DIY to Expert Advice: Fixing a Clogged Toilet with Poop

Facing a clogged toilet can be quite a nightmare, especially when it’s filled with poop. But don’t worry, you’re not alone in this mess. Many homeowners face this unpleasant situation now and then. The good news? It’s possible to handle this issue yourself, without calling in a plumber.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to unclog a toilet filled with poop. No need to feel embarrassed or grossed out. With the right tools and techniques, you’ll get that toilet flushing smoothly again in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • Assessing the clogged situation is the first critical step which involves evaluating the water level, nature of the clog, and inspecting the toilet tank for underlying issues.
  • Gathering the necessary tools for unclogging includes rubber gloves for hygiene, a flange plunger for soft clogs, a toilet auger for hard clogs, and household products like dish soap, baking soda, or vinegar.
  • Using a plunger could be quite effective where one needs to place it in the bowl, expel air, and then plunge vigorously while maintaining a seal. Patience is necessary for this method.
  • Stubborn clogs may require a toilet auger which breaks up the clog or retrieves the obstruction deep into the drain. Proper handling of a toilet auger is necessary to preserve the toilet’s health.
  • In situations where home-based solutions do not work, it is wise to seek professional plumbing help. Recurring clogs or an overflow of water indicate the need for professional assistance.
  • Apart from fixing the clogs, professional plumbers also carry out preventive measures to avoid similar problems in the future.

Fixing a clogged toilet caused by poop can often be managed with DIY techniques, and for more stubborn clogs, Family Handyman offers practical advice. If conventional plunger methods fail, more advanced solutions and tools may be needed, which are reviewed at This Old House. For anyone uncomfortable with DIY methods or facing repeated clogging issues, professional tips from Bob Vila can guide you through more technical repairs or when to call a plumber.

Assess the Situation

Once you’ve grappled with the initial shock of a clogged toilet, it’s time to assess the situation. Sure, it’s not the most pleasant task, but it’s a crucial first step. Understanding the severity of your toilet clog is fundamental to strategizing a plan of action.

Firstly, take note of the water level. If it’s higher than normal, you’re dealing with a clog that could overflow. Be cautious and to avoid a messy catastrophe, refrain from flushing the toilet until you’ve removed or broken up the obstruction.

Secondly, it’s critical to determine the nature of clog. Is it just toilet paper and poop or did a foreign object, like a child’s toy or a bathroom product, find its way into the bowl? This will help you decide what type of plunger or method to use for unclogging.

Should your clog be more stubborn, take a peek into your toilet tank. This is usually ignored but the secret to a clean flush commonly lies within. Is your flapper opening completely? Is the water level too low? These are small, yet significant issues that can worsen your clogged toilet situation.

Lastly, one cannot underestimate the value of a good pair of rubber gloves. They can come in handy not only for hygienic purposes but also to provide better grip when using tools.

Note:
Dealing with a clogged toilet is far from glamorous, and it’s important to stay focused. Keep your disgust in check and take it one step at a time. It’s not just about getting rid of the poop, it’s about understanding the deeper issues and formulating a smart plan of action.

No matter how unpleasant or challenging the situation, remember that you’re not alone in this. You have a trove of unclogging solutions at your fingertips that can help you restore your toilet to its normal functioning state.

Gather the Necessary Tools

After assessing the situation and understanding the type of clog you’re dealing with, you’ll need to arm yourself with the necessary tools. Yes, there’s a veritable arsenal of equipment out there to help you tackle even the mightiest of poop clogs.

First off, you’ll want to wear rubber gloves. Not only do they offer a better grip but also they ensure that you maintain hygiene while dealing with such an unpleasant task. If you’re queasy about the thick texture of rubber gloves, disposable ones will do the trick just fine.

Let’s get down to the heavy-duty instruments. If you’re dealing with a soft clog, your first line of defense is typically a plunger. Plungers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so go for the one that has a flange. Why a flange? The advantage of a flange is that it fits better into the toilet bowl and gives a stronger suction force when you plunge.

What if you’re dealing with a hard clog, though? For these, you’d want to have a toilet auger at your disposal. This is a flexible rod that snakes its way through the trap of the toilet to break up the clog. Remember to always use the auger with care since it can damage the porcelain of your toilet bowl if not used correctly.

Last but not least, you’ll need some household products. These could be dish soap, baking soda, or vinegar. You’d be surprised at how effectively these mundane items can help loosen up the clog and restore your toilet to its former glory.

So, once you have your tools ready, you’re all set to tackle that pesky poop clog. Remember: The key is to approach with care, patience, and systematic action.

Try Using a Plunger

Arguably the most common approach to dislodge a stubborn clog, a plunger renders a surprising amount of force. If you’re dealing with a standard blockage, your trusty plunger might be all you need.

First and foremost, ensure the plunger is the right type for your toilet. A bell-shaped or flange plunger is designed specifically for toilets, different from the common cup-style that works best on flat surfaces like a sink or bathtub.

Understanding the mechanics of a plunger helps maximize your efforts. When you push down, it forces air into the toilet drain, aiming to push the obstruction through the pipes. Subsequently, pulling up creates a vacuum endeavoring to tug the clog back and break it apart. This back-and-forth movement, if done correctly, can efficiently dismantle and push through most poop obstructed passages.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Place the plunger in the bowl, making sure it covers the entire opening of the drain. It’s vital to create a solid seal for effective plunging.
  • Push down gently to expel air from the bell of the plunger. Your primary aim here isn’t to shove the clog down further, but to establish a vacuum.
  • With a firm grip, plunge vigorously, maintaining the seal.
  • Persist with this pushing and pulling movement around 15-20 times, giving the clog a proper workout.

An important note here: refrain from excessive or aggressive plunging that could potentially damage the toilet and pipes.

At times, repeated attempts might be necessary. With a plunger, patience is the key, and the sense of victory when the water begins to drain away is worth the work.

As you continue your unclogging journey, remember that certain stubborn clogs might demand more potent strategies. Considering this, a toilet auger could be a handy tool to have within reach.

Attempt a Toilet Auger

If the simple plunging method doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to escalate your efforts. What’s next on the docket? A Toilet Auger.

But what’s a toilet auger, you may wonder? A toilet auger, also known as a closet auger, is a specialized tool designed to break up clogs in a toilet’s drainage pipe. It reaches deeper into the drain than a plunger. It breaks up the clog and sometimes even retrieves the obstruction, offering you a higher chance of clearing stubborn clogs.

Why not an ordinary drain snake? Because, unlike typical drain snakes, a toilet auger has a protective sleeve to keep the porcelain in your toilet bowl from getting scratched or damaged. It’s specifically designed with your toilet’s anatomy in mind.

So, how do you use a toilet auger?

Step One: Insert the Auger. Put the curved end of the auger into the toilet bowl aiming for the drain. You’ll want to be gentle here to keep your porcelain chip-free.

Step Two: Turn and Push. Once the auger is in the bowl, you’ll want to rotate the handle and push gently at the same time. This action will drive the coil at the other end into the clog. If there aren’t any obstacles, the coil will continue down the drain smoothly.

Step Three: Pull Out. After you reach the clog and break it up by rotating and pushing the auger, carefully extract the auger from the toilet. If the water starts to drain, congratulations, you’ve done it.

This might take a few tries, so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t work right away. But remember to keep your toilet’s health in mind – too much vigorous activity can cause more harm than good.

While a toilet auger can be an easily obtained tool, the results may vary depending on the severity of the clog. It’s crucial to be prepared for scenarios where a plunger or even a toilet auger isn’t enough. After all, fixing stubborn toilet clogs may sometimes be a job for more advanced tools or professionals. Remember, knowing when to call in reinforcements shows wisdom, not defeat.

Seek Professional Help if Needed

Inevitably, there may be times when a clogged toilet proves to be a bit too stubborn for even the most adept home handyman. Rather than risk damaging your pipes or toilet with heavy-duty tools you’re not familiar with, it’s often smarter to call in a professional. A professional plumber has not only the expertise but also the specialized equipment to handle a variety of complex plumbing challenges.

You might be thinking, “Why should I pay for a service when I can do the job myself?” The answer is simple, yet twofold:

  • Efficiency: Professional plumbers can identify and address clogs at a rapid pace, saving you time you’d otherwise spend on a frustrating DIY project.
  • Preventive measures: A professional can diagnose the underlying issue causing repeated clogs, helping to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.

Here’s a compact list of signs that indicate it’s time to dial the pros:

  1. Multiple failed attempts to unclog the toilet
  2. Water backing up into other drains
  3. Recurring clogs in the same toilet
  4. An overflow of water or sewage flooding your bathroom floor

Remember, it’s crucial to get professional assistance as quickly as possible in these situations. Delaying could result in costly water damage or escalate into a full-blown plumbing emergency.

Also, consider that the cost of hiring a plumber is a small price to pay for peace of mind. It’s worthwhile to handle these issues correctly the first time, rather than face a potentially more significant problem down the line due to inexperience. So when it comes to deep-seated or recurring toilet clogs, don’t hesitate to call upon professional help if needed.

Reasons to Call a PlumberDescription
Multiple failed attemptsYour own efforts are not working
Water backing upOther drains in your home are affected
Recurring clogsThe same toilet keeps clogging
Overflowing waterYour bathroom is at risk of water damage

Granted, if your issue is a simple clog once in a blue moon, your trusty plunger or toilet auger will likely do the trick. But for anything more stubborn or worrying reach out to a professional without delay.

Conclusion

So, you’ve learned the ropes of dealing with a stubborn clogged toilet. It’s clear that while DIY methods can often do the trick, there’s no substitute for professional assistance when the going gets tough. Remember, if you’re dealing with recurring clogs, water backing up, or even worse, an overflow, it’s time to call in the pros. Don’t delay – swift action can save you from costly water damage or a full-blown plumbing emergency. Because when it comes to your home’s plumbing, prevention is always better than a cure. Now, you’re equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision the next time you face a clogged toilet. Here’s to hassle-free bathroom maintenance!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the article suggest for a stubborn, clogged toilet?

The article suggests seeking professional help if DIY methods fail to resolve a clogged toilet. While basic clogs can often be dealt with household tools, persistent issues warrant contacting a professional plumber.

When is it indicated to seek help from a professional plumber?

The signs that indicate professional help include unsuccessful attempts to unblock the toilet, water backing up into other drains, recurring clogs, and water or sewage overflow.

Why is it important to act promptly when dealing with a clogged toilet?

Prompt action can prevent costly water damage or plumbing emergencies. If a toilet is continuously or severely clogged, it might lead to an emergency.

What are the benefits of contacting a professional for a clogged toilet?

Professional plumbers approach the problem more efficiently and provide preventive measures to reduce the probability of recurring clogs.

Can DIY methods handle all kinds of toilet clogs?

Home methods can fix simple clogs, but persistent or severe issues require a professional plumber’s expertise.