Dealing with a clogged toilet is never a pleasant experience, and it can be even more frustrating when you discover that the cause of the blockage is trash. While it may seem like an odd problem, it’s not uncommon for various items to accidentally find their way into the toilet bowl, leading to a messy and inconvenient situation. Let’s explore what you should do when you encounter this issue and provide useful tips to help you resolve the problem.
Assess the Situation
Discovering trash or foreign objects lodged in your toilet can be distressing, but the first step is to remain calm. Avoid flushing the toilet repeatedly, as this can cause water to overflow onto your bathroom floor, making the situation even messier. Instead, take a moment to assess the extent of the blockage and identify any visible objects that may be causing the obstruction.
Before attempting to remove the trash from the toilet, ensure you protect yourself. Wear disposable gloves and safety goggles to prevent any direct contact with harmful bacteria and contaminants present in the toilet water.
Use a Plunger
One of the most effective tools for dislodging trash from your toilet is a plunger. A plunger works by creating a vacuum and pressure that can help push the blockage through the pipes. Ensure you have a sturdy rubber plunger specifically designed for toilets. To use the plunger, follow these steps.
1. Position the Plunger
Place the plunger over the toilet drain hole, ensuring a good seal between the plunger and the bowl. Make sure the plunger covers the entire drain opening.
2. Create Suction
Press down firmly on the plunger, then pull up quickly. Repeat this motion several times to create suction and pressure. The force you apply is essential to dislodging the trash.
3. Check for Results
After a few attempts, check to see if the water level in the bowl starts to decrease. If it does, you are making progress. Continue plunging until the blockage is cleared. This may take several attempts, so be patient and persistent.
4. Flush the Toilet
Once the blockage is removed, flush the toilet to ensure that water flows freely without any backups. Observe the water flow to confirm that the toilet is now functioning properly.
Try a Plumbing Snake
If the plunger doesn’t work or you suspect the trash is lodged deeper in the pipes, consider using a plumbing snake. A plumbing snake, also known as an auger, is a flexible tool that can reach further down the drain to break up and remove obstructions. To use a plumbing snake:
1. Insert the Snake
Insert the auger’s flexible end into the toilet drain. Gently push the snake into the drain while turning the handle clockwise. This action allows the snake to navigate through the pipes and reach the blockage.
2. Rotate and Push
Rotate the handle of the snake while pushing it further into the drain. The rotating motion helps to dislodge and break up the trash, allowing the snake to grab onto it.
3. Remove the Snake
Once you feel resistance, stop rotating the handle and carefully pull the snake out of the drain. The trash should come out with it.
4. Flush the Toilet
After removing the blockage, flush the toilet to ensure the water flows freely. Observe the water level and drainage to confirm that the toilet is no longer clogged.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
For organic materials or biodegradable trash, you can try using a combination of baking soda and vinegar to dissolve the blockage. Start by pouring one cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl, followed by two cups of vinegar. The chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar creates bubbles and foam that can help break down the trash. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, and then flush the toilet. This method may not work for all types of blockages, but it’s worth trying before resorting to more aggressive measures.
Use Chemical Drain Cleaners
You may also consider using a chemical drain cleaner but be cautious with this option. Chemical cleaners can be harsh on your plumbing and may cause damage if used incorrectly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and consider wearing eye protection and keeping the area well-ventilated.
Soften the Trash
If the trash seems hard and difficult to break up, you can try pouring hot water into the toilet bowl. The hot water may help break down the trash and make it easier to dislodge with a plunger or a snake. Do not use boiling water, as it may damage the porcelain bowl.
Use a Wet or Dry Vacuum
If you have a wet/dry vacuum, you can try using it to suck out the water and trash from the toilet bowl. Make sure the vacuum is suitable for wet environments, and take care not to damage the toilet. You should drain the water from the toilet bowl before beginning.
Dissolve the Trash With an Enzymatic Cleaner
Enzymatic cleaners are designed to break down organic waste. If the trash is made up of paper or other biodegradable materials, you can try using an enzymatic cleaner specifically formulated for toilets. Follow the instructions on the product and give it some time to work before attempting to flush or remove the softened debris.
After successfully clearing trash from your toilet, take some preventive measures to avoid similar incidents in the future. Always remind household members to dispose of trash properly and avoid flushing items that could cause blockages. Place a trash can in the bathroom to make it convenient for everyone to discard waste properly.
Consider placing a lid lock over the toilet drain to catch any small items that might accidentally fall in. Regularly cleaning the toilet and pipes can also prevent the buildup of debris and reduce the risk of blockages. If you have a septic system, ensure that it is regularly inspected and maintained by professionals to avoid potential issues.
Cal’s Plumbing is a leading plumbing service provider based in Tucson, AZ. With years of experience in the industry, we have built a solid reputation for delivering top-notch plumbing solutions to residential and commercial clients. Our team of skilled plumbers is trained to handle a wide range of plumbing issues, including clogged toilets, leaky pipes, water heater repairs, and more. Committed to customer satisfaction, we prioritize timely and efficient service, ensuring that your plumbing problems are resolved with minimum disruption.
Apart from our exceptional plumbing services, we also offer a comprehensive range of home maintenance solutions. From HVAC services and electrical repairs to remodeling projects and pest control, we are your one-stop-shop for all home-related needs. Our dedication to excellence, combined with a customer-centric approach, has made us a trusted name in the industry.
If you’re facing a toilet blockage issue or require any plumbing assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Cal’s Plumbing. Our team of experts is ready to provide prompt and reliable solutions to all your plumbing needs.