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How Do You Clear a Blocked Toilet?

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A blocked toilet can be irritating, concerning and embarrassing in equal measure. Many British plumbing and sewage systems which have been around for decades are also very prone to getting blocked. However, there is no need to panic when you experience a blocked toilet. You simply need to arm yourself with the right information and tools to prevent and cure any blockage.

MZR Plumbing and Drainage have years of experience in blocked sewage and drains. Our expert specialists have therefore compiled all the information you need for an unblocked toilet, no matter how prone your system is to getting blocked.

Why Does My Toilet Keep Getting Blocked?

A blocked toilet is an extremely common problem that most of us will have likely experienced at some point. There are a wide array of problems which can cause this, some of them can be solved by simple preventative methods, whilst some of them will be a sign of a far bigger issue. 

One of the most common reasons why toilets frequently get blocked is simply by flushing the wrong items or materials. It is believed that flushing wet wipes instead of standard toilet paper causes approximately 75% of blocked toilets in the UK. 

This data comes from the announcement that Thames Water spends £12 million on clearing approximately 80,000 blockages every year. As a result, the water company have urged residents living in the Chelsea & Kensington area to switch to antibacterial foam sprayed onto toilet paper. 

Some of the other things that people commonly flush down their toilet system and resultantly cause a blockage include:

  • Tampons
  • Sanitary pads
  • Face wipes
  • Condoms
  • Dental floss
  • Cotton swabs
  • Nappies

Essentially, the only thing you should be flushing down the toilet other than human waste is toilet paper. If you are following this golden rule and still experiencing frequent toilet blockage, then it is more likely to be symptomatic of a wider problem. In this case, it is vital that you get in contact with drain and plumbing blockage experts to stop the problem getting worse or even beginning to cause structural damage to your property. 

Should I Attempt to Unblock the Toilet Myself?

Trained professionals are available to unblock your blocked toilet and even repair your plumbing and sewage systems in more severe cases. However, for mild toilet blockages, there are some techniques you can use to fix the problem yourself if you fancy trying some DIY.

A commonly used but unsuccessful and equally dangerous method of unblocking a blocked toilet is repeatedly flushing. If your toilet is suspected to be blocked then you should not continue to flush it. This is not advisable as the bowl itself could fill up and potentially overflow. The result will simply be that the cleanup job has just got even bigger. 

An important distinction can be made between two broad types of blocked toilets. Your toilet is likely to be totally blocked if no water is draining out of the bowl after being left for a while, however, if it drains out slowly but doesn’t remove all of the waste then it is partially blocked. 

How Do I Unblock a Blocked Toilet?

So, how to clear a blocked toilet. Before you begin the toilet unblocking process it is important to prepare appropriately beforehand. This is vital in order to have the best chance of success and also minimise against the chance of causing further damage or creating more mess.

The first thing you should try to do is turn off your water supply if possible. This will stop any risk of flooding which could cause further damage to your home. Many toilets will have a faucet behind them that you can use to shut off the water supply. If you are unable to find the faucet then you should be able to turn off the water for the whole house at the stopcock.

The next step in the preparation process is placing some newspapers, kitchen paper or old towels around the floor by the toilet bowl. This is to allow for some water to spill over the edge if necessary during the unblocking process and will make the post-repair clean job far more straightforward.

Before you begin unblocking you finally need to put on your rubber gloves to protect yourself from any dangerous bacteria in the toilet. If you can visibly see the blockage then one method to unblock the toilet would be to use a long fairly thin object like a toilet brush or a stick.

However, if you cannot see the blockage or this does not work then you will need to use a plunger. A specifically designed toilet plunger is what you should use to have the best chance of unblocking the clog. A toilet plunger has an extension collar which forms a tight seal in the toilet to boost the suction power. 

We do not advise that you attempt to pour home-crafted chemicals down your toilet in an attempt to provide a DIY fix. This is not only not a guaranteed fix, but it could also make the blockage worse and cause detrimental damage to the piping system if not successful.

Do not simply begin plunging away as vigorously as possible. This is not an advisable technique because the vacuum created by the plunger could cause water to spill out of the bowl and into your bathroom living space. The best means of plunging to unblock a toilet is starting soft and applying more force slowly. 

You will want to make sure that created a tight seal and that you only plunge harder when all of the air has been forced out from the plunger. If possible then the plunger should be completely submerged. 

What If My Toilet Is Still Blocked?

If you’ve attempted to unblock your blocked toilet using a plunger and it has not worked then it may have gotten too far down the piping system to be sorted with a quick fix. It may also have gotten within the mechanical system of the toilet itself. In this case, it is vital that you contact a specialist as soon as possible to clear your blocked toilet. 

The team of experienced drain repair and blockage experts at MZR use top-of-the-range equipment to repair drains all across Birmingham and the West Midlands. We operate a 24/7 Emergency Service within the Birmingham area, often being able to get to you within 1 hour.

If you have a blocked toilet or blocked drain then don’t hesitate to call our office on 0121 663 1060 or 07967835427. Get in touch with us for more information.

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