Simple explanations for plumbing problems

My toilet is blocked

Blocked toilet – should I put chemicals in?

The answer is a definite no.

The chemicals won’t clear it. To make matters worse the plumber who comes to fix it will have to deal with an even more toxic brew in the toilet bowl.

Unblocking a toilet from inside the house

Get a cheap old fashioned mop with loads of floppy cloth strips as the head like this one available from Amazon .  

A mop with floppy strips of cloth is perfect for unblocking a toilet.

Slowly push this down into the bottom of the toilet bowl. Now use this as a plunger gently pushing it back and forth in the outlet at the bottom of the bowl. The cloth strips form a pretty good seal in the outlet which when you are pushing it back and forth creates enough pressure to clear most blockages.  

Whether this works or not, you’ll probably want to throw this mop away afterwards.

Toilet blocked – toilet freshener stuck inside toilet

A very common problem is the plastic toilet fresheners getting stuck in the toilet pipework if they fall off.

If you can’t reach your hand inside the toilet bowl to get it you will have to remove the toilet to collect it from the other side.

This is a job for a plumber or at very least an experienced DIY plumber.

Toilet blocked – Unblocking a toilet from outside

If it still won’t clear it may well be blocked outside. If it is it probably best to call in some professionals.

Most houses will have a man hole cover they normally lift up with a big screwdriver or crow bar. Some have locks on and some are air tight.

There’s a chance that when you lift it a back log of waste might come flooding out.

When you take the lid off the manhole there will be two possibilities. The manhole cover (also know as an inspection cover) will either be full of sewage or empty.

Toilet blocked – Manhole full of sewage

You will need some drain rods like these. Just tighten the rods together and push them in the direction away from your house.

Drain rods

Remember that they screw together in one direction.  If they get stuck only twist them in the direction that tightens them up.  Turning them the other way will disconnect them at a joint you can’t get to which is not good.

I personally have only ever used the rods without an attachment on to start with. This tends to poke through any blockages allowing the backed up water to get away.

« Plumbing problems

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