We’ve all been there. You walk into your bathroom, lift the toilet lid, and discover whoever flushed the toilet before you didn’t do the best job. The toilet is clogged, and now you’re left to deal with the mess. While clogged toilets are bound to happen at some point, they shouldn’t be happening regularly. Here’s why your home may be frequently suffering from a back up.

Don’t Flush!

Out of sight, out of mind — right? This may not necessarily be true for your toilet. Just because it’s out of the basin doesn’t mean it isn’t stuck somewhere further down the pipe. Your toilet is only meant to flush human waste and toilet paper. Anything else will stress out the pipes. Here are some of the common things that people flush down the toilet that are best just thrown in a garbage basket:

  • Tampons
  • Cotton swabs
  • Facial tissues
  • Floss
  • Condoms
  • Diapers
closeup of a young man throwing a wet wipe to the toilet, in a white tiled restroom

Unclogging Your Toilet

If it’s already too late and your toilet is clogged, there’s more to unclogging it than just pressing a plunger up and down. Here’s how to properly unclog your toilet.

  1. Turn off the water valve in order to stop water from overflowing.
  2. Place the plunger over the hole of the toilet. It should stand upright in order to create a tight seal over the drain.
  3. Check the water level. Water needs to be reaching at least half way up the rubber part of the plunger. Otherwise, you’ll just be pushing air into the hole — which does little to nothing. If the water level is low, add some water.
  4. Using the stick of the plunger, push it up and down, being careful to not break the seal.
  5. Repeat this motion.
  6. On your final push, pull up sharply in order to break the seal. The release of suction on the drain should dislodge the clog.
  7. Turn your toilet back on, wash your hands, and clean up any water that may have spilled.

Assessing a clogged toilet sometimes calls for backup. If despite your best efforts, your toilet is still clogging regularly, it may be time to bring in a professional. At First Chicago Plumbing, we’re more than happy to help get to the bottom of what’s blocking your drain. Just give us a call at (773) 661-7969.