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How To Unclog A Toilet


Toilet stoppages are common and quite disruptive. Luckily clearing a stopped up toilet is not difficult with a few tools and a little know how. The following steps show how to unclog a toilet by starting with the easiest method and progressing to a more involved process for difficult stoppages. Using one or all of these methods should be enough to clear the majority of toilet stoppages.

1. Use A Plunger

Toilet plunger
Home Depot
The first step to clearing a clogged toilet is to use a plunger. The key to clearing a sink clog with a plunger is knowing how to use the plunger correctly. Although using a plunger may appear to be self-explanatory it is possible to use it incorrectly. If you learn the correct way to use a plunger it can become a very effective tool. Try clearing the stoppage by plunging the toilet several times and allowing time in between plunging (about 1 minute) for the clog to move down the line. A plunger, used correctly, can clear many of the most common drain stoppages in the home.

Note: Using the right plunger for the job is a good way to ensure that you can clear the stoppage. It’s a good idea to have a plunger for each type of drain.

2. Use An Auger

Toilet auger
Aaron Stickley
When a plunger is not enough to clear a clogged toilet, the next option is a toilet auger. The flexible cable in a toilet auger is fed into the toilet drain using a hand crank. The sturdy head of the cable is designed to dislodge tough clogs. When used correctly a toilet auger can clear a clog without scratching the toilet bowl.

3. Look For Signs Of A Main Line

Since toilets have the most direct path to the sewer and the biggest drain line in the house they will usually be one of the first signs of a sewer main clog. If more than one fixture is clogged look for the list of signs that indicate a possible sewer clog before trying to unclog the toilet. A sewer main clog needs to be cleared through the clean out and it requires a sewer drain snake.

4. Look For Roots In The Drain Line

Roots in toilet train line
Aaron Stickley
If your house has a slab foundation it is possible for tree roots to grow up from under the slab, into the bottom of the toilet, and then grow back down into the drain pipe. Roots growing up from under the house’s slab foundation can cause all kinds problems including frequent toilet stoppages.

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