You’ve plunged and plunged and plunged...but your toilet won’t unclog no matter what! So, you’re thinking about using Drano or some other chemical drain cleaner. But is that a good idea? No. If the Drano does not work, here are some nasty consequences:

  • It can hurt the toilet and soften/dissolve pipes— Drano uses caustic or oxidizing chemicals to create heat to unclog a drain. If Drano does not clear the toilet, this heat can crack the porcelain, soften PVC pipes and dissolve old, corroded pipes.
  • It can hurt you—If you try using a plunger after the Drano does not work, some of it may splash on you, burning your skin.

OK, so what should you do? Read on.

4 reasons why you’re having trouble unclogging the toilet...and what you should do instead

  1. You’re using the wrong plunger For toilets you should be using the bell-shaped flange plunger, not the cup plunger (designed for sinks. The flange plunger can form a tight seal on the exit pipe in the toilet to create enough pressure to loosen the clog.
  2. You’re not using the plunger right Do this:
    • Make sure the plunger flange is covering the exit pipe in the toilet (this creates the seal you need).
    • Ensure that the plunger is completely submerged in water (you’re using water, not air to loosen the clog). Add water to the toilet if needed to do this.
    • Sharply push and pull the plunger up and down. You need to use suction to disturb the clog in both directions.
  3. You have not tried using a toilet auger yet Also called a plumber’s snake, a toilet auger extends a flexible coil into the toilet’s U-trap to clear the clog. Here’s a video on how to use a toilet auger.
  4. The main sewer line may be clogged Do you have multiple clogs in your house? Got an awful sewage smell coming from your drain? Your main sewer line may be clogged. If that’s the case, your typical unclogging tools won’t help you. You’ll need a professional to inspect your main line to see if there are any issues. Learn more in our article: ”3 Messy Signs That Your Main Sewer Line is Clogged.”

Ragsdale Heating, Air and Plumbing has been serving the metro Atlanta area for over 19 years. Contact us online for more information on how we can help you.

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