You go. You flush. The water starts rushing in to clear the toilet. But the water just keeps rising. The toilet is clogged! In a panic to take care of the clog, many people make costly mistakes unclogging their toilet. We don’t want that to be you!
So here are the top 3 ways people damage their toilet when trying to unclog it.
Using chemical drain cleaners (like Drano)
Most chemical drain cleaners clear your drain by breaking down the clog with a chemical reaction. The heat created by the chemical reaction can cause the porcelain in your throne to crack. And then you might need a whole new toilet … all because of some Drano. Plus, if the drain cleaner doesn’t work and you still have a clog, the toilet is now full of chemicals. Plunging can splash the chemicals on your skin or into your eyes, which can burn! We highly recommend steering clear of drain clearing chemicals in general.
Plunging down too hard
In an effort to dislodge whatever is clogging the toilet, many homeowners get overzealous and thrust too hard downward into the toilet with their plunger. A hard thrust downward can break the wax seal between the toilet and the floor, causing a leak. And a really hard thrust could even crack the bowl.
The proper toilet plunging technique:
- Place the plunger in the toilet bowl so that water is covering the lips of the plunger
- Push down gently to get all the air out of the plunger and to get a good seal
- Quickly jerk the plunger up
- Repeat until the toilet drains
- Bonus tip: You want to use a flange plunger, not a cup plunger.
Using the wrong plumber’s snake
Plumbing snakes (also called drain cables) that are used to unclog sinks can actually scratch your porcelain toilet bowl. If plunging didn’t work, you want a toilet auger (also sometimes called a closet auger). The auger is a plumbing snake, but it has a protective sleeve that protects the bowl from damage.