How can I unblock my toilet?
Blockages can be a huge inconvenience and a great source of stress, especially when the blockage is in your toilet. It is easy to take our drainage systems for granted, and we often forget about how to take care of our drains. If you are experiencing a blockage in your toilet, this can be a pain but there are things you can do if the blockage is not too large. The most important thing is that you act quickly, because the longer you leave it, the larger the blockage is going to get and then it will start to cause some much bigger problems. Save yourself time and money and act as soon as you spot the blockage.
The most important part of unblocking any toilet is to avoid flushing. In most cases you will notice that the toilet is blocked once you have tried flushing, where you will see the water level rising rather than lowering. But it is very important that you do not continue to flush it if this happens.
No amount of flushing will dislodge the blockage, and continuing the flush the toilet will only increase the water levels until it spills over. This can pose a health risk as the dirty wastewater will contaminate your bathroom and you can become very ill from this. More about sewers here.
Once you have identified the blockage, your next step is to find out where it is. The number one way to do this will be to put on some rubber gloves and have a feel around the base of the toilet bowl to see if you can feel for the blockage. If you find anything, perhaps some waste or a build up of toilet paper, you can use your hands to loosen and dislodge the blockage. You can also check to see the water levels in the chamber – if the chamber is empty, then the blockage is between the chamber and the toilet, but if the chamber is full then the blockage is further down the pipelines.
The next step is to tackle the blockage. You can use a plunger to dislodge the blockage and remove it. Make sure that the plunger is shaped to the opening of the toilet bowl to create the right amount of pressure needed to either pull or push the blockage. Make sure that this step is done carefully to avoid forcing the water to spill over the bowl. Once the blockage is dislodged, it can usually be removed by flushing it away. You can then test how well the blockage has been cleared by placing a sheet of toilet paper in the bowl and flushing. How well the paper flushes away will indicate how well the blockage has been cleared.
If you do not have a toilet plunger, a wire coat hanger is your best bet. Straighten out the hanger so that it is one long wire, and bend the wire into a curve so that you can push it into the toilet pipe leading up to the chamber. Wiggle the wire around a bit to try and clear the blockage, but make sure to do this step carefully so as not to damage the toilet bowl by scratching it.
Some blockages are very small and in these scenarios you may not even need to go to the lengths of using a plunger or a coat wire to dislodge them. Pouring boiling hot water down the bowl can dissolve the blockage if it is not too severe, although sometimes you may need to follow it up by using a plunger just to give the blockage a little extra push. Failing this, you may need to use baking soda or a drain cleaner to clear the blockage with extra strength. These can be found in most supermarkets in the cleaning products aisles.
Taking these steps can be an efficient and cost-effective way of unblocking the toilet yourself. However, if you are unsure of what to do, or if the blockage is too large to remove yourself then it is important that you call a professional drain technician. With years of experience and training they will be fully equipped to tackle your blocked drain with the latest technology and equipment, guaranteeing you high standard work and safe results.