Efficient Plumbing Services
Clear A Stopped Up Toilet

Clogged toilets

clogged toiletsEarly model 1.6 gpm (gallons per minute) toilets may need to be replaced, according to the most referred Littleton plumber.  Old toilets sometimes stop up because the waterway was made with a very rough unfinished porcelain.  This roughness, according to research, grabs at the toilet paper, slowing the flush.  According to your local Littleton plumber, compounding the problem are mineral deposits.

If your toilet is old, consider replacing it.  Most of today’s toilets have a fine, smooth porcelain in their waterways, but they still stop up, especially when toys, toothbrushes, and other objects are dropped into them. This is a messy job for the homeowner or commercial property owner that may have several toilets that could become clogged, according to the most referred Littleton plumber. Several methods are available to the homeowner to clear a stopped up toilet.

Plumber Pro Tip of the Week

Tip #1  First, try a plunger.  Sometimes referred to as the old standby, the “plumbers helper”.

Tip #2  If the plunger doesn’t work, try using a hand-cranked auger.  The auger slides along the waterway, and as it turns (because you crank it), it can catch and dislodge an obstruction.  However, if the toy, toothbrush, or other obstacle is turning sideways with the auger head, the auger won’t help.

Tip #3  An expandable bladder can seal off the opening and send a high-pressure stream of water into the waterway.  Assuming you can get a hose into the house, try using a 1 1/2-inch model.  The high-pressure stream of water (depending on your water pressure), will allow some of the water to come back.

Tip #4  Watch carefully into the bowl so it doesn’t overflow.  Make sure to keep the head of the bladder into the bowl about halfway, then turn the water on.

Tip #5  The last line of defense will be a bolt grabber or a bent coat hanger.  Each can slide along the curves of the waterway and sometimes grab the obstruction.

Tip #6  A bolt grabber (available at automotive stores) has a claw that opens and closes as you push and let go of a spring-loaded plunger on the other end.  And sometimes you just get lucky with the old method of using a coat hanger.

Tip #7  If nothing works, you have to get serious.  You will have to pull the toilet and look in from the bottom (the horn) to try to locate and remove the stoppage.  This means draining the toilet, unhooking the water line, pulling the toilet, and flipping it without breaking it.

Tip #8  Once flipped, look into the horn to see if the obstruction (typically a toy) can be seen.  If you are lucky, it will be right at the top of the horn.  A fish hook grabber (sold at discount, hardware, and fishing stores) has an open-able toothed jaw that can reach in and grab the obstruction.  With the toilet pulled, you could attempt a last ditch effort with the bolt grabber or coat hanger – or, finally carry the toilet outside.

Tip #9  Once outside, insert the hand-crank auger into the horn, and try to dislodge the obstruction.  If possible, as you pull back on the auger, insert a hose into the hole at the front end (the toilet bowl) so water pressure will also be shoving on the obstruction as you pull the auger back.

Tip #10  If none of this works, then you have no choice but to buy a new toilet.

PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS:  An existing crack (some are hairline cracks) on a toilet can mean it will break apart as it is being pulled.  Be careful:  Broken porcelain is razor sharp.  Be sure to wear heavy gloves and if applying extreme pressure and force to free an unseen obstruction – wear goggles to protect your eyes from flying shards of porcelain.

Your Littleton plumber recommends that if your toilet is one of the first 1.6-gallon flushes that came onto the market, and it constantly has trouble flushing, it should be replaced.  Any money spent on it is wasted.

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