Can a Clogged Toilet Fix Itself

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You wake up early in the morning and the first thing to is dash into the bathroom to relieve yourself. To your shock, however, you find that the toilet is clogged. As you drift between your frustrations and getting late for work, then you ask yourself can a clogged toilet fix itself?

Yes. A clogged toilet can eventually unclog itself over time. However, this owes to the fact that most of the things that clog a toilet are water-soluble and therefore at the end of the day will dissolve in the flushing water. Simply give time for the item that is clogging your toilet to break down, then flush and the force of the flush alone is capable of clearing the clog.

However, there a few things to take into consideration before you let the clogged toilet fix itself. When deciding whether to let the toilet unclog itself is the best option or not, there are two most important to reflect on:

What Caused the clog?

Letting the toilet unclog itself is a good idea only if the item that is causing the clog is a degradable or organic material. If you go ahead and flush anything that is not organic, degradable, septic safe toilet or human waste, the toilet won’t unclog itself. Items such as diapers, flushable wipes and feminine hygiene products should not be flushed down your toilet.

These items are non-degradable and thus can cause a serious clog in your toilet. Furthermore, they can back up your septic system, something you won’t even want to imagine. Should any of these items be the reason for your clogging toilet, then consider investing in a plunger and to prevent future clogging of this kind or for the sake of your septic system, we recommend that you stop flushing them down your toilet. Moreover, various toilet models and brands take care of clogs in many different ways. Therefore, depending on your toilet could be well off or worse allowing your toilet to unclog itself.

How Big is the Clog?

You need to consider how big or severe the clog is. If your toilet backs up a little and then starts to drain down slowly, then what you have is a partial clog. A partial clog is a stress-free one and can certainly unclog by itself. You can wait for at least 30 or an hour to liquefy the clogs.

If the clog is serious and your toilet doesn’t drain at all, it is might be clear that the toilet will not unclog itself. Ideally, it is better to be safe than sorry on hand you handle this, especially if the consequences involve mopping up dirty toilet water from your bathroom.

If the clog is big enough to allow it to fix itself, it is advisable you grab a plunger and start fixing it, the sooner the better.

Can I Unclog My Toilet Without a Plunger?

Yes, you can. You can unclog your toilet by using any of the following methods:

Use a Plunger

A plunger is certainly your best bet when it comes to unclogging your toilet. This is a very reliable, effective and affordable toilet tool you should have in your bathroom. A plunger works by creating a seal around the bowl of the toilet.

learn how to plunge a toilet

Completely submerged plunger

It should be submerged in the bowl water so that it pushes the water through the toilet trapway to clear the clog. So, if the water in your bowl isn’t high enough to submerge your plunger, you can pour new water into the bow instead of flushing until it completely submerges the plunger.

Put the plunger in a good position and pump it up and down slowly and steadily at first. It may take a couple of pumps, but it will eventually unclog. Once unclogged, flush it down.

Use a Home Drain Cleaner

If your toilet clog is way deep than you thought, you don’t have a plunger, you can consider making a home drain cleaner. The process of making a drain cleaner is absolutely easy. Pour a cup of baking soda into your toilet bowl, then followed by two cups of vinegar. Add half-gallon of hot water – should not be boiling since extreme heat can potentially crack your bowl.

Let the mixture settle and work to break the clog. After a few hours, you can flush down the toilet, should it be still clogged, repeat the process or choose a different method to deal with the clog.

Use a Plumbing Snake

If the clog is incredibly severe or if it is occasioned by an object in the drainpipe, the solutions we have already mentioned won’t be good enough. Therefore, you should try using a plumbing snake.

Without a doubt, you won’t be having the real plumbing snake, but you can easily improvise one with a wire hanger. Straighten the hanger and wrap one end with a rag. Make sure the rag is well secured to the wire hanger. Feed the end of the hanger with the rag into the toilet trapway and push it down until you can feel resistance. Twist the wire until you feel it giving in, indicating that the blockage has been broken through.


Wire hanger for unclogging toilet

Add a Mixture of Dawn

Dish detergents such as dawn can also come in handy in unclogging your toilet quickly without a hassle. Allowing the slippery detergent solution to go down your toilet trapway and into the drainpipe will help lubricate the clogged pipe thus enabling any lodged waste or items to slide down more easily.  Alternatively, you can chop a bar of hand soap into small chunks and drop them into the toilet bowl.

If the clog persists even after trying one or two of the methods we have mentioned above, call a plumber to help fix it.

What are the Main Reasons Why My Toilet Gets Clogged?

Certainly, there are several reasons why your toilet is getting clogged regularly. However, unravelling the foremost issues causing it to clog is possibly the best way of ensuring the problems are kept at bay.

Here are some of the top reasons why your toilet might be clogging often:

Bad Design

Your toilet might be clogging often due to it being old or poorly designed. A low-flow toilet is eco-friendly but tends to lack water pressure to deliver a strong flush. Therefore, this might be an issue once it gets older.

On the other hand, most modern toilets including those that come with air vents for increased flushing power also get blocked. In this case, you will require cleaning the air vents often to keep your toilet flushing power at the top.

You’re Flushing Items Not Meant to be Flushed

toilet clog clean

Clogged toilet items not meant to be flushable

The only item you should flush down your toilet apart from poop is toilet paper. Items such as toilet wipes, tissues, tampons, and feminine sanitary towels should not be flushed in your toilet. These items are not bio-degradable and therefore will over time clog your toilet. For example, a partial clog occasioned by a single wipe can catch more materials with time and turn into a serious clog.

Large Poop or Excessive Toilet Paper

If you know your toilet clog is due to large hard poop or excessive toilet paper, rest easy as the clog is likely to clear up eventually. Even though they won’t flush down immediately, they will take a few minutes or hours to break down and soften. You can use a plunger to quickly fix the clog or pour hot water into your toilet bowl to speed the unclogging process.

Little Water in the Tank

Flushing toilets require pressure to effectively flush down waste and pressure is derived from the amount of water that pours into the bowl. Should the tank have little water, then the pressure will equally not be enough to push down waste, especially the large poop.

External Factors

Your toilet clogging issues can be triggered by other water-carrying pipes into the drains. For instance, washing machine obstructions are cited to cause problems that disturb the whole draining system and clog a toilet frequently. Moreover, common plumbing maintenance problems are toilet clog creators. The drain pipes that lie outside your home can cause toilet clogs due to the sluggish or non-moving toilet drains from your house.

Sluggish Septic

Sluggish moving septic systems or septic systems that are delaying and not turning over quick enough may cause a toilet to clog. It is important to keep and maintain a healthy and stable septic system for an ideal drainage flow, which in turn ensures clog-free toilets.

How Can I Prevent My Toilet from Overflowing When it is Clogged?

If you regularly have a clogging toilet, it is important to have a rough idea of how to keep the toilet from overflowing while you try to fix it. The first thing that you must avoid doing when your toilet is clogged is flushing it.

Turn off the toilet water valve

To prevent your toilet tank from refiling is the other main way of keeping your toilet from overflowing. Nearly all toilets have a pipe and valve that connects to the tank and is often located at the back of the toilet tank or at the side of the tank. Turning this valve cuts off the water going into the tank. By turning it right, you will contain water flow, and turning left frees it up.

If your toilet doesn’t come with any of the water valves or is in a difficult position to access or too hard to turn, you can consider using the next method to stop your toilet from refilling and subsequent overflowing.

Raise the toile float

Another way to prevent your toilet from overflowing is by raising the toilet float. The toilet tank is designed to refill when the float in the tank drops below a certain level. Therefore, raising the float will mean the toilet won’t refill.

So, open the tank lid to access the float – a ball-shaped object attached at the end of a pole. Raise it out from the water and keep it secured. Don’t worry about touching the water in the tank since it is clean from the tap.

Turn off your Home’s Water Mains

Your house’s water main shut off is likely located in the basement, in the garage or maintenance closet. However, if you live in an apartment, you might not have access to the water mains. In this case, you will have to call the apartment maintenance or a plumber to help fix the issue.

What Can Happen If I Don’t Unclog My Toilet?

It is always advisable to unclog your toilet immediately to prevent water damage. You might valve a faulty valve inside your toilet and with time could slowly leak water into the bowl. Even though I could be so little, it will eventually overflow when the clog is serious. As such, you risk water damage in your bathroom and certainly very unpleasant smells in your home.

Final Thought

If usual materials like stool and toilet paper clog your toilet, it will fix itself with time. It might take as little as 30 minutes or as long as a day to unclog. But if you can wait or decide to unclog it yourself, consider using a plunger, liquid soap, improvised plumber snake, hot water or toilet bowl cleaners. Alternatively, you can avoid regular toilet clogs by making sure that only flushable and organic materials are flushed down your toilet.

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