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How to Unclog a Toilet – Tips from the Pros

Can’t get your toilet unclogged? You’ve come to the right place! There’s nothing worse than having a stubborn clog in your toiletUnclog a toilet using these tips from professional plumbers:

Wait and Flush Again

The easiest way to unclog a toilet full of poop is to just simply wait and flush the toilet again after the waste has had a chance to break up on its own – typically 30 minutes or so. Obviously, this won’t help is you have a serious toilet clog. But for minor clogs, this can do the trick. If you know that the clog is due to too much paper or too much waste in the toilet, this can be an effortless way to take care of the situation.

Of course, while you’re waiting, the toilet can’t be used by anyone else, and you’ll have to deal with the gross factor of having a waste-filled toilet. Therefore, this is not recommended for people who don’t have another bathroom option. Unfortunately, if the clog is worse than expected, flushing the toilet again can cause an overflow situation. So, if you’re trying this unclog toilet method, keep a close eye as water fills the bowl and be ready to turn off the water shut off at the wall to avoid disaster.

Use a Plunger

Plunging the toilet is the fastest way to get rid of a clog. Position the plunger over the hole in the bottom of the toilet. (For comfort-style toilets with oval holes, you may need to use a special shaped plunger to form an effective seal.) Thrust inward rapidly to jet pressure behind the clog. Ideally, while plunging you want enough water in the bowl to provide enough force to help loosen the clog, but not so much that it will slosh or splash out. You may need to repeat the thrusting action several times, but when the clog releases, you will hear a whoosh of water and see it go down quickly.

For major toilet clogs, however, a plunger may not be the appropriate tool to use to unclog a toilet. In fact, a plunger can push major clogs further into plumbing, compounding the issue. If you try plunging and the clog still won’t budge, you will need to try a toilet auger (a.k.a. snake).

Snake the Toilet

If your toilet won’t unclog after using the previous tips, it will likely need to be snaked. A toilet auger, or toilet snake as it’s better known, is a long metal line that is fed into the toilet and rotated to break through especially difficult clogs. While anyone can buy a toilet snake at their local hardware store, using one effectively requires some know-how. If you’re not careful, you can easily scratch or crack the toilet bowl, or break interior plumbing components. If you’re not sure how to effectively operate a toilet snake, this task is best left to the pros - call a licensed plumber to avoid incurring additional cost later.

Call a Plumber

An emergency plumber can come out quickly and get your toilet unclogged and back to good working condition. Don’t be embarrassed to call in a local plumber to unclog a stinky mess. They’ve seen it all! There’s no judgement coming from plumbing experts who deal with these issues every single day! 

If the clog is a result of flushing something that never should have gone down the toilet in the first place (children’s toys, pet accessories, feminine products, a wild animal, etc.) call a local plumber immediately to fix the issue. They have the specialized tools needed to remove these types of problem items and save your plumbing.

Additional resources:
Common toilet issues
Using a toilet auger
Toilet won't stop running
Fix a singing toilet
Plunging didn't work