Tips to Unclog Your Toilet before it Overflows
A clogged toilet is one of the most common household issues that everyone occasionally encounters. Dealing with this problem isn’t necessarily hard work for homeowners, because they can instantly summon a licensed local plumber to handle it.
But what happens when your toilet becomes heavily clogged and is about to flood your bathroom within seconds? Are you skilled enough to manage the situation before the plumber arrives? What do you do?
You don’t have to be an expert to fix an overflowing toilet before it damages the floor and other areas. With basic knowledge on how a toilet works, coupled with a little practice, you can clear a clog like a pro before it turns into a disaster.
Here are simple tips to unclog your toilet and prevent flooding:
- Prevent your toilet from filling. If you see that water might overflow out of the toilet, quickly take the lid off the tank and close the toilet flapper (flapper valve). If you’re worried a flush might turn into a flood, remove the top before you press the handle. Keep one hand close to the flapper and your other hand on the handle. Prepare to unclog the toilet once you see water rise.
- Turn off the water. Many toilets have a water shutoff valve behind or near the bottom of the unit. You can quickly turn the handle (like that of an outdoor hose/spigot) and turn off the localized supply without denying the rest of your house its water.
- Use the correct plunger. After stopping the possibility of bathroom flooding, get a plunger. Make sure to have a tight seal between the plunger and the toilet bowl drainage area to plunge effectively. Funnel-cup plungers are ideal, since their flange fits into the drain opening, allowing for a much better seal.
- Warm up your plunger. Before dipping your plunger into the toilet, run it under or soak it in hot tap water. Hard plungers don’t work as well as soft and supple ones. Warming your plunger will soften the rubber so it can get a a good seal on the toilet bowl.
- Plunge properly. Apply some force when pushing the plunger downwards and pulling it back. Do this a few times, then flush the toilet. You will know you’ve successfully unclogged the toilet if the water clears after flushing. If you’ve left the water on and the toilet begins to overflow again, close the flapper. Keep plunging and flushing until the clog is gone.
- Use hot water and detergent. Hot water and gentle detergent can help break up a clog and make plunging much easier. Add a generous amount of detergent (or liquid dish soap) into the bowl. The density and thickness of the soap should seep into the clog and lubricate it. Let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then pour a few cups of hot water into the toilet (avoid overflowing the toilet bowl). The heat from the hot water helps dissipate a clog.
Hopefully, these tips will help you prevent damage to your bathroom (and floors below). If all else fails, turn off the water supply to the house can contact your trusted local plumber.
Do not fret when these efforts don’t hold water. When all else fails, call Abbey Plumbing and Mechanical right away. Our expertise includes dealing with stubbornly clogged toilets and other plumbing problems in Mississauga. Call us at (905) 822-0521.