How To Unclog a Toilet the Right Way: A Helpful Guide

plumber fixing toilet fixture

We've all been there: you flush the toilet, but instead of flowing away down the pipes, the water starts to rise and rise.

A clogged toilet is one of the most common plumbing problems in the home. Fortunately, it is also one of the easiest jobs to take care of yourself! 

Do you need to learn how to unclog a toilet? Follow our handy guide on how to get flushing again.

How to Unclog a Toilet

Unclogging a toilet is a painless do it yourself plumbing job. With a few simple tools, you can unclog your toilet like a pro. This step-by-step guide will show you the way. 

Step 1 - Turn Off the Water Supply

First, avoid the mess of a bunch of water flooding out of the toilet. You need to stop the flow. There are two ways to do this.

One simple way is to locate the valve on the bottom of the toilet. Turn it until the water supply shuts off. Remember to turn it back on when you're done!

If you can't locate the valve or your toilet doesn't have one, lift the lid on the toilet tank. You'll see a rubber flapper near the bottom of the tank. Hold that closed with your hand to keep the water from running into the toilet.

Step 2 - Get the Plunger

Most homes are equipped with a plunger, but if yours isn't, it's time to buy one! A toilet plunger is slightly different from a sink plunger, so make sure you choose the right one.

You might need to warm up the plunger by running it under hot water. This will soften the rubber and make the next step a bit easier.

Step 3 - Create a Seal

Place the rubber end of the plunger in the toilet and press it firmly against the drain hole. The plunger works by creating a kind of vacuum pressure, so make the plunger seal as tightly as possible to the drain.

Step 4 - Plunge Away

Without lifting the rubber off of the hole, push and pull the handle of the plunger. You'll be able to feel if you have a tight seal as there will be a little bit of pressure. The pressure should push the clogging material along, allowing the rest of the water to flow out.

After five or six thrusts, lift the plunger to see if the water drains. You may need to repeat this step two or three times.

Step 5 - If Plunging Doesn't Work

A tenacious clog won't always bow to the plunger. In this case, you can use a toilet auger to snake into the drain and clear it out.

A toilet auger has rubber coating around it so that it doesn't scratch your bowl. Make sure you choose the correct type of auger so you don't cause any damage!

Take the Plunge!

This handy guide for how to unclog a toilet should get you up and running again. If your clog just won't budge, or if your toilet overflows, call a professional plumber.


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