How to Unclog a Toilet

Oh hello there, fellow adults. Isn’t adulthood just grand? I hope you have also arrived at this life
stage in life with poise, confidence, table manners, oh–the ability to deal with poop. [♪INTRO] Yes, a really fun thing about adulthood is
that sometimes you have to unclog a toilet by yourself. Here, we’re going to go over the basic steps
for dealing with your average western-style flush toilet. We suggest that you stock your bathroom ahead
of time with some of these essentials: cleaning gloves, a bucket or cup, a toilet
auger, and a quality toilet plunger. NOT a sink plunger. This? This is a sink plunger and will have a harder
time maintaining good suction. This? This is a toilet plunger and it’s designed
to work with toilets! Okay. Here we go. Step 1: Identify the clog. Sometimes, if your toilet is draining
slowly, it isn’t immediately obvious that your toilet is clogged. If you find yourself in that situation, it
can be tempting to dig into denial and just continue flushing. This is the path to a floor covered in toilet
water. Do not walk down this path. Instead of flushing, open the top of the tank
and lift the flapper to let a little water drain into the tank, then monitor the toilet
situation. If your water isn’t going down, or going
down very slowly you’ve probably got a clog. Once you’ve identified that your issue is
a clog, continue to the next steps. Step 2: Deal with the water situation. If you flushed, and the toilet is going to
overflow, do not delay. Turn off the water supply valve located behind
or next to your toilet. If you don’t have one, or don’t know where
it is, you can open the tank and close the flapper so water doesn’t continue to rush
in. You might have to rig a shoestring, coat hanger,
or stick to keep the float up or the flapper down to free up your hands. If you’ve got a slow drain, wait until you’ve
only got a few inches before moving on. Sorry, this means everyone else in the house has to find a different bathroom In the meantime, put on some gloves and clean
up the bathroom floor if you need to–you’ll definitely want to disinfect it. If the water isn’t going down in a reasonable
amount of time, or you’re trying to solve this problem quickly, you can use a cup or
bucket to remove water from the toilet bowl. This may be… unpleasant. But you can flush this water down later, after
you’ve unclogged the toilet. Step 3: Take the plunge. Once you are no longer in danger of overflow,
grab your special toilet plunger. You’ll want enough water in the bowl to
cover the plunger, but not so much that you’re spilling all over the floor. Start by getting suction with a gentle couple
of plunges in and out. After you get suction, rapidly plunge in and
out with equal amounts of pressure until the toilet starts draining.
[Typewriter Ding] Step 4: The hot water trick. If you find yourself plunging on and on to
no avail, and you’re pretty sure the clog is being caused by the kinds of things that
are supposed to be in a toilet, you can try the hot water trick. Run the bathroom faucet on hot to get it to
the hottest temperature. Gather about a gallon of this hot but not-boiling
water, and squeeze a little liquid soap into it. If it won’t cause the bowl to overflow,
slowly pour the hot water down the toilet drain and wait. The hope is that the hot soapy water will
help loosen and break apart any organic matter down there. Then, once the bowl has drained enough that
you’re not going to splash water everywhere, continue plunging until the drain is acting
normal again. Step 5: The toilet auger. If both plunging and the hot water trick doesn’t
work, you can turn to the toilet auger. This fancy tool is designed to twirl
through and scrape up whatever is causing your toilet-misery without scraping your
nice porcelain. Insert the auger head into the toilet drain and gently turn the crank in a clockwise direction. If the auger gets stuck while you’re spinning
it clockwise, you may have to turn it counterclockwise for a bit before continuing. Now, once you’ve gotten the auger all the
way down there, pull the coil back up. Hopefully you’ll also be pulling or breaking
up whatever is clogging your pipe. Step 6: Know when to call professional help. The steps we’ve outlined here will help
you deal with, oh, 90 percent of clog situations. But sometimes the situation gets more serious. This can happen when someone drops something
in the toilet that didn’t belong in there, like a wallet or a toy or a spoon or a tampon
applicator. It can also happen when you’ve got an issue
with the plumbing that’s deeper than just the toilet. You may notice water coming up out of the
shower or other drains around the house when you flush In these cases, you’ll need to call a plumber. Dealing with literal poop is not most people’s
idea of a good time, but with a little humor, a plunger, a toilet auger, and maybe a professional’s
help, you’ve got a good chance of resolving a crappy situation. If you’d like to share any toilet battle
stories, feel free to pop those bad boys in the comments. Good luck out there! We’re rooting for you! Oh hello there, fellow adults. It’s adulthood just—blep! [mumbling] Oh hello there, fellow adults. Isn’t adulthood just graand? Oh man. Brain fart. More augers. Augers everywhere. This? This is a—This? No… If you find yourself in that situation, it can be tempting to dig into the— Into… denial and just continue flushing. Been there. You might have to rig a short string, coat hanger, or stick to— stick. Shoe string. I’ve been saying short string. [off screen]
Short string works, too. [laughter]
I was like, “what is a shortstring?”

42 thoughts on “How to Unclog a Toilet”

  1. Do I flush tampons or not? At first I thought it was totally fine to flush them but I've more recently learned it is not ok…is that true?

  2. "We're ~rooting~ for you." Ha!!! Like Roto Rooter?
    Also, a strategy I use to avoid splashing while plunging: push the plunger in slowly, and use a quick pull for a suction effect. Don't let it break the surface, though. That will splash.

  3. I never knew that there was a plunger specifically for toilets. I always thought those red plunger things were the only kind of plungers there were. LOL

  4. Oh and sometimes you just have to wait. that's what one plumber said to my mom. it unclogged on its own (we had done 4 steps 😉 )

  5. FINALLY SOMEONE MADE A VIDEO ON HOW TO DO THIS! This is why I love this channel. People finally talk about life skills that you NEED to know but no one ever teaches!

  6. If you can unclog your toilet without having to put a foot up on the tank for leverage, you didn't live life right.

  7. I have never been the same since living the horror of seeing my toilet poop water come up the bath drain after flushing.

  8. I get so scared when I flush a toilet and the water will rise pretty high near the rim and I start to freak out

  9. There's a sink plunger? I thought the two kinds are use less plunger and useful plunger. Also nice Stephen cameo.

  10. I find it odd that in the US a lot of people have some kind of plunger at home, at least from my understanding. While, for example, here in Sweden people tend to not have one, but of course they get one (or call for a professional) the first time they need one, which might never be. Does it have to do with that in the US there's sooo much water in the toilets, which makes it easier to fill up the toilet if something is stuck? Or is it just that professional plumbers in Sweden are very cheap, therefore most people tend to hire them instead of getting a plunger? Actually, I had problems with a clogging toilet in one of my previous apartments. But, since the landlord had an agreement/contract with a plumber company, the landlord paid for hiring a plumber. I hired three plumbers within a week, because something was stuck and clogged the toilet, and the first two couldn't find the problem, turned out to be a screw stuck in the pipes… I lived on the bottom floor at a ten floor building, so maybe one of my neighbours above had thrown away a screw into the toilet (Why, oh, why?…). But this is the only time I have had problems with a clogging toilet, and it had an explanation. Otherwise I have never heard of any people having problems with clogging toilets (except for momentarily when using too much toilet paper, but it always disappear after at most some minutes). It feels like real clogging isn't really a thing here in Sweden.

  11. Oh boy have I got my fair share of toilet battle stories. The worst one was about 3 years ago. Every time the downstairs toilet would flush, water would come up in the kitchen sink. And then the toilet would start overflowing. Called the plumber, they looked at it and "fixed it." But not even a month later, same thing started happening again. Turns out, the roots of a tree in our front yard had broken through the pipes. Between getting the tree removed, fixing the toilet, and having to replace the carpet twice, it was a long month.

  12. I don't have a clogged toilet story, but I do have a clogged tub story. We moved in to our new apartment and I turned our shower head on to rinse out any cleaning fluids the cleaning lady had left. Came back later and saw that NONE of the water had drained. Let it sit for an hour and NOTHING had moved. So I had to pop out the drain and the entire thing was just caked with hair. Long, brown hair. I scraped out as much as I could with a knitting needle and took care of the rest with some drain cleaner. I don't know how the last tenants could even shower with THAT much hair in the drain! It was so gross! The 2nd bathroom tub was just as bad x_x

  13. My last house had many issues. When we moved in, all the sinks were completely blocked with big wads of muddy hair and bobby pins which the previous tenants presumably used to try (in vain) to unblock them. I had to remove the u-bends and use a coathanger as an improvised auger before they drained cleanly.

    Then we had an issue with the downstairs loo's cistern-fill-pipe leaking. I bodged a string to disconnect the pipe so it stopped dripping (but obviously couldn't use the downstairs loo) until the landlord replaced the cistern. Then the downstairs loo blockeḋ.

    I bought a toilet plunger and despite briefly squirting poo-water out of the sink, was able to unblock it only for all the drains in the house to block and for us to have poo-water bubbling up out of the garden drain. At this point it was clearly beyond our skills so we contacted the landlord who was incommunicado for over a week so we had to call someone in ourselves who spent a couple of hours with massive rods, an endoscope, and big augers on the main drain before eventually getting it moving. Luckily, once the landlord came back we were able to get them to refund us, but it was not a fun time. Apparently the downstairs loo's pipe has a very tight turn in it which was probably responsible for the initial blockage and then, after that, the loosened debris just managed to catch whatever was already at the bottom of the whole house's u-bend (which is apparently a thing)

  14. I used to work in a nursing home, and I've had to unclog so many toilets because someone tried flushing an incontinence pad, wipes or even a washcloth.

  15. Just dealt with this the other day. Hot water trick worked. Brought a toilet auger just in case I need it in the future.

  16. Growing up with a family of 6 they would strategically place me in the bathroom whenever they clogged the toilet. They would abuse me and misuse me for hours on end in an attempt to get the clogs dealt with just so they could do it again. I'm tired of this shit. I am a plunger.

  17. Your 90% estimate seems very low. I have dealt with more than ten clogged toilets and none of them even needed an auger.

  18. Please help me I dont have a plunger and I used too much toilet paper ….its stuck I used the hot water soap trick and still nothing idk if I shud play around with the flapper or water flow … im 14

  19. Western style? More like American style. I've encountered toilets clogging as many times as I can count on one hand in Europe over almost a decade living here. Whereas clogged toilets are almost a trope in my American childhood. You can't even find a toilet plunger in shops in the UK!

    Also, toilet bowls here are designed to hold exactly as much water as the tank even with a clog, so no overflowing!

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