Is Your Toilet Clogged? Here Are Some Options.
If you have a clogged toilet, it must be dealt with immediately before it becomes a bigger problem and possibly even a health hazard.
The main reason that a toilet becomes clogged is simple – people throw things into the toilet as if it were a garbage can – and these things things should never be thrown into a toilet. The only things that should go into a toilet are human waste and toilet paper.
OK, so it’s too late – your toilet is clogged. What to do now?
You basically have two options when dealing with a clogged toilet: you can unclog it yourself or you can call a plumbing professional and pay them to unclog your toilet.
Doing It Yourself
If you’re going to unclog your toilet yourself, you will need some tools. The most basic tool to unclog a toilet is a plunger. Buy a plunger from your local hardware store and keep it handy. Sometimes a simple clog can be removed simply by plunging the toilet.
If the plunger doesn’t work, you will need an auguring tool. This tool is also known as a “plumber’s snake”. The simpler ones are cranked by hand. The more sophisticated devices are electric powered. Both tools drill through the obstruction, allowing water to flow again. Most plumbers do not recommend using an electric-powered auguring tool on a toilet – these powerful tools can damage the porcelain.
Calling A Plumbing Professional
If the plunger doesn’t work, and you don’t want to spend money on sophisticated plumbing equipment, you will have to call a plumber. A good plumber should have all the necessary tools to do the job right. Make sure the plumber is professional, is licensed by the state as a plumbing contractor, and has some good reviews on sites like Yelp.
Be Sure You Don’t Have a Main Line Problem
Sometimes the source of the problem is not actually the toilet: it might indicate a problem in your main sewer line. If your toilet backs up whenever you run any faucet in your home, it usually means you have an obstruction in your main sewer line. You will definitely need a professional plumber to deal with this one.
Sometimes the problem can be resolved with a powerful electric-powered auguring tool. But if the obstruction is particularly stubborn, the plumber will need to use a hydrojet machine to clear it. The hydro jet machine generates a very powerful jet of water which is then forced into the pipe. The water jet, with a force of up to 5,000 lbs per square inch, literally blows away the obstruction and washes it away down the line.
A professional plumber will usually camera the line before he uses the hydrojet machine, so he can determine the exact nature of the obstruction as well as its exact location. When he has completed the job, the plumber will usually camera the line again to make sure the obstruction has been completely removed.
Prevent Future Toilet Clogs
To prevent toilet clogs in the future, you might like to follow these simple guidelines:
- Nothing but toilet paper goes into toilet;
- Place a waste bin in the bathroom for paper towels, tampons etc.;
- Post a notice for family and guests: “Nothing but toilet paper in the toilet”;
- Consider installing a new toilet with two flush settings: one for liquid waste, one for solid waste and paper.