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unblocking a toilet

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Blocked Toilets

How to unblock a toilet.

Unblocking a toilet is not the most the desired of house hold jobs but when that old toilet backs up you just have to roll up the sleeves stick the peg on the nose and just get in to it. Unblocking toilets most of the time is a simple job that can be done easily by the homeowner with just a few simple tools that can be obtained at most  hardware or plumbing supply stores like Reece, Trade Link, Bunning's or directly off our web site. Coupled with a few hints and tips from this article and you will be well on your way to DIY toilet unblocking. Knowing the basics of how to clear a blocked toilet is a very handy thing to know and can save you  hundreds of dollars and the need to call the plumber. 


The common things you have around your home that you can use to clear a toilet blockage are a plunger, old rag head mop and the good old coat hanger.


 Lets first start with how to use a plunger on a toilet blockage.

master plunger

The technique used for unblocking a toilet is the same using  both styles of plungers which I will explain the different types in the next paragraph. Put on your rubber gloves, stick the peg on your nose and insert either type of plunger into the toilet bowl all the way down into the bottom of the bowl and in forwards and backwards pumping motion, pump back and forwards until either the toilet blockage clears or you splash too much water on yourself and cant stand it any more. It can take a bit of effort und may take more than a few attempts but don't give up so easily and  don’t be afraid to put a bit of vigorous effort behind you plunging as there may be quite a bit of toilet paper and other unmentionables and you may need to force it past the section it is blocking up against.
common plungers

Un blocking a toilet with a plunger is the no 1 most common technique used and there are several types you can use to clear a blocked toilet, not to mention blocked basin and sink lines as well. The first type is the original rubber bell shaped plunger with a wooden or plastic handle that you see in every second home that you go two down next to the problem toilet or under the kitchen sink, and the second type is the new age concertina plastic plunger which is much more efficient and found in many stores today along side the old style of plunger. The first type of plunger does get the job done and certainty has its place but is not as efficient as the new style concertina  plunger and is now the number one choice for many Plumbers and DIY enthusiasts . The main reason behind the new concertina plungers increased effectiveness is the increased air pressure you can force down the toilet  or sink drain because of the over sized air chamber which is over twice the size of  the old style bell shaped plunger.


The second technique that you can use if you don't have any of the above mentioned plungers and is an improvised method but very effective none the less is the use of a rag style mop that you would normally use to mop your floors with. This is a very handy tip when you have a blocked toilet and  don’t have access to conventional plungers and a mop is just the thing to get you out of a real mess, it also  keeps you at a safer much distance if you come across a real bad one that you would rather keep at more than arms length away. This method is the same as a hand held plunger mentioned above and requires you to insert the mop into the toilet push in all the way down to the bottom of the bowl and vigorously use the short push and pull method to force through what’s blocking the toilet. A fast backwards and forwards movement works best and after several attempts should see that stubborn clogged toilet flowing freely again.


If this doesn't work then the problem may be more serious than first expected but there's one more  thing you can try and that's method three, the coat hanger.
coat hanger

Unblocking a toilet with the coat hanger is a very upfront close and personal process and should not be tackled by weak stomached people. You don’t want to add to toilet blockage with a weak stomach so if that sounds like you you then it may be wise to call a plumber who is used to dealing with this type of problem every day. But if you have a gut of steel then by all means dive in up to your elbows and coat hanger away. You can use a coat hanger to bend around the toilets s bend and work it through the blockage and hopefully free up the blockage of hook and pull the blockage out. Sometimes this method  works ok if the blockage is very close  and used in conjunction with the plunger types mentioned above the coat hanger can be just the trick needed to help clear that stubborn toilet blockage and is a handy little addition to the toilet clearing arsenal.

Tip, when using the coat hanger, bend the end of the wire hanger in a small L shape so when you are working it through the blockage it will make a larger hole though the toilet paper blockage. The L shape bend is also  used as a hook to pull out a  children’s toy or toilet bowl freshener or anything else that children tend to throw in that may have flushed down the toilet and become lodged in the S or P bend of the toilet. Toilet fresheners’ and children’s toys are the most common causes of blocked toilets in the home.

If all these tips don't get the job done for you  then don’t despair, you’ve done your best and your toilet blockage could be far more serious and way beyond the simple process of plunging as described above. You may have tree roots infesting your pipe or  collapsed and damaged pipes. In this case you will need to employ  a qualified drain cleaning Plumber who will be able to resolve your blocked toilet issue using an electric eel or water jetting machine. Combined with a drain camera to locate and diagnose the problem your plumber should be able to clear and best advise you of you options to rectify the problem for good.


If you cant clear your blocked toilet call us NOW on 1800 65 92 30


Blocked toilets - We take great care to clear your toilet as thoroughly as possible using the latest equipment available although there are various reasons why toilets block or re block again in a short period of time.


1) Tree Roots – Tree roots are the most common cause of blocked toilets and will re grow into a cracked pipe or broken joint every 3-12 months depending on the tree.


2) Broken Pipe – The rough edge of a broken pipe can catch waste material running through your toilets causing the toilet to block several times until it is repaired.


3) New Obstruction – Toilet fresheners, children’s toys, baby wipes, sanitary napkins, etc.


4) Moved Obstruction – An obstruction in the toilet can be released, only to be jammed again further downstream causing another blockage days later.


5) Secondary Blockage – Roots entering an area of the toilet we did not put our toilet cleaning equipment through. Eg. A separate section of the house drainage system. If you get a recurred blockage in any of the above cases within 30 days, a return visit by our experienced toilet technician will be required. You will not be charged for travelling back to your property or for setting up the equipment, only a fee for the ongoing labour and equipment hire will be charged as though we had never left your property. This is called a continuation rate and costs $140 + gst per hour.


*Please note that this rate is only for normal hours, ie Mon-Fri, 7am-4pm. If we find that we did not clear your toilet properly we will not charge you for the return visit. In order to determine the exact cause of the blockage, it is recommended that a diagnostic toilet camera be used. This will enable us to thoroughly examine the internal condition of your pipes and make a recommendation for permanent repairs to be presented for your consideration. *This service costs $320 + gst but, if we have already carried out a toilet clean service for you within 30 days, the rate is reduced to $240 + gst. The camera will also pinpoint the exact location of the fault in your toilet pipes using its transmitter and receiver. This takes any guess-work out of finding the right place to start digging. If our equipment gets jammed down your toilet, you have a damaged pipe. The toilet pipe line will have to be excavated at your cost to retrieve the toilet cleaning equipment and repair damage to the pipe. Our toilet cleaning equipment will no damage your pipes in any way. When tree roots are the cause of your blockages we recommend cleaning your toilet annually as preventative maintenance. This is cheaper than replacing your toilets pipe lines, with the same result. A new option is to have your toilet  pipes treated with Vaporooter. This is a chemical root foam treatment that is pumped into your toilets line to retard the regrowth of the tree roots. *This service costs $400 + gst for the first 30m of 100mm pipe and $200 + gst for every 30m thereafter. (150mm pipe is charged at $400 + gst per 18m and $200 + gst for every 18mts thereafter.)


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