How to unblock a toilet without a plunger
There are three signs that indicate a toilet blockage: the water draining slowly from the toilet, the water in the bowl is very little or there is none at all after flushing, and the water level in the toilet bowl keeps rising towards the brim and does not drain away. While using a plunger is an effective way to unblock a toilet, it can also be done without one, according to a plumber at My Plumber. A spokesperson from the company has shared four methods that can be just as effective.
1. Drain snake
A drain snake is essentially a long, flexible cable, which has a handle on one end and a corkscrew-shaped tip on the other. It also has a rubber covering that protects the toilet bowl from scratches.
The expert instructed: “Start by inserting it into the toilet and positioning the curved part of the instrument at the curved part of the toilet bowl. If households can still see the cable, then they need to push the auger further in.
“Turn the handle patiently in one direction until some resistance is felt. When it cannot go any further, then it has probably reached the blockage.”
If the cork-screw end touches the blockage, pull the cable out along with the obstruction. Alternatively, the tip can break the obstruction into smaller pieces, which can then be flushed away safely.
If the cable can go in deeper than before and there is no resistance anymore, pull it out by rotating in the opposite direction.
To check if the blockage is cleared, flush the toilet a couple of times. If the water is not draining properly, repeat the process.
The expert advised: “When you are done with the auger, wipe it or wash it and let it dry on its own, but never store it wet, otherwise it will become rusty.”
2. Coat hanger
To use this method, households would need a wire coat hanger or, better yet, one with a plastic covering.
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The expert said: “Wire coat hangers are pliable enough to bend out of shape into a curve, and the plastic-covered ones will not scratch your toilet. If you only have a simple wire coat hanger, wrap some tape or an old rag around it to protect the toilet bowl.”
Insert the hanger into the drain and manoeuvre it to remove the clog. If an obstruction is felt, push against it and water should start to drain properly.
On the other hand, households might find it difficult to reach a blockage using this method. This means that the stoppage is further down the drain.
3. Baking soda and white vinegar
Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, is a commonly used household product. Typically used as a raising agent in baking, baking soda has many other applications.
The expert said: “When mixed with its partner-in-crime, white vinegar, it creates a powerful chemical reaction. This mixture is often used to clean bathrooms, specifically limescale and soap residue. Also, you can use it to deodorise your toilet’s waste pipes.
“When it comes to unblocking a toilet or a sink, if you know that the obstruction is not a solid object, then you can use baking soda and vinegar as an easy, cheap and fast solution to your troubles.”
The mixture works best to unblock clogs caused by too much waste. However, for those who have a septic tank or a cesspit, it is not recommended to use this method because it might disrupt the enzymes that make them work properly.
The plumber added: “This quick and simple homemade trick works the same way when you are dealing with blocked drains, as well.”
4. Hot water
Pouring hot water in is the “simplest way” to unblock a toilet, especially if the blockage is only partial, according to the expert.
They advised: “Before you start, make sure that the water level inside the toilet bowl is low. If needed, transfer excess water into a bucket and dispose of it through an external drain.
“Pour some washing liquid into the bowl to lubricate it and the waste outlet. Wait 10 minutes and then pour two to three litres of warm or hot water. You need to do this fast so be careful not to scold yourself.
“To protect yourself and the toilet porcelain, it is best to not use boiling or scalding hot water.”
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