How To Unclog a Toilet When the Plunger Isn’t Working

Published by Clements Plumbing Heating and Air on 2-28-2024

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When faced with a clogged toilet, the first tool most reach for is the plunger. However, sometimes, even this trusty device falls short.

At Clements Plumbing Heating & Air, we understand the frustration and urgency of plumbing issues. Today, we’ll guide you through how to unclog a toilet and what to do when a plunger isn't working.

Understanding the Plunger's Limitations

A toilet bowl plunger works by creating a seal around a toilet drain, followed by a vacuum effect when pushed down, which helps to dislodge the blockage. However, certain types of clogs, such as those deeper in the pipes or caused by non-flushable materials, might not budge with a plunger alone. That is where additional methods come into play.

Other Ways To Unclog a Toilet:

  • Hot Water and Dish Soap: Sometimes, a combination of dish soap and hot water helps to break down a clog. Mix a kettle of water with a few squirts of dish soap in a bucket.

Pour this mixture into the toilet bowl, wait a few minutes, and then flush. This method can help to soften and break down organic matter. But be cautious--water that is too hot can crack the porcelain.

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: A natural solution involves pouring a cup of baking soda followed immediately by two cups of vinegar. The chemical reaction can help to dislodge the clog.

Allow the mixture to fizz for a few minutes before attempting to flush. This method is gentle and environmentally friendly but might not be effective for severe blockages.

  • Toilet Auger: Also known as a plumbing snake, can reach deeper into the toilet pipe than a plunger. It's a flexible tool designed to navigate the curves of the toilet trap and break up or retrieve the clog. While toilet augers can be bought at hardware stores, using them requires care and understanding of your plumbing system.

When To Ask for Professional Help

While these methods are effective, they come with some risks. Using hot water, chemicals, or mechanical tools like augers can potentially damage your plumbing if not done correctly. That is where a professional plumber becomes invaluable, offering you:

  • Expertise: Trained plumbers have the knowledge and tools to accurately assess and resolve your plumbing issues without causing further damage.
  • Safety: DIY methods can pose risks, especially when dealing with unfamiliar tools or chemicals.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Attempting to fix a complex issue without proper knowledge can lead to costly repairs later on down the line. Plumbing professionals ensure the job is done right the first time.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your plumbing is in the hands of experienced professionals provides assurance and protects your property.

Can't Unclog a Toilet? Get the Help You Need

While a plunger is a go-to solution for a clogged toilet, it's not always sufficient. Alternative methods like hot water with dish soap, baking soda with vinegar, or using a toilet auger can be tried with caution.

However, for the safety of your plumbing and peace of mind, contacting a professional plumber from Clements Plumbing Heating & Air is often the best course of action. Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to plumbing.

Clements Plumbing Heating & Air is here to help when your plunger isn't working. Contact us at 417-682-3797.