October 2, 2019

Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

To ensure that your toilet doesn’t overflow, remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the rubber flapper—unless you have a pressure-assisted tank. You may also reach behind the toilet and turn off the water supply. (Make sure you turn the supply back on when you’re ready to flush again.)

PLUNGER

Grab a heavy-duty rubber plunger—one with a fold-out rubber flange to help form a tight seal. First, run the plunger under hot water to soften the rubber. Submerge the plunger into the bowl allowing air bubbles to escape as you cover the hole. Start slowly—the first plunge will push air into the bowl. An excellent method is to ease firmly down and pull up with a snap to loosen the obstruction.

It may take 15 to 20 plunges and several attempts to loosen a stubborn clog. If the water in the bowl gets too low, add water to bring the level back up to normal.

TOILET AUGER

If plunging doesn’t work, a toilet auger funnels through a toilet’s trap-way to remove obstructions. Plumbing snakes are okay; however, the auger has a rubber coating that will protect your porcelain. Lower and feed the cable into your tank until you feel a block. Slowly turn the handle clockwise. When you feel resistance, rewind the snake and repeat this several times. When the water lowers in the tank, flush to see if the water drains properly.

The toilet auger is long enough to reach past the toilet, often to the main soil stack. If the clog lies beyond that point, potentially in the main sewer line, try an Enzyme Wast Removal product or call a professional.

Although not as efficient as the plunger and auger, you can try a WET/DRY VAC if you want to exhaust all methods. If you need to replace your toilet, using a WET/DRY VAC is an excellent way to empty the bowl.

WET/DRY VAC

It’s essential to use a WET/DRY VAC and not a regular vacuum cleaner because of the risk of electric shock. Grab a pair of gloves and vacuum the water out of the bowl. Push the vacuum hose into the drain a few inches and wrap a washcloth around the hose to create a vacuum seal. Keep pressure on the washcloth and turn on the vacuum to (hopefully) suck out the clog.

The following methods are ideal for small traps such as your sink or shower. They can also be used in your toilet; however, they may be less effective than the tactics mentioned above.

BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR

These two non-toxic household items are also excellent at cleaning surfaces, deodorizing—and helps with keeping drains running smoothly. Add one cup of baking soda to your drain. Slowly add two cups of vinegar. When combined, these two items will create bubbles. Allow the bubbles to work for 30 minutes then check.

DISH SOAP (OR SHAMPOO) AND HOT WATER

Not as exciting as watching bubbles, this combination is also powerful at softening clogs. Heat a gallon of water on the stove. Squirt some dish soap into your drain. Slowly pour the hot (NOT BOILING) water into the drain. Wait for 30 minutes, and hopefully, the clog will be gone.

If your toilet and sink are both draining slowly, you might consider the clog is in your main sewer line. Enzyme Wast Removal is ideal for unclogging organic matter that may exist in your main sewer line or septic.

ENZYME WASTE REMOVAL PRODUCT

Consider an enzyme waste removal product over a drain-clearing chemical because it will not harm the environment, pipes, or septic. Follow the instructions on the product label. Pour the suggested amount into your slow drain and let the product sit overnight.

If a clog persists or you notice that your tub and sink are draining slowly as well—or not at all—you may be dealing with a clog in your main sewer line. Give us a call for a Sewer-Cam video of your main sewer line.

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