what to do when sanitation services are interrupted

3 Techniques For Fixing A Toilet When It Backs Up

Have a toilet that is backing up and you're not sure what to do about it? If so, it will help to know the following tips to fix it.

Stop The Toilet From Overflowing

The first thing you need to know is how to stop the toilet from overflowing and causing water to overflow onto your floor. This can best be done by removing the top cover from the tank and pushing the flapper down with your hand so that it forms a seal with the drain. If not, the water will continue to rise and potentially spill over. If that doesn't work, shut off the water going to the tank through the water intake line so that the tank cannot continue to fill. 

Determine What Caused The Clog

It's important to figure out why the toilet has clogged. If you have small children, it is worth asking if they recently flushed anything down the toilet that was not supposed to go in there. Knowing the problem can better help you deal with figuring out how to unclog the toilet and prevent it from backing up. Knowing the size and shape of the object can help prepare you for how to retrieve it.

Use The Right Tools For The Job

If you are dealing with a clog that formed from waste and toilet paper, you should try using a plunger to get it unclogged. However, it's important to use the right type of plunger. A cup plunger with a flat base is best for surfaces with flat bottoms, such as kitchen sinks. You'll want to use a flange plunger for a toilet, which is formed to the proper shape of the toilet bowl to form a good seal.

The trick to using a flange plunger is to put the plunger into the bowl at an angle. You actually want to fill the plunger with water and get rid of as much as possible. You can then tilt the plunger upright to form the seal, which will create a much more powerful force as you put pressure on the plunger. That's due to you pushing water into the drain, rather than air. 

If there is an object in the toilet, you'll need to use a toilet auger to help retrieve the object. The auger can hopefully attach itself to the object and allow you to either pull it out or break it apart into small enough pieces where it can continue flowing through the drain. You can also wrap a trash bag around a shop vacuum hose to help it form a good seal with the bottom of the toilet, then turn the shop vac on to suck up whatever is inside the drain. 

For more help with unclogging a backed-up toilet, reach out to a local service, like Rob's Septic Tanks Inc.