Posted on: 1 August 2016Share
It is a problem that happens in many homes with young children – the temptation to put something in the toilet that doesn't belong proves too strong. Whether it's a toy, a washcloth, or a random item from the medicine cabinet, the result is usually a clog or overflowing toilet. The following guide can help you tackle this problem.
Shut off the water
If the toilet is overflowing, your first task is to stop the flow. To do this, reach behind the toilet and find the tap for the water supply. It's usually located on the floor or on the wall behind the tank. Turn this to the off position. Take a few minutes to mop up the water to avoid water damage to the floor. You may also need to bail out some of the excess water that's in the bowl so you can tackle the clog without making a mess.
Start with plunging
In some cases the item may have cleared the pipe, but left behind a clog of paper. In this case, plunging is your best bet. Place the plunger over the drain hole in the bowl, ensuring there is a tight seal, and then push down firmly on the handle several times. Repeat as needed until most of the water has drained from the bowl.
Do a test run
Now you need to turn the water back on. Once this is done, flush the toilet. If water flows freely down the drain you can move to the next text, otherwise, skip to the next section. For the next test, wad up a small piece of toilet paper and try to flush it down. If the toilet paper won't go down or if the bowl begins to overflow again, shut off the water. You will need to get the item out of the drain.
Try a toilet auger
You must use a toilet auger, sometimes called a snake. These are different than drain snakes because the business end of the auger is coated to protect the porcelain of the toilet bowl. Insert the end of the auger in the toilet drain and turn the handle to send it down the drain until you hit the obstruction. Now turn the handle in the other direction to pull it out. It may take a couple of tries, but eventually you should clear the clog. If not, you will need to find local plumbers who can access the drain from beneath to clear it.