Being able to unblock a toilet drain in your home can save you valuable time and money. Blocked toilets can happen for several reasons, but most are not serious and can be removed by following a few easy steps.
Before attempting to unblock your toilet's blocked drain, first, apply some damage limitation. Don’t repeatedly flush your toilet to remove a blockage - it may overflow and then you’ll have a mess to clear up as well as a blocked or badly clogged toilet drain!
What Are the Causes of a Blocked Toilet Drain?
Blocked toilet drains are usually the result of one or more of the following:
- Toilet paper
- Toys or other items thrown in by children
- Menstrual pads, tampons, and sanitary napkins
- Cotton balls
- Diapers and baby wipes
- Tree roots in your plumbing system
It’s also important not to just throw smaller blockages down another drain such as a bathroom sink - as that could also become blocked!
How To Unblock a Toilet Drain
1. Source & Locate the Problem
If the cause of the toilet blockage is visible from looking straight into the toilet bowl, put on a pair of rubber gloves and remove it. If you cannot see the cause of the blockage through the toilet water, then it’s time to experiment.
2. Add Dishwasher Liquid & Hot Water
Keep your rubber gloves on and drop a small amount of dishwashing liquid - also known as liquid dish soap or simply liquid soap - and a half bucket of hot water, pour it into the toilet bowl from waist height and leave for a few minutes. This form of homemade drain cleaner works quite well - more so than you may think - and may clear a blocked toilet without a plunger.
3. Plunge the Toilet to Loosen BlockageChoose a heavy-duty plunger with a flange on its base. Place the toilet plunger completely over the hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl until it is submerged in water. Press down firmly and slowly. Repeat.
4. Hook Toilet Blockage With Coat HangerNext, try using an unravelled wire coat hanger to hook the blockage. This technique is most effective when the toilet blockage is in the first 5cm – 10cm of the drain.
5. Remove Deeper Blockages With a Plumbing Snake/AugerIf the blockage is too deep to unblock with a coat hanger, a plumbing drain ‘snake’ or ‘auger’ is great at removing difficult toilet blockages. A plumbing auger is a coiled wire that can ‘snake’ through twists and turns in drains. Due to its high flexibility, a plumbing auger or toilet snake is incredibly effective in locating and removing deep toilet blockages.
6. Enzyme-Based Chemicals
Another method to unblock your toilet clogs is utilising an enzyme-based chemical drain cleaner to break down the solid matter that is causing the blockage. This will only work on organic matter (not objects or hair) and takes some time for effects to take place.
Alternatively, find a bucket and half fill it with hot water - not boiling water - baking soda and vinegar. This water-based solution is a great alternative to enzyme-based chemicals and is very effective at breaking down solid matter.
We Are the Perth Blocked Drain Experts
If none of the above helps you unblock your toilet or you find that clogged drain problems are recurring often, it might be best to get in contact with a blocked drain professional. The blockage may be too far down the pipe to fix with standard approaches.