A blocked toilet is undoubtedly a very frustrating problem that you will want to have resolved as quickly as possible. Blocked toilets are the type of home emergency that get worse and worse as time goes on, and that can make a home become unlivable. Flushing wet wipes instead of toilet paper is said to cause up to 75% of sewer blockages a year.
With 247 Home Rescue’s specialist home emergency cover, you can make a claim for a blocked toilet repair at any time of the day, and should receive assistance from an emergency plumber in as little time as possible. But with a bit of hard work and elbow-grease, you might be able to unblock the toilet yourself.
You may need:
- A toilet plunger
- A pair of rubber gloves
- A stick or toilet brush
- A plumbing snake
Does the toilet flush?
If you suspect your toilet is blocked, then you should not flush it more than once. The toilet bowl should be able to safely hold one cistern of water, but if you flush the toilet more than once, the toilet bowl will fill up and potentially overflow. This will make the unpleasant task of unclogging a toilet significantly messier.
If the water is not draining out of the toilet at all, then it is totally blocked. If it drains out slowly, but does not get rid of all the waste in the toilet, then it is partially blocked.
Put some newspapers or towels down
Unblocking a toilet is no easy feat! No matter how careful you are, you’ll probably spill some toilet water on to the floor when unclogging a toilet. Make the post-repair clean-up job easier by preparing for messiness in advance.
Put on your rubber gloves
Put on your marigolds to protect yourself from any of the nasty substances you will be facing.
If you can spot the cause of the blockage, and think you can stomach removing it, then do so. You could try to break up the blockage using a stick, a toilet brush or a similar implement. You will probably want to throw this implement in the bin when you are finished.
If you can’t see the blockage, then you’ll have to use a plunger.
Turn off the water supply
To eliminate the risk of flooding, turn off the water supply to your toilet. There should be a faucet behind the toilet that you can turn to shut down the water supply. If you can’t find it, then turn off the water for the whole house at the stopcock.
You will want to use a specially-designed toilet plunger – while you may be able to successfully unblock a toilet with a sink plunger, toilet plungers are specifically designed with blocked toilets in mind.
The key difference between a regular plunger and a toilet plunger is the existence of an extension collar, which is made to fit inside the toilet. This collar creates a tight seal in the toilet and increases the suction power of the plunger.
Don’t start vigorously plunging immediately – the vacuum created by the plunger could cause dirty water to spray out of the toilet. Instead, start softly, ensuring that you have created a tight seal, and only begin plunging strongly when you have forced all of the air out of the plunger.
Preferably, the plunger should be completely submerged; water will create a lot more pressure in the pipes than an air bubble, and you should be therefore be plunging water down the toilet.
Use a plumbing snake
If you’ve been patiently plunging for a few minutes with no success, you may have to change tactics. A plumbing snake – available in most DIY and home improvement stores, and even in some supermarkets – is a long coil that you feed down your toilet until it reaches the blockage. Then try to carry on uncoiling the plumbing snake until you breach through the blockage, or if you are unable to do so, coil the snake back up and you may bring the blockage up with it.
Should you use chemicals?
Some people advise putting drain unblocker, a vinegar and baking soda combination, bleach, dishwashing soap or a range of other chemicals down the toilet. While these techniques can work properly, they are not a guaranteed cure, and if they fail, then you may simply make the blockage worse and make it more difficult to deal with.
It’s bad enough trying to unblock a toilet at the best of times, let alone when it’s filled to the brim with corrosive chemicals! Use bleach and other cleaning materials at your own risk, and wear protective clothing and safety goggles if you try to plunge a toilet you have poured chemicals into.
Call out the plumbers
If you’ve tried to unclog your toilet and failed, the blockage may be too far down the pipes for you to be able to reach, or may be within the mechanics of the toilet. You’ll have to call out a plumber to attend to your blocked toilet.
Contact us on 0345 3192 247 and we can help! Our technical teams will run through some simple troubleshooting tips with you to see if your problem can be resolved over the phone. If not, we’ll send a highly skilled and qualified plumber round to get your toiler blockage sorted as soon as possible.
There could be a number of reasons for your blockage so it’s better to trust the professionals. After all, you could end up making it worse and you could be faced with a hefty bill to pay to repair the damage. We help, we repair, we care.
While plumbers can be expensive, if you have home emergency cover with 247 Home Rescue, calling out a plumber doesn’t have to break the bank! And we can get an emergency plumber to you every day of the year; you’ll be able to flush your toilet again in a flash.
247 Home Rescue accepts no liability for any injuries or damages you sustain following the advice on this website. If in doubt, seek professional assistance.