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When the water in your toilet bowl starts rising rather than draining after a flush, it’s clear that there’s a blockage. It’s a common household problem that can turn into a messy situation if not dealt with promptly. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of a blocked toilet, how to unblock it using simple tools and techniques, and provide a step-by-step guide to clear the blockages.

Understanding the Causes of a Blocked Toilet

A toilet can become blocked for several reasons. One of the most common causes is flushing inappropriate items down the toilet such as baby wipes, nappies, paper towels, tampons, and cooking grease. These items are not designed to break down in water and can easily clog the toilet pipes. Another common cause of toilet blockage is a buildup of toilet paper. While toilet paper is designed to disintegrate in water, excessive use can still lead to blockages.

In addition to the above, blockages can also occur due to problems in the sewer line. This can be due to tree roots growing into the pipes, or a build-up of minerals and other materials. These issues are more serious and usually require professional assistance. However, before you call in the experts, there are a few methods to try that might solve the problem yourself.

Essential Tools and Techniques to Unblock a Toilet

The first and most essential tool to unblock a toilet is a plunger. A plunger is designed to create a vacuum that dislodges the blockage. When shopping for a plunger, choose one with a flange, as it provides better suction. Another handy tool to have is a plumber’s snake, also known as a drain snake or toilet auger. This tool is a long flexible metal rod that is pushed down the drain to dislodge the blockage.

Additionally, you can use a household product: a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. This combination creates a fizzing reaction that can dislodge minor blockages. It’s an eco-friendly and less aggressive alternative to commercial drain cleaners. However, these household methods are only effective for simple blockages. If the blockage is more severe and these methods don’t work, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

Step-by-Step Guide to Clearing Toilet Blockages

The first step in clearing a toilet blockage is to put on rubber gloves and use the plunger. Place the plunger over the drain hole and make sure it’s submerged in water. Push the plunger down slowly and pull up quickly. This creates a suction that can dislodge the blockage. Repeat this action several times.

If the plunger doesn’t work, you can try the drain snake. Insert the end of the snake into the drain and turn the handle clockwise to break up the blockage. After that, flush the toilet to see if the water drains normally. If these methods fail to clear the blockage, you should consider contacting a professional plumber. They have the tools and experience to handle tougher blockages and can also check for any underlying issues that might be causing the blockage.

Unblocking a toilet might not be the most enjoyable task, but it’s a necessary skill that can save you time and money. Understanding the causes can help you prevent future blockages, and having the right tools and techniques at your disposal can make the job easier. Remember, if the blockage persists after trying these methods, seek professional help. Keeping your toilet running smoothly is essential for a comfortable and hassle-free home.

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