There are few issues in the bathroom that can be as problematic as a slow draining toilet. Everybody has experience it at some stage in the past and may not have known how to sort it out themselves.
However, it is essential that you do learn how to solve the problem of a slow draining toilet sooner rather than later for reason of hygiene if nothing else. The longer a slow draining toilet is left to its own devices, the more bacteria will multiply and increase the chances of a nasty illness or sickness at the very least. It is a simple DIY task to perform, providing you know the steps that you should take.
There are many steps you should take to solve the problem of a slow draining toilet. However, it is essential to note that you may not have to take all of them. The series of steps below deals with how to solve the problem from start to finish, but you may be able to stop at step four if that solution works for example.
It is literally a series of solutions that you should work through until your toilet is clear. Following that, you can cease following them if you so wish. However, you may want to continue until step eleven to ensure that the problem is gone.
1. Only flush the toilet once. If it is slow draining then flushing again could cause overflow. Leave it for 10 minutes or until the water has gone down a little before continuing onto step two.
2. Don a pair of rubber gloves after washing your hands. Hygiene is extremely important in this DIY task.
3. Cover the floor with a plastic sheet to ensure that it does not get damaged if your toilet does overflow or spit. If you have no plastic sheeting then use old newspaper.
4. Pour a bucket of ice-cold water directly into the bowl of the toilet. Pour it in slowly because the added pressure may force any loose blockage away. If it does begin to drain a little more quickly then repeat the process, but do not let the bowl overflow. If this works and it is draining normally after the second bucket of water then try flushing. If not then move on to step five.
5. Switch the water off. You may be able to isolate the supply so that the toilet does not get any by using a stopcock behind the toilet itself. If you cannot find it then shut the house’s water supply off after telling everyone in the home.
6. Use a plunger to add pressure to any blockage. It should be a large plunger to cover the neck of the U-bend.
7. Use the plunger to force air and pressure into the clogged pipes for a few minutes before removing it carefully and checking on the level of the water. If the level remains the same then try plunging again but rocking it backwards and forwards to apply pressure to the blockage from various directions. Do not plunge for more than 5 minutes because this will compact the problem and not solve it. If it has not budged by then, it will not budge at all!
8. Get a wire coat hanger! Yes, you read that right. Unravel the hanger and insert one end of the wire into the U-bend. Move the wire around a little in the drain for a couple of minutes. This will unblock the toilet if the blockage is close to the opening.
9. Use a plumbing snake if the hanger did not work. This is a flexible tool that will reach farther around the bend and will enable you to feel any obstruction. You can then move it around until you feel the obstruction give way and see the water drain.
10. Switch the water back on and flush the toilet. It should drain fine now. However, if it is still a little slow then use a toilet drain cleaner.
11. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using chemical drain cleaners in toilets because they all work differently. There are some green products available and they are better for the environment. This should clear the last of the blockage.
If none of the above works then call a plumber because there is a problem that you cannot get to and an expert is required to solve the problem.