How to Fix a Clogged Toilet: DIY Fixes to Unclog a Commode

Toilet may become clogged with many items, from excess toilet paper to small objects that inadvertently end up being flushed. Most clogs can be resolved at home and any special equipment needed is readily available at home stores.

Unclog a Toilet Using a Plunger

Plungers are cheap, easy to use and effective at removing clogs withing toilet plumbing. Plungers that are best for toilets are “ball” shaped, where the end of the plunger protrudes slightly to fit better into the toilet hole. These plungers provide better suction since they fit tightly into the toilet. Plungers can be found at many stores and they are generally reasonably priced.

How to Use a Plunger

When using a plunger, make sure that there is water in the bowl but not so much water that the bowl is overflowing. Water is necessary to create suction and force the clog from the pipe. Place the tip of the plunger into the hole at the bottom of the toilet and press down to create a seal. Slowly pull the handle up and push it back down.

After several slow plunges, begin to pull the handle in a quick, short burst to create additional pressure to break down or remove the clog. If plunging has removed the clog, the toilet will drain and may be tested again by flushing.


Using a Toilet Snake

Hardware stores and home stores sell toilet snakes which can be used to remove stubborn toilet clogs. Snakes designed for use in the toilet will not scratch the surface. A snake is a coil of metal that can be forced into the plumbing. By twisting the handle, the coil is forced further and further into the pipe, eventually making contact with the clog and breaking it down or pushing it through. Toilet snakes work to remove clogs when a plunger is unable.


Toilet Overflow Problems

When a toilet has clogged and begins to overflow, take quick action to stop the problem from escalating. Turn off the water supply at the toilet so no additional water enters the tank. Do not try to flush the toilet again, as the clog will remain and just cause water to overflow onto the floor. Remove water from the toilet using a bucket or wet vacuum until the water level is manageable and a plunger may be used.


Chemicals in Your Toilet

Using a chemical drain cleaner to remove a clog may cause additional problems. Chemicals can damage plumbing and make any water that overflows dangerous to remove. Often, the cause of the clog is not known, and chemicals will not work to break down most objects that have lodged in pipes.

Trying most do it yourself techniques can remove a clog from a toilet so that the toilet may be used again. If a toilet remains clogged after plunging and using a toilet snake, contact a plumber as more extreme measures may be necessary. Taking steps to improve a toilet with a weak or sluggish flush can stop a clogging problem before it starts.