A clogged toilet can put the whole household in chaos and create an embarrassing problem for house guests. Keeping the right equipment on hand will help to keep these annoying occurrences at a minimum. A bit of practice will help you to determine the most effective effort for unclogging toilets. The use of drain cleaners like lye is not recommended due to safety hazards associated with these products.

Drain unclogging chemicals are generally made for sink drains not toilets.

Equipment For Toilet Clogs

A plunger is the most basic piece of equipment you should always have on hand for toilet clogs. Plungers are available at local hardware stores and large home improvement stores. A good plunger will have a firm but flexible rubber "cup" on one end with a long, sturdy wooden handle. The ball-type plunger is the best kind for unclogging toilets. These plungers have an additional rubber piece at the end that can be folded in or out to suit drains or toilet drains. A toilet auger, also called closet augur, is a long, flexible metal tube that is inserted into the toilet to push through the clog deep within the toilet unit.

Lye & Other Drain Openers

Homeowners often come across many products advertised to be "decloggers," but these items are generally made for drain clogs and not toilet clogs. Most of these products contain sodium hydroxide which is lye, a highly alkaline product that can burn skin and eyes, damage old plumbing and cause environmental damage when flushed through the drain system. If poured into toilets they can sit on top of toilets clogs and splash up into face and eyes during subsequent plunging and snaking. Reserve these chemicals for sink and other drain clogs. If you must break up an imbedded clog in the toilet, use one-quarter cup of grease-cutting dishwashing liquid and allow it to sit on the clog for 30 minutes. Follow by pouring several gallons of hot water down the drain.

Using A Plunger For A Clogged Toilet

Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the lip of the ball-type plunger and set the lip into the hole of the toilet bowl, instructs the SanDiegoPlumbers website. Create a tight seal for suction. Move the plunger in and out a dozen times to loosen the clog in the toilet. On the last plunge, pull hard to remove the plunger from the toilet drain and create extra suction. If the clog doesn't dislodge, repeat plunging several times, maintaining a tight contact between the lip of the plunger and the toilet drain area to create adequate suction.

Using a Toilet Augur For A Clogged Toilet

If the plunging action is unsuccessful, insert the closet augur into the toilet drain and uncrank it until it the tube is well into the crook of the toilet unit. Keep uncranking until you feel resistance, then uncrank it a bit more to push through the clog. Once the clog is released, pour hot water down the toilet to remove clog residue.