess to your Indianapolis area home! If you have no desire to try to unclog the toilet yourself, skip to Method #3, call an Indianapolis area plumber!

WARNING! If your trying to flush the toilet and it is clogged, DO NOT continue to try and flush it. Chances are you will make things worse! Read below:

Method #1: Plunging (Try this first)

  1. First things first: If water is rising in the bowl and you hear water still running, turn off the water shut off. Usually located down near the baseboards behind the toilet, grab the water shut off and turn it clockwise, or to the right. Remember, most things are righty tighty, lefty loosy. This will stop water from filling up the tank.
  2. Next, take the cover off the tank and look inside. Make sure the toilet flapper (the piece of rubber that covers the water intake hole) is closed over the hole.
  3. Now that water is no longer filling the toilet and the flapper is closed, grab your toilet plunger. Slowly insert the plunger into the toilet to avoid splashing (toilets arent always the most sanitary items in our home).
  4. toilet plungerLine up the bottom (suction end) of the plunger over the toilet waste hole.  Slowly and firmly press down on the plunger and slowly release.  You may have to repeat this a few times.  Again, plunge firm and slow…unless you like splashing toilet water all over! Yuck.
  5. If plunging a few times doesnt not release the clog, move onto the next method.

toilet auger - closet snake

Method #2: (Closet snake or toilet auger)

  1. Insert the closet snake or auger into the toilet, as far as it will go until you hit or feel the clog…hopefully it is within the toilet! If you don’t feel the clog with the length of snake or auger, you may need a longer snake or may need to remove the toilet to feed a larger snake into the drain.  If your NOT handy at all, we recommend to call in a plumber that may save you time and a lot of cursing!
  2. With the closet snake or auger inserted into the toilet drain, rotate the handle around and around and then slowly pull it out of the drain hole. Hopefully, the offending materials are attached! If so, clean off the auger and repeat, just to be sure you got everything.
  3. Clean off your tools! Since toilets are dirty, be sure to clean your auger or closet snake with hot water and bleach to kill any germs. Let dry and store for reuse at a later time.

call a plumberMethod #3: (call a plumber)-For those who despise this kind of thing.

  1. Pick up phone.
  2. Call a local plumber (we recommend Carter’s My Plumber, located in Greenwood Indiana)
  3. Make a drink, watch them solve the problem, save your stress/blood pressure/obscenities!
  4. Continue on with your day, dignity intact!

Do you have questions about fixing stuff around your Indianapolis home? Feel free to Ask The Expert – Indianapolis home experts, brought to you by Gettum Associates, Inc.

CLICK HERE to Check out a video from This Old House on unclogging a toilet.

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