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Clogged Toilet? Easy ways to unblock it

A few ideas from plumbers who routinely solve this rather nasty problem. When you tackle the job make sure you spread some old newapapers around the base of the bowl to minimise the effects of 'splashback' use old clothes or overalls - and rubber gloves are a must. Afterwards carefully wash all non-disposable soiled items.

Educating the younger family members as to what is to be flushed and what is not is also a very good idea and can often help prevent the unhappy situation arising in the first place.

Hot water will help clear the blockage but using boiling water can cause the bowl to crack or break, add a bit at a time, gradually building up.

The Plunger

Get yourself a good one, the puny or floppy ones really do not do a good job. You want a good seal so bigger is usually better.

When using a plunger it is better to suck than to push, so make sure there is enough water to cover the the plunger (hot, soapy water is best) and use gentle movements to avoid splashes.

Rodding - Use an Auger

Sometimes referred to as a snake, this is the plumber's solution. They can be surprisingly cheap and are by far the most effective method. You may be tempted to use an uncoiled wire coat hanger but they are often too short and will mark the porcelain.

Select one that looks as if it can do the job. Some devices are designed specifically for unblocking pans, others are more suitable for industrial use, a cheap one advertised on the internet uses an electric drill to supply the rotation!

The head of most augers are designed to grab or break up the material causing the clog so if you are using the 'grab type' it is sometimes possible to actually extract the offending material.


If you have used the above methods without success then it is usually time to send for a plumber, however you may wish to use some of the proprietary unblocking agents. They are quite effective but are expensive and damage the environment, both in the manufacturing process and in their use.


Finding a good plumber is not always easy, ask a friend or neighbour if they know a good one. If you do find one that does a good job, then treat him (or her) well and keep their phone number for the next time. -- DE

Did you know that the energy in one litre of petrol is the equivalent of 13 units of electricity (kWh)


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