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Your Regina Plumber's Guide to Dealing with a Clogged Toilet

Most of us are familiar with feelings of disappointment that come from staring down at a slowly overflowing bowl of wastewater after you have just tried to flush.

There are many possible reasons that you could develop bathroom plumbing jams. Sometimes objects or material like tissue paper and paper towels can build up in toilet traps and create blockage, and other times clogs are signs of something more serious.

Whatever the cause, blockage is a frustrating problem to have, but at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Regina our service professionals are no strangers to plumbing problems. The following guide aims to help you solve your home’s pipe problems.

How do You Unclog a Toilet?

Before you start, take the time to find the source of the clog. When you encounter a bathroom backup, the cause is usually in the toilet trap if there isn't a bigger issue with your sewer line. You can narrow down your search by checking your sink, tub, or shower. These all drain out into the same pipe as your commode, so if the sink or shower are draining normally, then the clog most likely lies in the toilet trap.

A common cause of blockage in that area is a buildup of items that should not be flushed, such as tissue paper, paper towel, or sanitary wipes. If you have children, you might even be surprised to find a toy there.

What Kind of Equipment Should You Use to Unclog Drains?

Did you know that there are actually four different types of plungers? A toilet plunger, or flange plunger, is similar to a standard sink plunger that you would use for clogged sinks or drains, but it also has a soft rubber flap in the center that can make it easier to form a seal and get the suction you need to clear the blockage. Using a plunger to break up a clog is usually a good first step and it requires only a few simple steps:

  1. Make sure there is enough water to fill the plunger and cover the area around it when you place it over your toilet drain.

  2. Hold your plunger at an angle so that its cup fills with water, which increases its force. Then place it over the hole to create a seal.

  3. Push in and out repeatedly while keeping pressure over the hole to maintain the seal. Plunge in and out several times before you check to see if your clog has cleared.

  4. Repeat these steps as needed until all jams are cleared and any blocked water starts to drain away.

If you can't clear the clog after following these steps, you may have a larger object generating stoppage, in which case you could consider trying a toilet auger. This specialized tool works like a drain snake does to clear clogged showers or your kitchen sink drain, but it’s specifically designed for toilet issues. The protective sheath around its curve protects porcelain from damage that might occur if you try to use your standard drain snake.

Do You Need to Clear a Clogged Toilet Right Away?

If you can't dislodge that clog or your showers are simply draining slowly, you might be tempted to wait until later before taking action. However, in these cases your plumbing issue might be a sign of something more serious than a buildup of toilet-paper alternatives.

It's possible you might be experiencing blocks in your main plumbing vent—a roof fixture that funnels fresh air into your plumbing system and is susceptible to blockage from leaves, sticks and other debris. You may also have an issue with your main sewer line, which is often the case when you’re experiencing clogs in multiple drains or pipes. In both scenarios, it's beneficial to seek out the specialized tools and expertise of professionals as soon as possible to avoid bigger problems. Waiting longer for plumbing repairs often results in more damage.

Clogs fall under the category of common toilet repair avoided by most homeowners. In most cases, you can avoid such problems by only flushing toilet paper and ensuring that other materials like baby wipes ever enter your plumbing system. Even so called “flushable wipes” can cause issues. Prevention precedes plumbing problems.

If you do experience any serious blockage that you do not feel confident clearing, contact your Regina plumbing experts at 306-205-1807 or request an estimate online.