Toilet clogs tend to occur at the most inopportune of moments. While the signs might be clear, most of us will still be caught unawares. Clogged toilets can have long-lasting effects on your health, comfort, and finances. As such, this is a problem that needs to be dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner.
Although time will most likely be of the essence, you can clear most toilet clogs yourself. You only need to know how. Here are 10 most useful toilet unclogging tools and how each one works.
Although hyperactive toddlers are not more of a potential hazard than clogged toilets, there are many solutions to the latter. For this easy and effective technique, you’ll need a high-quality plunger. Unlike the small, cheap suction-cup types, large heavy-duty rubber plungers like the OXO Good Grips Hideaway Toilet Plunger and Samshow Powerful Manual Multi Drain Plunger are quite effective.
Insert the plunger into the bowl, submerging it in water and ensuring it covers the hole completely. Remember, you need to push and pull with water and not air. If necessary, add water to the bowl. When using a plunger, push down slowly to avoid a splash and then pull up sharply to dislodge the clog. Repeat until the water starts to drain. It could take a few tries though.
Wire coat hangers
While there are many solutions for a clogged toilet, wire coat hangers are probably the most readily available. This simple tool is surprisingly effective, especially for obstructions that are not located more than a few inches into the drain.
Unravel and straighten a regular wire coat hanger as best as you can. Create a small hook by bending one end over. Unfortunately, the wire’s sharp end can cause damage to the porcelain in your toilet. Wrapping the sharp end with a rag helps reduce the likelihood of damage. Use duct tape to secure the rag in place. Once you have rubber gloves on, push the wrapped end into the drain and start fishing.
You can get all sorts of stuff out of the drain by twisting and maneuvering the wire in a circular motion. Once you’ve removed as much gunk as you possibly can, run hot water to clear the drain. Pulling gunk out is always better than pushing it further in.
The clog might be out of reach of the wire coat hanger, making it impossible to pull out. In this case, pushing against the clog could help. The plumbing snake, also known as the toilet auger, can get deeper than the wire coat hanger.
This flexible coil of wire is designed to snake through a drain’s curves, allowing users to clear toilet obstructions without staining or damaging the porcelain. A good example is the RIDGID 59787 K-3 Toilet Auger, a low-tech piece of equipment that’s been known to work wonders. When using a plumbing snake, however, it might take some maneuvering to clear a clog.
Insert one end of the auger into the drain. Feed it further down until you feel an obstruction. You can break the obstruction into pieces small enough to move through the pipes by twisting and pushing the snake through the clog. To ensure your toilet is draining properly, flush it once the water drains.
4. Enzyme products
Some products, like the RID-X Septic Treatment and Flo-Kem 5195 Flo-Zyme Bio-Enzyme Drain Opener, contain enzymes that can liquefy waste materials. Since enzyme waste removal is not harmful to plumbing lines or the environment, it is better than using a drain-clearing chemical. Its effectiveness is, however, limited to organic waste.
Following the instructions provided, pour the enzyme product into your toilet bowl. Make sure you use the specified amount. Allow enough time for the enzymes to take effect. You may have to wait overnight before the clog clears.
5. Chemical drain cleaners
Besides being corrosive, the chemicals used in the manufacture of drain cleaners can be harmful to human beings and the environment. As such, you should use chemical drain cleaners only as a last resort. Examples include Drano Max Clog Remover and Sani Sticks.
Pour the stipulated amount into the clogged toilet, making sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to keeping the lid down once you’ve added the drain-cleaning chemical, you can prevent exposure to the toxic chemicals by ensuring the bathroom is well ventilated. While drain-cleaning chemicals do not work on hard objects like toys, they should not be used in combination with a plunger.
6. Handheld drain cleaning machines
This machine comes with both the drop-head and open-hook style cables. Open the chuck assembly to load cable. Bend the first three inches of cable slightly and use short strokes when loading. Tighten the column when you are done loading the cable. All you need to do now is power the device. With the cable inside the drain, press the trigger to start clearing the clog. The Spartan Tool 700 Handheld Drain Cleaning Machine is probably your best option.
7. Wet/dry vacuums
Unlike ordinary vacuum cleaners, wet/dry varieties like the PowerSmith PAVC101 and Shop-Vac 5986000 can be rather useful in unclogging toilets. Once you’ve set the cleaner to vacuum liquids, you’ll want to cover the vent. This should help prevent a mess.
Start by emptying the water out of the toilet bowl and then place the end of your vacuum’s flexible hose into the drain, pushing it in a few inches. Do not use an attachment hose. Create the tightest seal possible around the drain. You can use an old plunger head or coil an old towel over the hole.
With the vacuum set to its highest setting, turn it on. Using one hand, apply pressure on your seal to make it tight. Wait a few seconds for the vacuum to work. It may just be powerful enough to suck the clog out of the drain.
8. Dish detergents
You can unclog a toilet with as little as 1/4 cup of dish detergent. Pour this into the bowl and boil some water. Since dish soap acts as a lubricant, it can help break up the residue. Cascade ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent and Finish All in 1 Powerball Fresh Dishwasher Detergent Tablets are among the most effective toilet unclogging agents. Allow a few minutes before you pour down the hot water. If the water does not drain, get ready to start plunging.
9. Instant clog removers
This product is 10 times stronger than common drain cleaners and is best at dissolving organic drain clogging materials. Pour the recommended amount of Instant Power Hair Clog Remover into the clogged toilet. Wait 10-20 minutes and then pour hot water down the drain to dissolve the nastiest of blockages.
10.Cable drum machines
You will need a screw driver, pair of rubber gloves, rag, and safety goggles. Use a screw driver to attach the provided cutter to the end of the cable.
Plug the machine into a power outlet, resetting the GFI. Loosen the thumb-screw and feed the cable into the toilet drain until you feel an obstruction. Tighten the thumb-screw to keep the cable from feeding back into the drum. Place the motor in the forward position and depress the foot pedal to start the drum turning.
Do not apply to much force against the obstruction. Let the cutter do its job. Keep feeding the cable into the drain and run the machine until the clog is clear. The Cobra Products 1809763 is one of the best cable drum machines.
Toilets tend to clog quite easily, especially when we develop a habit of flushing too much waste. Fortunately, these readily available tools can help resolve most situations. If what’s causing the clog is an object like a toy, you can try reaching in to remove it. To do this, you need to put on a good pair of elbow-length rubber gloves.
Regardless of the cause, you don’t always have to rely on the services of that expensive emergency plumber. Before you resort to calling in the pros, you should try the solutions listed above. But if all your efforts are unsuccessful, engaging a professional might be the best option.
July 3, 2018