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Solving the World’s Most Embarassing Plumbing Problem

low-flow-toilet-227x300A clogged toilet is always a frustrating, and often messy situation to deal with (especially if you have house guests at the time!). Fortunately, most of the time you can take care of a clogged toilet yourself without the need to call R.S. Andrews plumbers for assistance.

If you flush your toilet and the flushing action seems weak or slow, your toilet is at least partially clogged. The most important aspect of dealing with clogged toilets is definitely prevention, and that means being careful with what you flush down the toilet. Never flush anything down the toilet except for human waste and toilet paper. Keeping a trash can in your bathroom adjacent to your toilet is a good way to help avoid sanitary napkins, diapers, or other common culprits from clogging your system – the garbage bin is an instant reminder of where these should go. If you have children in your home, it’s also a good idea to always keep the toilet lid closed to prevent  kids from dropping toys or other debris into the toilet.

If your toilet is clogged, remember not to flush it more than once. If the toilet doesn’t flush normally the first time, repeated flushes are unlikely to change this, and may even make the problem worse. Continuing to flush a clogged toilet puts you at high risk of flooding your bathroom – and a definite call to R.S. Andrews for emergency plumbing service!

Before you call R.S. Andrews to schedule an appointment, reach for your trusty toilet plunger, the first and often only needed step in unclogging a toilet. Be sure to place the rubber bell of the plunger directly over the hole in the toilet bowl so that it’s completely covering it and press down firmly. When you pull the plunger back up, you should feel the suction being applied to the drainage pipe. It may take a few plunges, but this will often clear your drain out immediately and allow for normal flushing to resume right away.

Sometimes, however, if the plunger isn’t enough and the clog still exists, you can try adding some hot water and dish soap to the toilet. You can heat some water on the stove until it’s just about boiling, then add it to the toilet along with a  few squirts of dish soap. After letting that sit for a few minutes, try plunging the toilet again and you should see better results.

If you’re still not making progress and are somewhat familiar with your plumbing system’s inner workings, you can try using a plumbing snake, which is essentially a long wire used by plumbers for inserting deep into pipes to unclog them. Plumbing snakes can be purchased at just about any hardware or plumbing store like Home Depot. Carefully insert one end of the snake into the toilet and twist it down into the pipe, exercising extreme caution so as not to get the snake itself caught in clog. If all goes well, when you remove the snake the clog will be gone too.

As a last option if none of the above methods have worked for you even when combined with each other, you can try one of the several widely available chemical cleaning agents such as Draino by following whatever instructions come with the product. But, keep in mind that Draino and other cleaning agents can be harmful to the environment.

For more tips for homeowners, don’t forget to check out the Helpful Tips for Homeowners page!

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