A blocked toilet is an unpleasant household emergency and one that can be made worse if you do not know what to do.
The first point to note is that a blocked toilet may be blocked before you are fully aware of this. If you see that the water level in the bowl is higher than normal, or that the water takes a considerable time to flow away you should follow the following tips to avoid a major flood in your bathroom.
Do not flush again
Flushing the cistern again is not always the best course of action. Putting more water into the toilet bowl may not clear the blockage. You are adding more water to the problem and, if it has nowhere to flow away, you could overflow the toilet bowl and flood your bathroom. This is the most important step and can save you the most pain so ensure that all your family, especially the children are aware.
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Turn off the water supply
The next step is to stop more water entering the toilet bowl. This also applies if the water is continually running and filling the bowl. Some modern plumbed systems have a stopcock in the cold water pipe near the toilet. Turning this cuts off the water supply and controls the amount of water you will have to deal with.
If there is no stopcock in this pipe you will need to turn off the mains cold water stopcock to the house. As a quick temporary measure you can also lift the ball valve in the toilet cistern which will cut off the flow. Fixing the ball valve in this position will stop water entering the toilet cistern.
Find the toilet obstruction
Unfortunately you next have to find what is obstructing the flow of water. Has something fallen into the toilet which you can retrieve? If there is something obvious wrap a bin bag liner around your hand and arm and pull the object out. Take care to keep the toilet water off your skin and cover up any cuts before you start this process.
Try to move the obstruction
If the obstruction cannot be seen then you can try to move it through the drains system. First remove any excess water from the toilet bowl. You do not want this spilling over onto the floor. You can first try a toilet plunger and if this is not successful then try a toilet snake or auger. This works in a circular like manner and can screw its way into any obstruction so that you can carefully pull out the obstruction or dislodge it so that it flows away.
Is the toilet now clear?
To test if the toilet is clear gently pour some water into the toilet bowl from a bucket. If this flows away pour some more water at a faster rate to simulate the toilet cistern flow rate.
If this has cleared the blockage congratulations.
If the toilet is still blocked.
At this point you are beyond the skills of the DIY practitioner and do not have access to the tools that may be required to solve the problem.
Having tried the above you should call in the experts to deal with the problem. You have tried to clear the blockage but are probably missing some expensive or specialised tool which could clear your blocked toilet in a few moments. A few moments that are a quick telephone call away.
Dyno Rod drains services are on call 24 hours a day to deal with these emergencies.
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