How to Unblock a Toilet

Posted by f1plumber on October 11th, 2019

How to unblock a toilet:

A toilet that is overflowing and blocked is a problem that you need to resolve as fast as possible. Blocked toilets do not fix themselves and will become worse the longer you ignore the problem, without a bathroom, the home becomes unlivable. All plumbers know wet wipes are the number one cause of sewer blockages each year and should never be flushed down a toilet. Sometimes with a little bit of handyman ability, you might be able to unblock a toilet yourself. To unblock a toilet yourself we may be able to help, read on and you could save your self a visit from a plumber. 

Some items you may need:

  1. A pair of rubber gloves
  2. A toilet Plunger
  3. A stick or toilet brush
  4. A plumbing Auger (snake)

Is the toilet able to flush?

If your toilet is blocked, by flushing it more than once, the toilet bowl will fill up and potentially overflow making the process of unblocking the toilet extremely messy. If the water flushed from the cistern is filling up the toilet bowl and not draining out at all, then your toilet is entirely blocked. If it drains out slowly, then you have a partially blocked toilet. Prepare for the mess and put some towels down No matter how careful you are, when you unblock a toilet you will spill water on to the floor By placing towels on the floor you will make the post-job clean up a lot easier. Use rubber gloves to protect yourself from unpleasant toilet waste. If the blockage looks like a clump of paper jammed in the toilet outlet, you could try using a stick to try and break up the blockage and get it moving into the sewer drain. Use a stick or a toilet brush and throw this improvised tool away when finished.

Try Using a Toilet Plunger: 

If the blockage is not visible, then you need to try plunging the toilet.

You will need to use a toilet plunger, available at all good hardware stores. Toilet plungers are specifically designed to fit in the toilet outlet, unlike the conventional sink plunger. A toilet plunger is designed to create a tight seal in the toilet, increasing the suction of the plunger when in use. When using a toilet plunger start slowly – the vacuum of the plunger may cause dirty water to splash out of the toilet bowl. Ensure that you have created a tight seal, and plunge with force when you are confident the plunger is full of water. When in water the submerged plunger will generate a lot more pressure in the pipes, and you will be plunging water down the toilet instead of air.

Try using a plumbing Auger (snake):

If plunging does not seem to be working after a few minutes, you will need to try a different course of action. A plumbing auger or sometimes commonly known as a snake – available in most hardware stores – is a long flexible coil that feeds down into a toilet towards the blockage. Rotating the plumbing snake will break up the blockage or retrieve the obstruction when removing the snake.

Are chemicals effective in unblocking toilets?

Not usually but sometimes can be worth a try. 

If you have poured chemicals into your toilet, wear protective clothing and safety goggles, plunging a toilet full of chemicals can be dangerous. 

Call a Professional:

If you’ve tried and failed to unblock your toilet, then the blockage is a more serious problem and maybe in the sewer drains outside of the house. If this is the case you have to call a plumber trained in drain cleaning to unblock your drains.


A professional drain cleaning company can give you some simple troubleshooting tips over the phone. If not, they will book an appointment and get your toilet blockage sorted as soon as possible. 


Several reasons can cause blocked drains, so it’s always better to use a professional. If you’re having troubled with a blocked sink or blocked drain, be sure to give a professional a call, and they will diagnose the problem.

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