We’ve all experienced a blocked toilet before. Such blockages can temporarily put your toilet out of use and can be pretty embarrassing if you’ve got guests around (or you are a guest around someone else’s house!).
Your first instinct may be to call a plumber to remove the blockage. However, quite often this isn’t necessary. Below are just a few tips from a Newcastle plumber that could enable you to unclog that toilet yourself.
Causes of a blocked toilet
A blockage is commonly caused by too much toilet paper. However, other objects that are not designed to go down the toilet could also be the culprit. All in all, the most common causes of blockages include:
- Too much toilet paper
- Baby wipes
- Cotton balls
- Menstrual pads/tampons
- Toys thrown into the toilet by a child
Ways to unblock a toilet
There are a few methods that you can use to try to unclog a toilet…
Check for a visible blockage
If the source of the blockage is visible, you may be able to remove it simply by putting on your rubber gloves and pulling it out with your hand. If you cannot see the source, then another method may be required.
Try dish soap
Squirting some dish soap into the toilet bowl may help to make the blockage more slippery so that it can be more easily removed. Let the dish soap settle for thirty minutes and then try pouring a bucket of warm water down the toilet. The force of the water combined with the lubrication of the dish soap should help to free up the blockage.
Use a heavy duty plunger
A heavy duty plunger is also worth owning for these situations. Place it over the centre of the toilet bowl and apply downward pressure. Do this several times if it doesn’t work on the first try. This should be enough to free up most blockages.
Hook the blockage with a coat hanger
You may be able to free up the blockage using a spare wire coat hanger. By unravelling the coat hanger, you can then feed it down the toilet drain pipe and attempt to hook the blockage.
Mix hot water, baking soda and vinegar
Hot water, baking soda and vinegar can make a great DIY drain cleaner. Sprinkle some baking soda into your toilet and leave it for thirty minutes. Then prepare a small bucket of hot water and vinegar and pour this slowly down the toilet. The vinegar, water and baking soda should react and help break down the blockage. It’s important to pour slowly so that you don’t turn your toilet into a science fair model volcano.
Try a bio-cleaner
There are many drain cleaning products that you can buy. Most plumbers will recommend using a bio-cleaner – not only are these products eco-friendly but they’re less likely to damage your pipes than a chemical drain cleaner. Try buying one of these cleaning liquids to use in the event of future blockages.
Use a drain snake
For blockages deep within your drain pipe, you may be able to use a drain snake. These are flexible metal ropes that you can use to free up any blockage. Simply feed the drain snake through the toilet until you feel some resistance. Then try to wriggle it around until there is no more resistance.
The above tips should be able to help unclog your toilet without needing the help of a plumber. Of course, if they don’t work, don’t hesitate to contact a blocked drain professional – some blockages are not an easy fix and may require more complex tools and methods to remove.