What Kind of Drain Unclogger Can I Put in a Toilet?

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A plugged toilet can be a nightmare. No one wants the mess and the potential for the toilet overflowing and possibly causing even more problems later on. But there's no way to prevent a toilet from ever clogging. If you've tried plunging and that hasn't done the job you may be tempted to take extreme measures, such as paying an exorbitantly-priced plumber to clear the line. Before you empty your wallet, there are a few drain unclogging techniques you might want to employ first.

Plunger

  • Insert a ball-type plunger into the toilet bowl, and seat the ball securely in the drain hole. Firmly plunge down on the plunger several times quickly and then pull up suddenly, allowing the slight vacuum you've created to loosen the obstruction. If the water in the bowl suddenly drains out, you have probably been successful. Flush the toilet to see if the water drains in the proper way.

Dish Soap and Boiling Water

  • Pour 5 tbsp. of liquid dish soap into the toilet bowl. While the dish soap is working its way toward the clog, boil a large pot of water. Once the water begins boiling, slowly pour it into the water in the tank. Allow the hot water and dish soap to sit for 10 minutes, and then use your plunger. Make several quick plunges, and allow the plunger to force air and water down into the drain at the bottom of your toilet under relatively high pressure. After several strong thrusts, pull the plunger out of the hole suddenly, allowing the slight vacuum you've created to pull upward on any clog, loosening it. If the water in the bowl drains away quickly, you have probably been successful and can safely flush your toilet. If the clog remains, try the dish soap and boiling water technique one last time.

Toilet Auger

  • Rent or buy an auger specifically designed for toilets. Insert the coiled end of the auger into the drain hole at the bottom of your toilet bowl, and turn the crank as you insert the auger further and further into the pipe, following the auger manufacturer's instructions for use of its product. Occasionally turn the auger backwards and pull up slightly on the snake, especially if the snake appears to be stopped. Continue turning the handle clockwise, and push the snake further along. When the water in the tank drains suddenly, you have moved the clog. Turn the handle counterclockwise, and slowly pull the snake out.

Thick Drain Cleaner

  • Drain cleaners are on the market that claim to be thick and to pour through standing water and attack the clog directly. These cleaners will not harm your toilet's pipes, but any caustic drain cleaner should be used only as a last resort before calling a plumber. Pour the cleaner into the bowl, and follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly, allowing the cleaner to work its magic for at least 30 minutes before trying the plunger.

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