Unblocking Toilets

Unblocking toilets is not the nicest job, but one we all end up doing at some point, so we thought we would write this guide to help you when the unfortunate event arises.

Gather toilet unblocking equipment

You will need:

A plunger

Rubber gloves

Old newspaper to cover the floor around the toilet

Bleach/drain unblocker/caustic soda

An opened window/fan

Don’t keep using the flush

If you try to flush the toilet once and it doesn’t flush properly, it’s blocked and no further flushing is going to help. If you know there’s something stuck in your toilet i.e. a bottle of something that’s fallen in, pop on a pair of gloves and pull it out. If it’s something a bit more sinister, then grab the plunger.

Locate the blockage

Lift the drain cover.  If the chamber is full of water then the blockage is further along the soil pipe. If the chamber is empty, the blockage is in the soil pipe between the toilet and the chamber, or in the pan. You can try and clear any blockages in the pipes by using drain rods or a wire coat hanger.

Use the plunger firmly against the blockage

Place a plunger under hot water to soften it for use.  The plunger should be shaped to seal the opening in the toilet bowl which will allow it to create the correct pressure and vacuum required, as well as help to avoid mess.  You will need an auger. An auger is a flexible rod that reaches far into the toilet controlled by a crank handle. Once the blockage is located, the auger will pull or push the item to remove it. Try the flush again hopefully the toilet will flush.

Dissolve the blockage

If you don’t think the toilet is badly blocked, you can try pouring hot water into the toilet bowl from a bit of a height before using a plunger – this can help dissolve the blockage, pushing it hard through the pipe.  If this doesn’t work, you may need to use some caustic soda or drain cleaner. Make sure you wear gloves for this step.

Clean up the evidence

Hopefully this has done the trick. Once unblocked and flushable, give your toilet a really good scrub and clean using strong bleach, always remember to air the room when using strong chemicals such a s bleach.

Ongoing issues

If the elbow grease plunger method doesn’t work, or if you continually have problems with a blocked toilet, there are several good quality unblockers on the market – you can find them in supermarket cleaning aisles.  Alternatively, call in a professional.