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Reasons Why Toilets Get Blocked

Are you hearing a strange gurgling sound coming from your toilet? Is the toilet water taking awfully long to drain and even overflowing when you flush? These are all blocked toilet signs, which probably means it's time to unblock your toilet.


Reasons Why Toilets Get Blocked

But, why do toilets get blocked in the first place? We take a look at the common reasons why toilets get blocked and what to do to unclog a blocked toilet yourself.

What Are the Most Common Reasons Toilets Get Blocked?

The four most common reasons for a blocked toilet include:

  1. Too much toilet paper being flushed down at one time. If you send too much paper down the loo, it can cause a blockage in the form of a large circular ball.

  2. When objects other than toilet paper get flushed down the toilet like baby wet wipes, cotton wool, and sometimes other very strange things.

  3. If there is not enough water flowing into the toilet tank. Often there can be tree roots growing underground and into the piping of the toilet system which can cause blockages from below.

How to Unblock a Blocked Toilet?

There are a few simple, at-home remedies to try to clear blocked toilets with items you’ll most likely have in your store cupboard. Read on for more.

What Home Remedy Can I Use to Unclog a Toilet?

Here are some alternatives to using a plunger or snake when your toilet gets blocked:

For lightly clogged toilets that aren’t severely blocked up, simply try hot water as a simple blocked toilet cleaner. Boil a full kettle and pour the boiled water into the toilet bowl. Allow to sit for a minute or three, and then flush. The hot water helps to dissolve any paper that might be blocking the pipe.

If that doesn’t work, try adding some dishwashing liquid like Sunlight Dishwashing Liquid to the hot water. Pour about half a cup of dishwashing liquid into the toilet bowl, cover with the boiled kettle water and leave the solution for at least 20 – 30 minutes. Flush after that.

If that remedy still doesn’t work try adding some baking soda and vinegar to the mix. Add half a cup of Sunlight dishwashing liquid, one cup of baking soda and two cups of white vinegar. Then add the boiled water, and leave again for 30 mins before flushing.

Can Coke Clear a Clogged Toilet?

Coke has known dissolving properties, so even though it's not a common remedy for blocked toilets it might work. If you have the budget to allow for it, pour 1L-2L of coke in the toilet bowl and allow it to stand for 30 minutes. Flush thereafter.

If none of these solutions work, it's time to try a plunger which is generally the best blocked toilet solution. Start by investing in a good quality plunger for your home. Stick the plunger down into the toilet bowl so that the plunger head fits down well into the toilet. Move the plunger in an upwards and downwards motion to create the suction. You might need to plunge at least 10 – 20 times before the blockage is removed.

If you’re on holiday or not at home and don’t have access to a plunger, try and find a wire coat hanger or piece of wire. Open the coat hanger until it is completely straight and then stick it down the toilet to try and dislodge whatever blockage may be lurking. Remember to disinfect your bathroom with a germ killer like Domestos to make sure lurking germs from the toilet water don’t invade your bathroom.

When to Know It’s Time to Call a Professional to Unblock Your Toilet?

If none of these remedies are working and you’ve just about tried them all, or you are having persistent blocked toilet issues, it might be time to call in a professional. Ask for recommendations from friends or family members in the area, to get a plumber that you can trust to do a great job.

Unblocking a Toilet - Dos and Don’ts

  • Do try a plunger and our suggested at home remedies first before you call a plumber

  • Don’t flush anything else down the toilet other than toilet paper

  • Do wear protective gloves and even goggles when unblocking your toilet to avoid any contact with germs and bacteria.

Will a Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself?

Sometimes yes, if it’s a light blockage, it may very well dissolve over time and eventually break up enough to pass through. If your toilet bowl is overflowing, or overflowing, allow it time to subside and try to flush it once or twice more to help the blockage pass, before beginning to worry.

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1. How do you unclog the toilet when the plunger does not work?

Many toilets get blocked because people flush things that they should not flush down the toilet. For example, baby wipes, paper towels, and rags. If the plunger does not work, try using a wire hanger to clear the blockage. Straighten out the hanger and insert it into the toilet drain. Move the hanger up and down until you dislodge whatever is blocking the drain.

2. Why is my toilet clogged with nothing in it?

If your toilet is clogged and there is nothing in it, chances are there is a blockage somewhere in the pipes. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as an object being flushed that is too large or if someone stuffs something into the toilet that doesn't belong there. In any case, a blocked toilet can be a real pain, and it's important to take care of the problem as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.

3. How long does it take for a toilet to unclog itself?

It can take a few hours for a toilet to unclog itself, but it may also depend on the severity of the clog. If the clog is minor, it will likely clear up within a few hours. However, if the clog is more severe, it could take several days for the toilet to unclog itself. In some cases, you may need to call a professional to clear the clog.

4. Can hot water destroy a toilet?

Yes, hot water can destroy a toilet. If your toilet is blocked and you try to flush it with hot water, you could cause the water to back up and overflow. The hot water could also damage the plumbing in your bathroom. If you have a blocked toilet, call a professional plumber to unblock it for you.

5. Can I let a clogged toilet sit overnight?

If you have a clogged toilet, it's best not to let it sit overnight. The longer the blockage stays in the toilet, the more likely it is to cause problems. The water in the toilet bowl can act as a breeding ground for bacteria, and if the blockage isn't removed, it could cause severe repairs. So, if you have a clogged toilet, the best course of action is to call a plumber as soon as possible.

Originally published