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How To Unblock a Toilet

Jun 21, 2008
Unblocking a toilet is not the most desired of jobs but when that toilet backs up you just have to roll up the sleeves and just get in to it. Knowing the basics of how to clear a blocked toilet is a handy thing to know and can save you the need to call the plumber.

Unblocking toilets is most of the time a simple job that can be undertaken by the homeowner with a few simple tools that can be obtained at most plumbing supply or hardware stores. Things you can use to clear a toilet blockage are a plunger, old rag head mop and the good old coat hanger.

Unblocking a toilet with a plunger is the most common technique used and there are two main types you can buy to get the job done. The first type is the standard old school rubber bell shaped plunger that you see in every second home that you go two, and the second type is the new age concertina plastic style plunger found in many stores today. The first type of plunger does get the job done but is nowhere near as efficient as the new concertina style plunger and is now the weapon of choice for many Licensed Plumbing contractors. The reason behind the new concertina plungers efficiency is the increased pressure you can force down the drain because of the over sized air chamber compared to the old style plunger.

The technique used is the same with both styles. Put on your rubber gloves insert the plunger into the toilet and in forwards and backwards pumping motion, pump back and forwards until the toilet blockage clears. It can take a bit of effort and may take several attempts,don 't be afraid to put a bit of vigorous effort behind you plunging as you may need to force quite a bit of toilet paper and other unmentionables past the section it is blocking up against.

The second technique which is a bit of an improvised method but very effective none the less is the use of a rag style mop. This is a handy tip when you don't have access to a plunger and can get you out of a real stink, it also can keep you at a safer distance if you come across a real bad one. The method is the same as a hand held plunger insert the mop into the toilet push in all the way down to the bottom and vigorously use the short push and pull method to dislodge what's blocking the toilet. If this doesn't work then you can try method three, the coat hanger.

Unblocking a toilet with a coat hanger is a very in your face close and personal process and can only be tackled by the strongest of stomached people. You don't want to add to the problem with a weak stomach so if that person is you then it may be wise to call the plumber who sees this problem every day. But if you have a gut of steel the by all means dive in and coat hanger away. You can use a coat hanger to bend around the s bend of the toilet and work it through the blockage. Sometimes this works OK if the blockage is very close by and used in conjunction with the plunger can be just the trick needed to clear that stubborn toilet blockage.

Tip, when using the coat hanger, bend the end of the hanger in a small L shape so when you are working it through the blockage it will make a larger hole though the stoppage. The L shape bend can also be used as a hook to pull out a flushed children's toy or toilet bowl freshener that may have become lodged in the S or P bend of the toilet. Toilet fresheners and children's toys are a major cause of blocked toilets.

If all these methods fail then don't despair, you've done your best and your blockage could be far more serious and beyond the simple process of plunging. You may have tree roots blocking your pipe or a collapsed and broken pipe. If this is the case employing a qualified Plumber will be required to resolve your blocked toilet issue.
About the Author
Darrell Young is a third generation master plumber running his own plumbing
company since 2001. For more information and plumbing tips visit his web site at
www.calltheplumber.net.au
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