How to Unclog or Fix Slow Draining Toilet

tutorial of how to unclog or fix slow draining toilet

A central part of every working household is the bathroom. Having a clogged or slow draining toilet can bring a home to a standstill.  Especially if you don’t tend to it quickly and the situation worsens, it can become a very stressful dilemma. When drains or toilets start to show signs that they aren’t working correctly, you should jump into action and be proactive.

If you notice that your toilet is slow to drain, here are some do-it-yourself exercises you can implement before calling in the drain professionals.

Try Hot Water and Liquid Soap

The hot water and liquid soap trick may seem a bit unconventional but can widely successful depending on the size of the toilet blockage and obstruction. It’s based on a very basic definition.

If you lubricate the clogged area and hit it with some very hot water, the blockage can loosen so that your toilet can flush again properly.

  1. Start by heating up a gallon of water on the stove. If you don’t have a pot that holds quite enough water, you may need less. The most crucial part is that the water is hot enough. Aim for getting the water close to boiling without putting yourself in danger, and get it safely from the stove to your toilet bowl.
  2. Grab some liquid soap while your water is heating up. It doesn’t have to be Dawn or dishwashing soap, because it is only used as a lubricant. Shower gel or shampoo may also do the trick. Try to use the liquid soap conservatively, so that you do not end up with a bubble-filled bathroom.
  3. Put a couple of drops of soap in the toilet bowl when the water is hot enough. Then proceed with your hot water, pouring it into the toilet bowl.
  4. Give it time to sit in the bowl of the toilet and work its way through the drain. To get the desired result and fully eliminate and clear the blockage, you may need to repeat these steps. Although this method is time-consuming and takes some patience, it is an efficient way to get your toilet drain flowing again.

Try Using a Toilet Plunger

I think we have all used a toilet plunger at one time or another. When it comes to small clogs, plunging the toilet has been the go-to solution for many decades. It gets the job done but may take some time, and it can work almost immediately. If you have them for sanitary purposes, you’ll want to grab a pair of rubber gloves to secure your surrounding floors against the overflow if the water line is too high.

using a toilet plunger for clogged drain

How to Use the Toilet Plunger

  • The first time, plunging too hard can lead to water being blown all over your bathroom, so proceed with caution.
  • You are free to plunge forcefully once you create a strong suction between the bell of the toilet and your plunger.
  • Continue to plunge the toilet with consistent up and down motions by retaining the seal and suction. It can take you up to 10 times to see movement, so stick with it.
  • Try flushing the toilet to get some water running in the bowl again if water runs low in the toilet bowl and it’s going dry. Then proceed to plunge until the blockage is removed.

Utilizing a Plumbing Snake

A more complex strategy for repairing your slow draining toilet is the plumbing snake. Compared to your average toilet cleaning thread, a plumbing snake is a very versatile instrument and has a considerably longer scope. Not everybody has a plumbing snake just lying around the house.

How to Use a Plumbing Snake

  • Push the snake down into your toilet drain until you feel some push back, which would mean that the clog or obstruction has been found.
  • You’ll start using the crank on the top after you’ve made contact with the clog to smash it into smaller parts.
  • Just flush as soon as you twist and poke your way through the blockage and break up the clog, and you should be good to go. If this doesn’t work, and you still have a problem, contact Smiley Drain Cleaning, your trusted plumbing professionals.

Wire Coat Hanger

A simple large hanger can get the job done if you don’t have a plumbing snake handy. Although it doesn’t have a snake’s same reach or strength, it is effective in dislodging obstacles. Start by untangling and stretching out the wire coat hanger into one long piece. Leave a little bit of a scoop at the end of the hanger to cling to the dishrag.

Cover the slightly curved end with a dishrag that you place in the drain of the toilet and protect it with some duct tape. Drive the rag-covered end into the toilet drain. Until you feel the clog, push and wiggle around. To free it, add more pressure and push the debris. Finally, flush your toilet and it should all be good.

Enzyme Drain Products

You may want to consider enzyme cleaning products that are designed to break down organic matter in pipes and drains if the clog is persistent. If you can rule out that it is not anything like a child’s toy or large object stuck in the drain. You can buy these drain cleaning products at your local hardware stores like Lowes or Home Depot or even online.

Enzyme cleaning products, unlike their chemical-based counterparts, are environmentally friendly. Read the directions carefully before continuing. Follow them to the letter so that you do not cause your plumbing system any unnecessary harm.

DIY Drain Cleaners

For small clogs, do-it-yourself drain cleaners are a great solution. For a full list of household ingredients, you’re going to need and how to use them, review our ‘Drain Cleaning FAQs’ page for a complete step-by-step guide.

Chemical Drain Cleaning Products

Before using them, you may want to open a window. Just like enzyme drain cleaning products, the fumes that come from these chemical products can be dangerous to little kids and even pets. Follow the instructions that are exclusive to the brand you bought. Be sure to read the warnings, side effects, and other chemical interactions.

What Not to do When You Toilet is Clogged

Now that you’ve tested your options and determined which plumbing hack works best for you, let’s take a moment to note what you should NOT do when your toilet is clogged. Here is a list of things you definitely shouldn’t do:

  1. Holding Toilet Lid Up- When you have small kids in the household, this is particularly important. It will discourage adventurous children from taking their toys for a swim by holding the toilet seat and lid down.
  2. Drain Cleaning Chemical Products-These chemicals are not always the right option, as we mentioned before. Not only are you flushing harmful contaminants into the water stream, but the more often you use them, they will actually make clogs worse. By chewing away at the lining of your toilet and piping, chemical drain cleaners can also be detrimental to certain toilet bowls.
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