You finish up in the bathroom, you push the handle on your toilet and – nothing happens. Rather than your normal, comforting flush, you’re greeted with filthy water backing up to the surface or an empty, gurgling bowl.

It’s happened to all of us. A clogged toilet is one of the most common plumbing issues in the bathroom. Fortunately, in most cases it’s also one of the easiest to fix on your own.

Is your toilet clogged? Have no fear. Here are a few ways to take care of a backed-up bowl the right way:

Use a Plunger

The plunger is one of the most important plumbing tools to keep around your house, and it should be enough to deal with most clogged up toilets. Before you begin, make sure you’re using a flange plunger, which has a wider cup specially designed for use with toilets.

If you suspect your toilet is plugged up, first give it some time to sit to see if the water level goes up or down. After a bit, you can begin plunging. Wear rubber gloves and lay down newspaper or a drop cloth on your tile – this might get messy!

Start by fitting the bell of your plunger against your toilet drain. Begin by plunging gently up and down, to force the air out of the bell. After you work out the air, begin to plunge more vigorously. Inside your drain, the force of the plunger is pushing water in both directions, which should loosen up the clog. Be patient – it may take a couple of minutes – and a few hearty plunges – to really work out the clog.

Try a Snake

Though your plunger should be enough for most household toilet clogs, you may find that your clog requires a snake. First, make sure you’re using the right snake with our handy guide. A toilet augur, for example, is specifically designed for clogged toilets that a plunger can’t fix.

Essentially a long wire with a coiled end, a snake works by feeding into your pipe until it reaches the clog. Once you feel it, turn the snake so that the tip grabs hold of the source, so that you can pull it out, or else breaks it apart.

If neither of these options work, you there is a chemical option – though we strongly advise against them, because they work more slowly and can lead to corrosion. If all else fails or there’s a foreign object in your system that you just can’t get, it may be time to call in the experts.

Whenever you’re having issues with your bathroom, give Mister Plumber a call. If you are still looking for trusted, licensed plumber – Mister Plumber in Toronto, Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York specializing sewer repair, upgrade waterline, water service upgrade, drain cleaning, backwater valve installation, lead pipe replacement, re-piping and emergency plumbing, Mister Plumber uses the latest technology to effectively troubleshoot and quickly repair any plumbing problem and offers a fast response and free estimates.

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