You just finished using the toilet, flushed, and suddenly you’re in the midst of a plumbing disaster. Your eyes go wide and you start to panic as you see the water rising towards the brim of the toilet and there’s nothing you can do. We’ve all been there before, and sometimes it even happens at someone else’s house. Although you might not be able to fix the embarrassment, you can certainly fix a small plumbing problem such as a clogged toilet. Most people think the solution is sticking in a plunger. While that can work, you need to use the proper technique. There are also some other ways methods and ideas you can use to make the job easier.
If you notice the water level rising alarmingly fast, and you still have your wits about you, the first thing you should do is turn off the water. There’s normally a small knob behind the toilet towards the base. Turn it tight to shut off the flow and prevent a potential flood. If it looks like there won’t be an overflow, whatever you do, do not flush it again. There is always the temptation, especially if the water manages to drain itself out, but a second flush will greatly increase your plumbing woes.
If you can, allow as much water as you can to drain out of the bowl. If it doesn’t appear to be draining or is taking a long time, you can slap on some gloves and a brave face and remove some of the excess water with an old cup or coffee can. You’ll want most of the water to be emptied from the bowl before attempting to unclog the blockage. Pick up any rugs or towels off the floor to prevent them from getting wet or soiled. If possible, cover the floor in something absorbent to catch any stray drops, such as newspaper or old rags.
The most common reaction of people is to rely on the plunger to solve all of their plumbing issues. Before you reach for it, there is an easier solution. Grab some dish soap and squirt a good amount straight into the toilet. Chase the soap down with some hot water, but make sure it isn’t boiling as you could crack the bowl. After five minutes or so the water level should start going down as the clog dissolves. If the bowl is nearly empty, you can give it a flush, but be cautious because if you failed to break up the clog you might get an overflow.
If soap and water doesn’t work, another great method is using a wire coat hanger. All you have to do is unravel it and straighten out as best as you can. Insert the coat hanger into the pipe and gently push any obstruction you come across. You might have to twist it a bit to hit the right spot. This is sort of a plumbing bargain version of the snake tool that professionals use, but you’ll save a bit of cash.
Source by Andrew Stratton