How to unclog a Toilet
- Toilet Snake
- Rubber gloves
Toilet Not Flushing All the Way? Here’s What to Do.
A slow draining toilet means that your toilet drain is partially or completely plugged. Most clogged toilets are what are known as “slow drainers.” That is, flush water partially fills the bowl but doesn’t rush out and clean away the waste. The water level remains high, then usually drains down to normal height within a minute or two. You might not even know the toilet is clogged until you flush it. So if you suspect a problem, test the drainage first, then reach for the toilet plunger.
How to Test the Drainage of a Toilet That Won’t Flush
Before trying to unclog the toilet through brute force, remove the tank lid, lift the flapper valve slightly to let a cup or two of water into the bowl, and see if the water goes down. Have towels ready, though, because flushing a clogged toilet may flood your floor!
Unclog a Toilet: Begin With a Plunger
For about 90 percent of clogged toilets, you only need one special tool — a toilet plunger. Buy a toilet plunger with an extension flange on the rubber bell-shaped end. A toilet plunger with an extension flange is designed to fit toilets better, so you can deliver more “oomph” to the plunge. The toilet plunger will unplug sink and tub drains, too, if you simply fold the flange back into the bell.
How To Use a Plunger
First, plunge the toilet with the rubber flange pulled out to get a better seal. Push in and out vigorously, keeping enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger. As always, towels handy to wipe up any water that splashes out.
A toilet plunger fits over and seals the toilet drain. Wear rubber gloves — things can get messy— and follow these plunging tips:
- Make your first plunge a gentle one. Initially, the bell will be full of air. A hard thrust will force the air back around the seal and blow water all over the bathroom and you!
- Once you force out the air, plunge vigorously in and out, maintaining the seal. You’ll be forcing water in both directions in the drain, which will effectively loosen most clogs. Stick with it, plunging 15 to 20 times if necessary.
- Be patient. Try alternating between steady strokes and occasional monster heaves.
- Keep enough water in the bowl so the toilet plunger stays covered. Trying to force air through the toilet trap won’t generate much pressure.
Most of the time, plunging is all it takes to clear the clog. But for tougher clogs, try using a toilet snake.
(Note: If you have repeated clogging, it might be a toilet performance issue. )