Clogged toilets are one of the most common home plumbing issues you may encounter as a homeowner. In many cases, a clogged toilet presents only a minor problem and one that you can fix on your own.
That being said, a clogged toilet isn’t always a DIY fix. In some cases, certain DIY methods to unclog a toilet can actually make the situation worse.
How do you know when it’s time to call a plumber to fix your clogged toilet?
Read on to find out when you need to call a plumber for a clogged toilet and how to recognize the signs that the job is too big to tackle on your own.
Signs That Your Toilet Is Clogged
Fortunately, a clogged toilet isn’t quite as difficult to spot as other plumbing problems. Most of the time, you’ll realize that your toilet is clogged right away. Your toilet is clogged if:
- You can’t flush away waste or toilet paper
- The water level is rising higher than it should
- The toilet overflows in response to flushing
As soon as you notice any or all of these signs, it’s time to take action. While some clogs will resolve themselves, it’s not ideal to assume that they will. A clogged toilet can become a health hazard in addition to being an overall inconvenience.
Steps You Can Take on Your Own to Manage a Clogged Toilet
What steps can you take when your toilet is clogged? There are a few measures worth trying when you first realize that your toilet is clogged.
If the toilet is overflowing, start by cutting off the water supply. Your toilet should have a water supply valve located near the pipes that connect the toilet to the wall behind it. Turn this valve all the way to the right until it can’t turn anymore to avoid any further overflow.
If you want to know how to fix a clogged toilet on your own, your best bet is to grab a plunger. Place the head of the plunger over the toilet drain and apply enough pressure that there are no breaks in the seal you are creating.
Then, push the plunger down and allow it to pop back up without breaking the seal. Alternate between gentle and firm plunging. If the clog is mild, the air pressure you are creating will break up the clog and allow water to pass freely through the pipes once more.
When to Call a Plumber for Your Clogged Toilet
How do you know if it’s time to call a plumber to fix your clogged toilet? As tempting as it may be to keep plunging or try other DIY “tricks,” it is beneficial to recognize the signs that professional help is needed. Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious signs that you’re going to want to call for backup.
The Plunger Isn’t Working
Quite frankly, you can find all sorts of DIY plunging tricks online and very few of them are effective. If your plunger can’t break up the clog, it’s unlikely that baking soda and dish soap are going to work. If, after five or so minutes, the plunger isn’t working, it’s time to call a plumber.
The Toilet Is Overflowing With Sewage
We mentioned the possibility of your toilet overflowing. If the overflow consists of clean toilet water, it’s not a major hazard–although you do want to dry out your bathroom to avoid mold growth.
If, on the other hand, your toilet is overflowing with sewage, it’s time to call a plumber. Sewage is a health hazard and when it starts to overflow, it can indicate a more serious issue than a simple clog.
The Toilet Won’t Stop Running
If, in addition to current or frequent clogging, your toilet runs constantly, let us know. You may need to have your water flap or other components of the tank repaired or replaced.
Don’t ignore a running toilet! It’s not just the noise that’s grating. It can also cause your water bill to skyrocket.
A Foreign Object Is Clogging the Toilet
If you’re wondering, “Why is my toilet clogged?” it’s possible that you’re not dealing with a typical clog. This is especially the case when you have little ones running around who may be conducting experiments on your toilet! Whether it’s a plastic toy, an electronic, or even a diaper or sanitary pad, foreign objects in your pipes require professional removal.
Your Sewer Drain Is Leaking
Maybe it’s not just your toilet that seems backed up. In severe cases, you could be looking at a burst or clogged sewer drain. When this occurs, you can end up with wastewater in your basement, foundation, or yard–and this is always a job for professionals.
What Not to Do When Your Toilet Is Clogged
Are you still hoping to tackle your clogged toilet yourself? There’s nothing wrong with giving that plunger one more try, but there are a few things to avoid. Let’s talk about the two biggest mistakes people make when trying to unclog a toilet.
Don’t Keep Flushing
It’s tempting to flush the toilet a few more times to see if it’ll finally suck down that clog. However, it’s not worth the potential mess. You’re a lot better off calling a plumber to snake your toilet drain than you are flushing to the point of overflow!
Don’t Use Chemical Drain Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners can “do the trick” but oftentimes, the clog is taken care of at a cost. Many chemical drain cleaners are caustic and create a heat reaction in your pipes. This can cause your pipes to warp and corrode, which will leave you with a much bigger problem than a simple clogged toilet.
Need a Detroit Plumber for a Clogged Toilet? Give Us a Call
Are you dealing with a clogged toilet that the plunger won’t fix? Do you need a Detroit plumber?
Contact us to schedule a regular appointment or call us at 248-206-3912 to reach our 24/7 emergency line. We’re here to install, repair, and maintain your Detroit home plumbing.