Over the last few years, there have been some fairly interesting trends emerging when it comes to home ownership and the types of issues homeowners are fearful of when it comes to general upkeep. Perhaps the one issue, though, that has always been a major concern to homeowners is that of faulty plumbing, including the immediate nature of a blocked toilet.
Very few things in this world can strike fear into someone as seeing a toilet not do the one job for which it was made. The water starts rising (and we won’t mention what’s in the water), and you know you have precious little time to make a call that will prevent a real disaster taking place. Blocked toilets are something we all will deal with at some point in our lives, so it is imperative that we know what to do when we are face-to-face with one,
First of all, don’t panic. Be calm. Even though toilets are resilient and can take decades of abuse, sudden impacts or jarring can cause damage to the porcelain, and that could take your blocked toilet situation into uncharted territory. Here are the next few steps to take:
Shut-Off the Water Immediately – If there is one thing many people don’t know, it’s that the amount of water damage that can take place from an overflowing toilet can be pretty substantial. While you shouldn’t need to shut-off water to the whole house, you do need to know how to turn the water off at the toilet in question. This can be done with a simple turn of a shut-off valve behind the toilet that’s attached to the supply line leading to the tank.
Avoid Chemical Agents – It may be tempting to use a chemical agent that requires a simple pour, but many consumers aren’t aware that the chemicals used in these easy fixes can cause damage to the porcelain, making it susceptible to structural issues.
Use A Plunger – It’s a simple tool, but when used correctly, blocked toilets are no match. A simple vacuum seal is created, and an up & down motion creates the right environment to move the blockage along when the seal is broken.
Use An Auger/Snake – If your plunger doesn’t work, you might try using an auger. It requires a little more finesse & experience, not to mention you actually have to have one available. Still, it can be somewhat sensitive work, and being too forceful can cause damage to the toilet bowl.
Call A Trusted Professional – There’s no reason to feel as though you can’t just call the pros when things get a little crazy with your plumbing. A local, dependable, and trusted plumber can make pretty quick work of your blocked toilet, and they may even give you some pointers on what you can do in the future to tackle things yourself.
A blocked toilet only feels like the end of the world, but rest assured, it’s not. By taking simple steps to fix the problem, you’ll most likely be able to pretty easily clear things up. That said, a blocked toilet may be a symptom of a looming issue with your home’s plumbing system. It might not be a bad idea to still call a plumbing professional to your home to do a multi-point inspection to help identify issues before they become catastrophes down the line.