Food scraps, hygiene products or just too much toilet paper can clog a toilet. To allow the water to drain away again, you must unclog it or hire a plumber to do it for you. With our tips, you can learn how to plunge a toilet and which simple home remedies can unclog and how to get your toilet unclogged quickly.
Toilet brush and hot water
In case of lighter clogs, using the toilet brush to clean the drain may be sufficient: Insert the brush head deep into the drain and then move it back and forth with vigorous movements. In this way, you can at least loosen blockages in the upper siphon area. If the water drains away again, flush several times. While doing this, you can also clean the toilet brush in the drain at the same time.
Hot water which is no longer boiling can also unclog the siphon. Be careful: excessive temperatures could damage the delicate ceramics, so keep the water cool for about a minute.
Just pour several gallons directly down the toilet drain and allow the heat to work for a few minutes. If that alone does not help, then you can still try to remove the blockage with the toilet brush as described above. Stay tuned to know more about how to plunge a toilet.
Unclogging with pressure: The plunger
A suction bell (or sometimes called a “plunger”) is useful not only for a clogged toilet, but also for other clogged pipes and siphons in the bathroom and kitchen. A plunger is an elastic rubber bell attached to a wooden stick. It works with overpressure and underpressure and it works best under water. When the toilet is clogged, simply place the plunger with the opening down on the drain so it is completely covered.
Then, with a little momentum and measured force, press the handle down and pull it back up. By doing this, you generate alternating negative and positive pressure, which mechanically acts on the clog and pulls it upwards in particular. Stay tuned to know more about how to plunge a toilet.
What to plunge a toilet without the plunger?
In case you don’t have a plunger in your home and still are interested to know how to plunge a toilet, in this part of our article we will talk about how you can do this without a plunger. Stay tuned.
PET bottle as a plunger replacement
In case you don’t have a plunger in the house, you can also use an empty PET bottle for drinks. The best bottles to use are large ones (about 2 liters capacity) made of thin, pliable material. The important thing is that the bottle diameter is at least as large as the drain, so that enough negative pressure can build up.
Firmly attach the lid to the bottle and cut off the bottom of the bottle with a sharp knife or cutter. Then press the open end onto or into the drain hole and pump as you would with a plunger to loosen the blockage and clear the drain.
Vinegar and baking soda solve clogs overnight
With a bit of patience, vinegar and baking soda (a main ingredient in baking powder), you can also unclog your toilet without using force. In order to do this, first pour one or two packets of baking soda into the drain and then add a bottle of vinegar. As a result, a chemical reaction will take place, which you can further boost by adding about 3 liters of hot (but no longer boiling) water. Make sure there is sufficient ventilation and leave the mixture to soak in, preferably overnight. The toilet should no longer be clogged the next morning.
Stay tuned to know more about how to plunge a toilet.
A tool of the professionals: the pipe spiral
For blockages that sit behind the trap in the pipe, plunger, toilet brush and the like often do not get you far enough. Therefore, if the previous tips failed to solve the blockage, you will need a pipe cleaning spiral, such as those used by professionals. You can buy these spirals in various sizes and designs in hardware stores.
They are made of a helical, flexible shaft that can be set into a spinning motion by a crank at the back end. A small tool shaped like a gripper or open-end wrench sits at the front end. It is long enough to reach into the pipe system and remove debris and clogs, for example on a pipe bend.
Gently insert the pipe spiral into the toilet drain. Keep pushing until you feel significant resistance. Next, turn the crank with light pressure to allow the tool attached to the tip of the spiral to unclog the blockage. Once the water is no longer standing, but draining away again, gently pull out the pipe spiral and flush with a few liters of hot water. If all this doesn’t help, you need to call in a professional plumber.
Are you still unsuccessful with the pipe spiral and the water is still stuck in the toilet? If so, it appears to be a more stubborn or particularly deep-seated blockage. It could be due to a clogged downspout, for example. Maybe the cause is on a floor of the house below your apartment, in the basement or even in a municipal pipe.
Only a professional can help in such a case. If you are a rental tenant, immediately inform your landlord and ask him to hire a plumber to get to the bottom of the matter and fight the evil at its root.
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Toilet clogged: Who has to pay the costs?
If the toilet clog was triggered by your error or neglect, you will be held liable for the cost of repair. If the damage was incurred by everyday use, the homeowner could pay for the repairs.
You have the option (and should) to tell the landlord that repairs are needed. If a verbal note prompts an urgent repair response, it’s easier to put this in a written notice.
If you would not receive a satisfactory response to the request and the issue is serious, you can refuse to pay rent, which, if done incorrectly, may result in an eviction lawsuit being filed against you.
You may even fix the issue and subtract the expense from your rent. You must allow the landlord a sufficient amount of time to complete the repair before using the repair and subtract remedy. In the lack of proof to the contrary, the law assumes that 30 days is fair.
Do you know any other tips on how to plunge a toilet? Let us know in the comments section below.