The first thing anyone delving into unclogging their own toilet should know is that the bowl is made to handle an extra flush but rarely more than that. This means, you have one flush to realize your toilet is clogged. Once you realize it isn’t draining, you shouldn’t try flushing again – it will likely overflow. Before you begin, you may want to lay down some newspaper to protect your floor from splashing or overflow. A good pair of rubber gloves – preferably elbow length – may also be a good idea. Lastly, you might want to open a window – it can get a little smelly.
Step One: Is there any visible problems blocking the toilet? If so, put on your rubber gloves and clear away the mess. We know it’s gross, but it’s also quick, and if your toilet works again, it’s well worth it. However, if the water level doesn’t start to go down, it’s time to move onto step two.
Step Two: A little bit of dish soap and some hot water can go a long ways to softening and dissolving clogs. Fill your kettle up to the maximum and turn it on; while you wait for that to begin boiling, put a good squirt of soap into the toilet bowl. You’ll want about two litres of hot water. If this takes a couple of rounds, don’t worry about making the first batch wait, you don’t want the water boiling anyways – you want it more in the range of hot but drinkable tea temperature. When you have all your water nice and hot (but not too hot), pour it into the toilet. We recommend pouring from waist height. This gives the water more velocity, and we find it works better. However, be careful not to spill on your feet or pour so much in that the toilet overflows. Leave the toilet be and check back in five minutes. If the water still has gone down, it’s time to move onto step three.
Step Three: At this point, it’s time to prepare yourself for a long haul. While this method utilizing the common household chemicals sodium bicarbonate or baking soda and acetic acid better known as vinegar is generally quite effective, it works better when left overnight. You’re going to need 3 or 4 more litres of “tea temperature” water, so you might as well start it boiling now. While the water heats, pour one whole box of baking soda into the toilet bowl. You’ll want to use between 400 and 500 grams. You’re also going to need a medium sized jug of vinegar. Just like fourth grade volcanoes, this is going to fizz a lot, so pour the vinegar in slowly. Whenever you have a moderate amount of foam, take a moment to let the reaction settle a bit before continuing. When the bottle of vinegar is empty, let it sit for a few minutes. After three or four minutes, dump in the hot water you made. Hopefully by now your toilet is draining, if not, it’s time to give it the night to sit. If it’s still not cleared by morning, you may want to throw in the towel and give us a call.
If you have any questions or need any help, call Plumbing Paramedics today at (403) 452 – 2911.