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How To Clear Clogged Toilet Drain With Wire, Plunger or Chemical

Updated on August 30, 2017
clivewilliams profile image

I am a DIY person who have completed many home projects with basic common sense and help from Google.

Blocked Toilet Drain
Blocked Toilet Drain

The Toilet

I simply could not dive into how to clear a clogged toilet drain without saying a few words about one of my favorite pieces of equipment in the home. The toilet is a simple member of the bathroom family whose sole duty is to basically collect and dispose of waste. The toilet has seen many things in it's life time, and I can assure you many of them is just not pretty. It is a very important and essential piece of equipment despite just sitting there filled with water anticipating it's next ordeal. But from time to time the toilet becomes broken, it becomes clogged and unable to flush. Then all hell breaks loose in the home as family members are all lined up to use the bathroom only to face a broken toilet. Well, this is where toilet maintenance becomes necessary, and unclogging that blocked toilet drain is a must.

What Causes Toilet Drain Clogging?

Toilets do not clog themselves. It is the user of the instrument which contributes to the toilets demise by putting things in the bowl which have no reason to be in there. The toilet becomes clogged or blocked when items placed in the toilet are insoluble and therefore find some corner, bend or sink to lodge in, create a build up and hence a blocked toilet drain. People will try to flush things like;

  • Rags
  • insoluble Wipes
  • Plastic
  • Pets

Note that these things should never be disposed of by trying to flush in the toilet, especially your pet alligator. You will eventually get a clogged toilet which might not be easily fixed if the problem runs deep and may end up costing you thousands of dollars. But don't panic yet, today we are going to look at much cheaper ways to fixed that blocked toilet for less than $50 bucks.

Unblock Your Toilet Using These Items


Drain unClogger

Fishing Wire

1. Using The Plunger to Unclog Your Toilet

The plunger is a simple yet very effective tool to clear a clogged up toilet bowl. The working behind the plunger is simple and effective way to clear some simple blocks which many people have called the plumber to address, costing much more than what they could save if only they had a simple plunger. The plunger works by capturing air inside its rubber head, then when placed over the toilet bowls drain and the push action is applied, the air creates a powerful rush of water that quickly pushes light to moderate blockages down the drain and into the sewer. With that said, here is how to properly use a plunger to remove the toilet blockage.

  1. Ensure that there is enough water in the bowl to at least cover the plunger head.
  2. Hold plunger by the top of the handle and place plunger head inside the toilet bowl over the drain hole.
  3. Firmly grip the handle at the top and apply enough pressure down on the plunger head to keep it firm and from slipping.
  4. Push down hard on the plunger with quick pumping action. If the blockage is light, three to four pumps will take care of it. if it is an heavier blockage, you may have to do at least 5-10 pumps to clear the blockage.
  5. After the blockage has been cleared, ensure the plunger is properly disinfected.
  6. Clean toilet after.

Clear Clogged Toilet Drain
Clear Clogged Toilet Drain

2. Using Chemical To Unclog Your Toilet

There are many drain cleaners or unclogged out there today by the thousands. It is quite easy to get caught into fancy advertising and not getting a product that is effective at what it says it does. I find many of these drain cleaners to be a waste of time and money and will simply not unclog many types of blockages. But for many, it is a simply way of unclogging the toilet and these acidic products sell by the groves. If you are going the route of using these acidic chemicals to clear clogs. Let's look at safety first before application.

Safety Items Needed When Using Chemical Drain Unclog

  • Goggles - Protection for your eyes are always important. Acidic chemical can splash and get into your eyes causing serious damage.
  • Thick Rubber Gloves - These chemicals can burn and cause serious skin irritation. Use goggles to protect your hands from accidental burns.
  • Wear Long Sleeve Shirt - You are trying to protect most if not all of your upper area from accidental burns. Your eyes, hands arms and upper body are more susceptible to splashes.


  • Read the directions for use on the brand and type of drain cleaner you have acquired.
  • Gently open the cleaner and pour the recommended amount into the toilet bowl.
  • Let it sit for the time recommended by the drain cleaner (normally 15 - 30 minutes)
  • Flush Toilet to clear blockage

Using Wire Snake to unclog Toilet
Using Wire Snake to unclog Toilet

3. Using Wire (Drain Snake) To Unclog Toilet Drain

Wire may be required if you have tried using the plunger and the liquid drain cleaner with no avail. Now you may have to do a bit more extensive cleaning as you will have to use a fishing wire from the sewage to try and remove any blockage there. The drain wire is a simple and most times very effective method of clearing some hard blocked drains. Ensure that you are set with a pair of plastic gloves before getting started.


  • Start by inserting the tip of the drain wire into the toilet bowl inch by inch. Do not stop until you feel that the wire has reached the blocked area and can't go any further. Turn the handle on the drum which has the coiled wire.
  • Rotate the snake against the blockage until you feel it feed freely into the pipe. the trick is really the rotating tip of the drain wire or snake which attaches to the clog and spin it away. If the object is much tougher, the auger head dismantles the object and breaks it up.
  • Once you feel free movement in the toilet drain, remove the wire. you may end up pulling out blocked material on the wire.
  • Flush toilet to ensure the equipment is free from blockage.

Toilet and Sewer Maintenance

One way to help prevent blocked up toilet bowl and in yard sewer is maintenance. Ensure that you keep your toilet free from non desirable objects. Use chemical solution every month to keep drain clear. Check the sewer in your yard periodically to ensure that that passage is also clear. Do not plant trees near sewer lines inside the yard as roots have a tendency to break these sewer lines resulting in blocked up drains and a hefty septic bill. Keep all sewers covered at all times to prevent small animals, leaves and dirt from blocking up the line. Once you adhere to these basic instructions. You should have a clear toilet free from blockage for a long time.


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    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 7 months ago from Jamaica

      That pretty interesting to know Eric

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 7 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We have tap roots from our neighbor causing problems. Trees are so cool we just clean them out once a year.

      Did you know that there are poo poo police here in the USA. If you flush non-biodegradable wipees down the toi toi they will track you and fine you.

      Poor poor hemorrhoid sufferers.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 7 months ago from Jamaica

      Flourish, you would be surprised at the thinks sewage cleaners find, unthinkable.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Now I'm going to go check the sewer in my yard to see how close any trees are. I've never given this a thought before. Ever. I hope people don't flush live pets. So cruel.