Vancouver plumber unclogging a toilet

How to Unclog Your Toilet in 4 Steps

There’s often a moment of panic when you flush a toilet and the water begins to inch its way up the top of the bowl. Don’t worry — unclogging a toilet is easy to do. Just follow these four steps.

1. Close the Flapper

Your first task is to prevent the toilet from overflowing. To keep more water from entering the bowl, take the lid of the toilet tank and manually close the flapper (a circular drain stopper at the end of a chain). Don’t worry about putting your hand in the toilet tank; the water will be a bit cold, but it’s clean.

2. Grab Your Plunger

Everyone should own a good heavy-duty plunger — one that’s ball-shaped or that has a fold-out rubber flange at the bottom.

Before using your plunger, it helps to run it under hot water. This makes it more pliant and better able to create a seal on the toilet bowl.

3. Get Plunging

Place the plunger over the hole in the toilet so that it forms a seal. Start plunging slowly at first to get the air out of the plunger, then plunge more vigorously, always keeping the plunger underwater and maintaining the seal. It may take a minute or two but usually this will do the job — if not, keep reading!

4. Use a Chemical-Free Liquid Solution

If you were unable to unclog the toilet with a plunger, you can try to break up the waste that’s clogging the toilet with a liquid solution. If you have an enzyme waste removal product, that will do the trick. However, you should avoid using chemical products such as Draino or Liquid-Plumr, as they can damage pipes.

There are, moreover, a number of effective homemade solutions. One simple recipe calls for equal parts vinegar and baking soda. You’ll need to add the baking soda first, then the vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Another option is to concoct a solution of boiling water and dish soap. Again, let it sit in the toilet for several minutes before doing anything else.

After you’ve used a liquid solution, the final step is to get the plunger out again to finish the job.

When to Call a Plumber

If despite taking the above steps your toilet remains clogged, it could be that a hard object (a toy, a piece of clothing, etc.) found its way into the pipes. Your best bet at this point is to call a qualified plumber.

Emergency Plumber in Greater Vancouver

For urgent plumbing repairs, trust the 24-hour emergency plumbers at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating. Contact us today to make an appointment if you need an experienced plumber in Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster or elsewhere on the Lower Mainland.

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