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How To Unblock Your Toilet

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If you've got a blocked toilet, it can be a very frustrating and, potentially, costly problem that you will want to have resolved as quickly as possible. Blocked toilets are especially issues that will get much worse over time if you don't deal with them promptly. 

There are a number of things you can do to unblock your toilet and we'll tell you how in this helpful guide. Of course, should the problem be so severe, you can always call the drainage experts at JLH Drains to come and carry out urgent repairs and unblocking for you too!

1. Firstly, check whether the toilet is still able to flush

If you even remotely suspect that your toilet has become blocked, you shouldn't flush it more than once. If the water doesn't drain out of the bowl at all, then the toilet is totally blocked. However, if it drains out slowly but does not get rid of all the waste in the bowl, then it is partially blocked. 

The toilet bowl should easily be able to hold one cistern of water but flushing it more than once could well cause the bowl to fill up and potentially overflow. 

If you plan to unblock your toilet yourself, this will make the task significantly messier and more unpleasant!

2. Place some newspapers or towels down

Unblocking a toilet is possible, but it's certainly no easy feat! Even the most careful of people will spill some toilet water onto the floor when attempting to unblock a toilet. So the best thing to do is to place some newspapers or towels down in advance to make the post-repair clean up job easier!

3. Put on your rubber gloves

To protect yourself from any of the potentially nasty substances you could face by putting on your marigolds. If you can spot the cause of the blocked toilet and you think you can stomach removing it yourself, then do so. You could also try and dislodge or break up the blockage using a toilet brush, stick or similar implement. Once finished, you'll want to throw this implement in the bin!

However, if you can't see the blockage, you'll have to use a plunger...

4. Turn off the water supply

To reduce the risk of flooding, turn off the water supply to your toilet. To do this, just find the faucet behind the toilet that will allow you to shut down the water supply. If you can't find this though, just turn off the water for the entire property at the stopcock.

5. Start plunging

It's best to use a specially designed toilet plunger as they feature an extension collar which is made to fit inside the toilet. This collar will create a tight seal in the toilet and increase the suction power of your plunger. 

When plunging, it's important not to vigorously start plunging immediately, as the vacuum created by the plunger could cause dirty water to spray out of the toilet bowl. Instead, we would advise starting slowly and softly, ensuring that you have created a tight seal and then only begin plunging slowly once you have forced all of the air out of the plunger.

Ideally, the plunger should be completely submerged as water will create a lot more pressure in the pipes than an air bubble. You should therefore be plunging water down the toilet.

6. Use a plumbing snake if you have one

If you've been plunging patiently for a few minutes with little to no success, you might have to change tactics! You can find plumbing snakes in most DIY and home improvement stores, and even some supermarkets, and these are well worth using. They feature a long coil that feeds down into the toilet until it reaches the blockage. You can then continue trying to uncoil the plumbing snake until you break through the blockage or bring the snake back up and hope you bring the blockage up with it.

Should you use any chemicals?

There are a number of chemicals out there that some people advise putting down your toilet in the case of a blockage, including bleach, dishwashing soap, drain unblockers, a vinegar and baking soda combination and other chemicals. However, these are not a guaranteed cure and can sometimes make the blockage worse and even more difficult to deal with. 

It's therefore up to you as to whether you put any chemicals down your toilet if you find a blockage. If you've followed the above tips and tricks and are still unable to remove the blockage, then it's probably best to hire a drainage or plumbing expert to look into it for you.

At JLH Drains, we specialise in drain and toilet unblocking, so do not hesitate to contact us if you've discovered a blockage in your toilet and don't want to, or have the confidence to, remove it yourself. 

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