Toilet clogs can be both a major inconvenience and a health hazard. Minor clogs can often be resolved by homeowners using a plunger, but more severe clogs may require assistance from a professional plumber. If you find yourself needing service from a plumber, you may be wondering what they will do to clear the clog if a plunger is not working. In this blog, we will go over several methods that a plumber might use to fix a clogged toilet.
Plumbers can use a variety of tools to unclog a toilet, depending on the severity and cause of the clog. Many toilet clogs are caused by a buildup of waste or flushing items that your toilet drain cannot handle such as baby wipes or feminine hygiene products. Hard water can also contribute to clogs because over time the mineral deposits will build up in the pipes, which reduces the water flow. The tools listed below can all help clear these types of clogs.
The first tool often used to clear a clogged toilet is a plunger. A plunger creates suction that hopefully will dislodge the blockage in the toilet drain. There are three types of plungers – cup plungers, flange plungers, and accordion plungers. Flange plungers are most commonly used for toilets because they create a tighter seal around the drain, which increases suction. Most homeowners have a flange plunger. Accordion plungers can also be used on a clogged toilet and are what most professional plumbers use. They tend to create more suction than a flange, so if a flange plunger is not working, a plumber may move onto an accordion plunger. Cup plungers are best suited for clogged sinks and showers.
By the time you have called a plumber to fix a clogged toilet, you may have already tried using a plunger yourself. If this is the case, then the plumber may skip the plunger and start off with a plumbing auger. Often referred to as a drain snake, a plumbing auger is a tool that consists of a long, flexible cable with a spiral shaped head that is used to clear blockages in pipes or drains. To clear a toilet clog, the auger is inserted into toilet and twisted by hand, or by machine, to help break up the obstruction. Typically, an auger or drain snake would be used if a plunger is not resolving the clog.
A hydro jet is a high-pressure water jet that can break up the most severe blockages in a toilet drain. The pressurized water stream can break through almost any clog that plungers or augers may not be able to break up or reach. This is a great tool for hard to reach clogs that are farther down the line.
If a toilet clog is caused by a non-degradable object, a plumber may have to remove the toilet and replace it in order to retrieve the item and clear the clog. This may be necessary if you accidentally dropped something in the toilet or if a child tried to flush a small toy down the toilet.
While minor toilet clogs can sometimes be resolved on your own, we encourage you to stick with plungers and stay away from chemical drain cleaners. Many chemical drain cleaners are advertised to break up blockages that a plunger cannot, but they can actually be damaging to your pipes. If you are considering using a chemical drain cleaner, call a professional plumber instead. Damage to pipes could end up being far more costly than having a professional plumber snake the drain or use a hydro-jet.
Most clogs can be prevented by being mindful of what you flush down the toilet. If you are being careful about what you flush and still are experiencing frequent clogs, it could be time to consider upgrading your toilet. Older, low flow toilets are more prone to clogs due to the lack of flushing pressure. If you are experiencing frequent clogs, give us a call to schedule your toilet repair in Austin today! Our team of experienced plumbers will be able to find the source of the clogs and provide a solution!