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Thread: Clogged toilet - aaargh, and a few tips I learned

  1. #1

    Clogged toilet - aaargh, and a few tips I learned

    I like home improvement/repair projects generally. Except plumbing. I do not like plumbing. I have now decided I exceptionally do not like clogged toilets.

    First of all the disclaimer - I didn't do it. He did it. Him. It was HIM! HE did it!!! Ahhh, now that's off my chest.

    So I wake up in the morning to discover the toilet clogged - and the bathmat hanging somewhere wierd. Wake up husband - what happened in the bathroom? Dunno, seemed fine to him. OK. Men.

    Well, water was low in the toilet - I plunged the toilet. Thought it might be ok, and flushed to toilet. Tip #1 - don't do that. So it starts to overflow, I run to grab the pile of old towels - they aren't there. Husband has moved them. So now there is a flood. Tip #2 - before flushing if questionable, have the top off the tank so you can just pull the float up and stop the water quickly if needed. Then, turn the valve off on the wall. Wish I had that tip to start. I fetched many old towels, mopped up the flood.

    OK, so I can't fix it with the plunger. Tip #3 - have one of those good stiff-ish plungers, with the bit that sticks out into the hole in the toilet. Even though it didn't work for me this time, a good plunger can really make a difference.

    So I drive to town to buy a plumber's auger - I also need to pick up antibiotics for the sick dog. OK, I get the auger - but the car is now making a horrible clunking noise. Terrific. Go to the shop and the car needs a new tie rod. Great - but you have to drive me and the auger home first. Guess the doggy antibiotics can wait until later today.

    So I do battle with the toilet and the auger. Tip #4 - buy the $30 one - you can use it in sinks etc. as well as toilets. Plus I think I ended up using about 30 feet of line to push the clog all the way through in the end. The cheap augers, that are just for toilets, are very short.

    Tip #5 - read from some plumbing site, and it did help - really hot water and dishwashing detergent help dissolve the ...uhhhh... stuff.

    Lesson - I really really HATE badly clogged toilets. Suggested to husband he can now clean up after the project - I went off to shower. Even having taken a long hot shower, I still have the mad desire to completely submerge myself in a large tub of disinfectant. Ugh.

  2. #2
    TAM, don't you find that the large sink auger leaves permanents scratches on the inside of the toilet since it doesn't have the protective sleeve that toilet augers have?
    Daniel

  3. #3
    Well it seems to have survived. But yeah, you have a good point. I wondered about that (after it was too late). Perhaps people should ignore my tip on that one, I don't know.

    I suspect it could scratch things. I was trying to decide how, if I ever have to do this again, there might be some way to protect it. It wasn't really bashing on the edges of the toilet or anything, but down by the hole it could probably mess it up. I was trying to think of some sort of piece of pvc or something that could be stuck in there to prevent that problem.

    But with the little toilet one (seem to be about 6 feet long or so) I wouldn't have had a prayer of unclogging it.

  4. #4
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    Tip #6 - when you see the low water and rug in a wierd place, use the other bathroom. Wait for hubby or teenage son or someone else "handy" to use it.

  5. #5
    Probably an excellent tip for many

    But for me - no teenage sons. Hubby is the least handy person I know - I shudder to think what the outcome might have been if I had not intervened. First of all, he probably would have walked out of the room without noticing the flood (lol he's not the most observant critter either).

  6. #6
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    Sounds like he may have already if the rug was someplace weird. Makes you wonder.

    I don't have teenage sons either and David (who was once very handy) is uncapable now. I too have learned alot. Actually a toilet auger (or snake) probably would have been fine, it's only a small opening until it gets to the floor and then the drain becomes a 4 inch pipe (in our house anyway) but if you bought the other one and/or need the longer one, a piece of a garden hose protects it nicely.

    Glad you got everything working, you must admit, it's a good feeling accomplishing something that shouldn't be "your job".

  7. #7
    I guess we do learn a lot.

    I can't imagine how the small one would have worked - I didn't get it uncogged until I had almost the whole length of the auger out. This part of the house has an addition - so I can't imagine how it stayed stuck if there was a 4 inch pipe! Just thinking of something I read - I think the older plumbing was 4 inch drainpipes - which don't always work as well with the low water use new toilets. But I think some of the newer plumbing has smaller pipes - which is probably the case in this part of my house.

    In any case, I am very relieved it worked. The garden hose is a great idea - I'll remember that if I ever have to do this again. Which I most sincerely hope I do NOT!

    I have good feelings accomplishing many home repair tasks - but other than the relief of not having to pay a plumber, I think the main feeling this episode inspired in me was the desire to be thoroughly disinfected!

  8. #8
    Great tip with the garden hose. I'll have to remember it when I get a replacement drain auger (the wire on my last 'toilet' auger broke off during use ... not fun). Maybe one of these days I'll get one of those pressure-assisted toilets. *sigh*
    Daniel

  9. #9
    Oh, oh broken off inside the toilet - I can hardly bear to think of that problem!

    Re. the pressure assisted toilet - funny you should say that, I was just googling those earlier. Sound expensive though. I did read one site where they said someone was working on a conversion kit for your existing toilet - I think I may keep my eye out for that.

  10. #10
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    My parents have a pressure assisted toilet and it sprays water out of the bowl when its flushed. I hate that thing. It's loud too. Also there is no way to lift up the plunger if you have a problem, you will have to shut the water supply off, if you have well water, like they do, it also gets full of rust and there is no way to open it up and service or clean it.

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