What Do I Do If I Have a Clogged Toilet: A Step-by-Step Guide

Uh-oh! Your toilet is clogged – and GROSS! – it’s overflowing! What do you do? If your toilet is clogged, don’t worry – the experts at Plumbers 911 are here to help. There are few things as gross and unappealing to deal with as a clogged toilet, and if you have the unfortunate experience of an overflowing toilet, Plumbers 911 can help. Give the experienced, licensed and insured plumbing experts at Plumbers 911 a call and we will take care of your clogged or overflowing toilet in no time.

If you have a clogged toilet and want to try to take care of it yourself, here is a step-by-step guide for unclogging your toilet with a trusty rubber plunger. 

Step 1: Stop the overflow!

If your toilet appears to be clogged – STOP! – Do not flush the toilet again. Flushing the toilet again when it is clogged will cause the bowl to fill further with water, and this will cause an overflow. An overflowing toilet is NOT something you want in your home’s bathroom! So first and foremost, when you are experiencing a clogged toilet, stop the flow of water by closing the toilet flapper. Open the toilet tank; the flapper looks like a circular drain stopper attached to a chain, and you can stick your hand inside to close the flapper because the water in the tank isn’t dirty. Closing the flapper will keep more water from entering the clogged bowl, and stop the clogged toilet from making a mess of your bathroom.

Step 2: Prepare for any mess

The next step is to prepare yourself and the bathroom for the process of unclogging the toilet. Prepare the area around your toilet for a potential overflow by laying down newspaper or paper towels all around the toilet area in case of overflow or splashing. Also, put on rubber gloves to protect yourself from germs and bacteria. Choose a pair that reaches to your elbows, and wear two pairs if you need to!

Step 3: Can you clear the obstruction?

Look inside your toilet – If you can see the cause of the clog, reach in and remove it from the toilet if possible. If you can’t clear it with your hands, but you know there’s an object (such as a child’s toy) causing the clog, you won’t want to use a plunger – Call a plumber instead. Plumbers 911 is just a call away!

Step 4: Get out your plunger!

Everyone who owns a toilet should own a toilet plunger! Choose a high quality rubber plunger and always keep it where you can get to it quickly. Do not choose a small cheap suction-cup type of plunger, but rather a large heavy-duty rubber plunger, either the ball-shaped type or one with a fold-out rubber flange on the bottom which forms a seal. Tip: Run the plunger under hot water before using it, this will soften it up and help create a seal.

Step 5: Insert the plunger into the bowl.

When you put the plunger into the bowl, make sure it completely covers the hole. The plunger should be submerged in water to be effective, so add water from the sink to the bowl if necessary. It is important to be pushing and pulling water, not air, through the opening.

Pump the plunger over the hole, starting slowly at first, since the first plunge will push air into the bowl. Push down, then pull up sharply to disturb the clog and loosen it. Continue to vigorously push and pull until the water begins to drain, this may take 15 to 20 cycles before the toilet unclogs. If you’re sure there’s no hard object (such as a child’s toy), plunging alone will do the trick. Even if it does not work immediately, be patient! The clog will clear after a few repeated efforts and flushings, with each effort consisting of dozens of plunge cycles.

Step 6: Flush the toilet to check the drainage.

Once the plunger succeeds in getting the water to go down, flush the toilet to check if the clog is completely cleared. If it still appears clogged, fill the toilet to the point it is normally after a regular flush, then plunge again. Stubborn clogs might require you to plunge and flush a number of times.

What do I do if plunging doesn’t fix the problem? If you have followed these 6 steps and plunging hasn’t cleared the clog – or if you simply do not want to take on this task yourself – then it is time to call Plumbers 911! 

At Plumbers 911, our licensed and insured plumbers are always ready to respond to your plumbing emergencies. Our plumbers are trustworthy – all have passed background checks and agree to routine drug testing. Plus, they are experienced – our plumbers have thousands of hours of experience and are dedicated to continuing education and training. Plumbers 911 offers a network of plumbing experts conveniently located throughout the entire United States, and can respond to plumbing emergencies in as little as an hour in most cities. If you are in California’s Central Valley, you can turn to our Tracy, Fresno, and Madera plumbers. No matter where you are in the Central Valley, if you need a plumber urgently, call Plumbers 911. Don’t let a plumbing emergency such as a clogged toilet you cannot clear wreak havoc in your bathroom – Call Plumbers 911 today!