Short of someone being hurt there are very few things that can happen around the house that can instantly put someone into a panic like an over flowing toilet. Whether it’s a kid screaming for help from down the hall or your own innocent trip to the bathroom gone horribly wrong because of a little too much toilet paper it’s always the same, instant freak out. In the best of these situations the water never reaches the top either out of pure luck or because the person involved was quick thinking enough to reach down and turn the water line off. But in the worst cases there is a nice pond of poo water all over the bathroom floor, talk about an instant bad day. Well, fixing this situation might seem easy but it rarely goes as easy as you would like even when there is no pond to clean up. This is especially true for those that have never had to deal with a clogged toilet before or those in the situation of not having any of the proper tools used for unblocking the toilet which seems to be the case more than not.
Either way this little guide has been written to help those that like to be prepared in advance with all the needed tools as well as for those that are quickly searching the internet trying to figure out how in the world they are going to unclog their toilet with none of the typical equipment on hand. To help you find the section that best fits your situation I have broken this guide down into two parts with the obvious titles of Prepared in Advance and Emergency. Good luck and I hope it helps.
Prepared in Advance - Tools for Unblocking a Toilet
There are many products on the market that are specifically designed for removing just about any clog you should be unfortunate enough to encounter. Here are a few that you will definitely want to have in your arsenal.
Everyone has seen a plunger either in public bathrooms or at some ones house butunfortunately not everyone has one, even though they should. And even if you do have one it’s amazing how many people really don’t know how to use one. So if you don’t have one go get one but do yourself a favor and Do Not buy one of those cheapie red ones. To be blunt they suck. Instead buy one like the Neiko Patented Heavy Duty All Angle Super Power Plunger. It only costs about $10 more but is 100% better at getting clogs out. The reason for this is that it covers the hole in the toilet better. If the hole doesn’t get covered completely which is typically the case with the cheapie models then it can’t make a good seal which in turn makes the plunger useless. Also there must be enough water in the toilet to completely cover the plunger or it will still not be able to make the necessary seal.
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How to Use a Plunger
So say there is a clog and there is water in the toilet simply place the rubber end of the plunger against the hole in the bottom of the toilet. Hold the handle firmly in both hands and start pushing towards the hole. If there is a good seal between the plunger and the toilet then the air pressure built up behind the plunger should push what ever is clogging the toilet on down the drain.
Now there is the chance that you could be doing everything right and still not get your toilet unclogged with a plunger. Sometimes what ever is in there is just too big. So if you really want to be prepared then the tool you will want to get is the...
Now unless you have been around plumbing and clogged drains and toilets a lot then you may have never seen one of these. Basically it is a big flexible corkscrew with a long handle with a crank on the end.
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How to Use a Toilet Auger
Take the auger and slide the corkscrew end into the hole of the toilet. Once you have pushed the screw down as far as you can which is usually to the point where the handle starts then you will want to stop. Now grab the handle in one hand and the crank handle in the other and start cranking. Once you begin cranking the auger slowly starts working its way through the neck of the toilet and eventually pushes out what ever is causing the blockage.
Now the auger is probably your best bet but it does come with one negative and that is that it could scratch the porcelain on your toilet. Augers are made with a short sleeve to help reduce this but it can be tricky and not guaranteed.
Unnecessary but Helpful Items
While your preparing there are a few other things you might want to buy and keep on hand and they are a bucket some old newspaper or old towels and some rubber gloves. These items will help with the clean up.
Unblocking a Toilet in an Emergency - No Tools
Ok, so you haven’t prepared in advance and you are freaking out because the water from the toilet is either on at the top of the bowl or on the floor and you have no plunger or any other tool that could help. What do you do? Well you have about three options the first and most likely to work is the...
The Coat Hanger Method
This is exactly what it sounds like. Take metal coat hanger and straighten it out. Then push it into the hole of the toilet which with any luck will push the clog through. There is a good chance this will scratch your toilet so be careful or just wait until you can get the proper tools.
Next is the...
The Bucket of Water Method
A word of warning if you try this it will more than likely make a mess and it might not even work. Take a bucket of hold it about waist high or a little higher and then poor the water out as fast as you can and straight into the hole. In theory the pressure from the water should push the clog down the drain.
And lastly if the previously mentioned methods didn’t work or seemed a little over the top you can try the...
The Old Mop Method
The way this works is by placing a garbage bag or grocery bag over the end of an old mop or toilet bowl brush and using it as a make shift plunger. This method has about as much a chance of working as the other two methods but don’t get your hopes up.
So as you can see as with most things it pays to think ahead and be prepared but if you didn’t then good luck with the three Hail Mary methods.