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Clogged toilet in a residential bathroom.

How to Deal With a Clogged Toilet

Do you cross your fingers every time you flush? Toilets are one of the most important and indispensable fixtures in every Mississauga home. It’s incredibly frustrating when they don’t work, but there are solutions for that problem.

Clogged toilets are usually handled fairly easily, even by someone with no plumbing experience. Unfortunately, there are some situations in which anything you do is just going to be a temporary fix. In those cases you’ll want to call in the trusted pros from your local plumbing company.

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga is here to make sure you flush with confidence every time. Whether your clogged toilet is out of order for the first time or is highly prone to clogging every time you flush, we’re here to help! This guide for Mississauga homeowners explains how to find out what caused your clog and how to get it fixed for good, so you can stop wishing for the best when you hit the flush lever.

How Do I Stop My Toilet Bowl From Overflowing?

When you’re dealing with a clogged toilet, the first and most pressing matter is to stop it from overflowing and dumping wastewater all over your bathroom floor. Before you do anything else, follow these steps:

  • Close the water supply valve located near the bottom left side of your fixture.

  • If you tried flushing once & it didn’t flush, DON’T press the flush lever again

  • Take off the tank cover

  • Reach into the tank (If the water in the tank isn’t dirty, it’s okay to reach in with your bare hand.)

  • Find the flapper at the bottom of the tank (it looks like a drain stopper attached to a chain) & push it closed

How Do I Fix My Clogged Toilet?

Now that you don’t have to worry about swamping your bathroom with wastewater, let’s move on to clearing that blockage. If it’s a one-time problem, it’s probably a simple clog that you can fix without too much trouble.

If you’re frequently dealing with clogs and you find yourself using your plunger every time you flush, clearing that issue will need more elbow grease—and possibly even attention from a licensed plumber — such as your friendly local experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga.

Step 1: Prepare the Bathroom (and Yourself)

We’re going to level with you here—there might be some splashing. It only takes a few minutes to lay some sheets of old newspaper across your bathroom floor, and doing so will drastically reduce your cleaning time.

Put on a pair of rubber gloves that reach up to your elbows to keep your hands safe from sewage. If that blockage looks pretty bad, you should also change into some clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Step 2: Try Removing Blockage With Your Hand

If you can see an obstruction or it’s not visible but you suspect it is within reach, reach into the bowl (remember, rubber gloves are a must-have) and try to pull it out. If you know a hard object such as a small toy is causing your clog but you can’t get it out, skip ahead to the fifth step. Plunging and drain cleaners won’t help in that scenario.

Step 3: Use the Correct Type of Plunger

Not all plungers are created equal. A lot of people don’t even realize there are multiple types of plungers for different fixtures. Using an improper plunger will increase your frustration as it fails to have any impact.

A plunger with a cup-shaped rubber end that looks like a suction cup is meant for sinks, because it can fit flat over a sink drain to create the suction for plunging. It’s not going to work on toilets because it can’t create an effective seal over an uneven drain opening.

For toilets, you need a heavy-duty rubber plunger that’s either ball-shaped with an opening in the bottom of the “ball” or is more bell-shaped but has a flange sticking out on the bottom. These two shapes of plungers are designed to seal onto your toilet's drain opening and create suction.

Step 4: Plunge, Plunge, Plunge

With the correct type of plunger in hand, it’s time for the “fun” part—plunging! Most people have given their old plunger a try at least a couple of times in their lives, but there is actually a specific technique for effective plunging:

  1. Plungers actually need to be submerged in water to work properly, so if there isn’t enough water, get some from your sink & pour it in

  2. Place your plunger completely over the drain opening

  3. Don’t just start plunging as hard as you can, go slow & gentle at first, so any trapped air can get out & you don’t splash your own face

  4. Push down, then pull up sharply to help dislodge any stuck debris — but not so sharply that you pull the plunger away

  5. Put your back into it & keep plunging until all water begins to drain out

  6. Be patient, as this process can take a lot longer & require a lot more plunging than expected. If the clog is soft material like sanitary paper, enough continuous plunging almost always works

  7. Once water is draining, flush to check that everything is working properly

  8. If water is draining slowly instead of flowing freely, repeat the plunging process from step-one

Step 5: Use a Specialized Plumbing Snake

If you’re dealing with a particularly stubborn clog, you may need to resort to a toilet auger — a type of specialized plumbing snake. They can be purchased at most hardware stores. An auger is basically a coil of wire that extends down your drain, with a crank-handle at one end and a special coating to protect porcelain.

Once you’ve got that special plumbing snake down and you can feel the obstruction, keep pushing and start turning the handle in a clockwise motion. Your goal is to use that auger to break obstructions into smaller pieces that can be flushed away.

When you feel the plumbing snake move past an obstruction, pull it out. It may take a couple rounds before you’re able to either pull an obstruction out of a clogged toilet or weaken it enough to be flushed away.

Step 6: Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga

Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you plunge, and snake, and stick your hand down a nasty toilet bowl—some clogs need intervention from an experienced plumber. If you did manage to clear out your clogged toilet, but the next time you flush it just clogs right back up again, you should also call a skilled plumber. Returning clogs are a sign of serious sewer blockage.

If you get to the point that you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga. Our friendly team of plumbers has the know-how to figure out what is causing your clogged toilet and get it running perfectly again. Mr. Rooter’s licensed plumbers provide guaranteed service, 24 hours per day, with upfront, flat rate pricing and no overtime fees.

Why Do I Have a Clogged Toilet?

Most people already have a pretty good idea what causes a clog, though there are also less obvious causes. Knowing a problem’s source will help you avoid it in the future, and it’ll help you find out if it’s caused by a serious issue with your wastewater system. You’ll want to get that taken care of as soon as possible.

Here are a few of the most common causes of a clogged toilet:

Non-Flushable Items

If you have a small child in your home, you might not need to look too far to find your culprit. Once children learn how to flush, it’s usually not long before they decide to experiment with flushing various items like small toys. Needless to say, this could quickly result in a clog.

But, before you blame little Johnny, remember that adults are also guilty of flushing items that really shouldn’t ever enter a toilet. The only things that should be flushed are waste and toilet paper. Yet, other items sometimes make it down your toilet—potentially causing clogs—including:

  • Feminine hygiene products

  • Hair

  • Grease

  • Shampoo & other liquid or gel grooming products

  • Q-tips & cotton balls

  • Baby wipes

  • Paper towels & other paper products

  • Plastic bottle caps, razor casings, or other small, hard objects

Excessive Toilet Paper

Though sewage pipes and systems in Mississauga are designed to handle sanitary paper, excessive amounts do get caught in pipes and stop wastewater flow. Try to use only what you need, and teach children how to limit their use. If there’s already a substantial amount in the bowl, flush before you continue to put more in.

Not Enough Water in the Tank

If your tank doesn’t fill with enough water, the amount of water that comes out when you flush will not be able to provide enough pressure to push waste out of and into the drain line.

Hard Water Deposits

The water in Mississauga is considered moderately hard, meaning that it contains dissolved calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. Though moderately hard water is not that bad on the hard water scale, it’s still enough to create deposits in your toilet.

Hard water deposits are hard calcified lumps of minerals that build up on the inside of the toilet, causing choke points that prevent waste and water from draining properly. Large mineral deposits could lead to a clogged toilet.

Main Sewer Drain Backups

If you’re experiencing clogging issues with not only toilets but also other low-lying drains in your home — such as the shower or bathtub — a sewer system backup could be the culprit. You may be able to see additional backup symptoms if you turn on the sink faucet nearest to your toilet and the toilet gurgles or the water level in the toilet rises. Another sign of a clogged main drain is when your toilet clogs or overflows every time your washing machine runs.

Call Mr. Rooter to Unclog Your Toilet Today!

Whether you’re dealing with a clogged toilet for the first time, or you’re sick of handling a toilet that clogs almost every time you flush, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga can end the madness and restore your bathroom back to normal working order. We’re ready for everything from common repairs to unusual plumbing emergencies.

Contact our team at 905-817-0210 or on our website, and we’ll show you why your neighbours trust us to take care of all their plumbing needs! We proudly serve many Mississauga communities, including Erin Mills, Cooksville, and Dixie.