Can a Toilet Unclog Itself?

by Jessica Sawyer | Toilets

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Clogged toilets are an all-too-familiar nuisance for many homeowners and business owners. It’s an especially common low-flow toilet problem. So, if you’ve found yourself in front of yet another blockage, you may wonder if it’s all worth it. Do you really need to struggle your way through a clog again? Or can a toilet unclog itself?

In this blog post, we’ll explore why toilets clog, whether intervention is necessary, and provide you with some practical solutions to handle and prevent future clogs.

Why Do Toilets Clog?

Before you can effectively prevent and fix a clogged toilet, it can help to understand how it got this way in the first place. Of course, the exact reason can vary, but some of the most common reasons toilets clog include:

  • Excessive toilet paper use: Using too much toilet paper at once can prevent it from dissolving properly, creating a blockage in the pipes.

  • Foreign objects: Items like sanitary products, wipes, and toys can easily get stuck in the plumbing, causing a clog.

  • Plumbing system issues: Sometimes, the issue lies in the plumbing system itself. Old or damaged pipes, tree roots invading the sewer line, or a buildup of waste over time can all contribute to clogs.

The science behind clogs is straightforward. When an object or excessive paper blocks water flow, it creates a barrier that prevents water from passing through. Without intervention, this blockage can remain, causing persistent issues.

And this takes us back to our original question: do you really need to intervene if your toilet clogs? Or is there a chance that it’ll fix itself?

Will a Toilet Unclog Itself?

Even if you do a manual flush, the short answer is, generally, no, a toilet will not unclog itself. It’s possible that, in some rare cases, gravity and water pressure might eventually push the blockage through the system, but it’s not something you can rely on. 

So, if you’ve been ignoring that clogged toilet in your home or business, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work! We have a few different methods you can try to banish that blockage.

How to Unclog a Toilet: 3 Step-by-Step Guides

A plunger may be the classic solution, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Here are three ways to unclog a toilet:

1. Using a plunger

Not all plungers are created equal—you’ll need the best type of plunger for the job to see results. You may be more familiar with a traditional cup type, but a flange or accordion plunger is usually the best fit for toilets.

  • Step 1: Ensure there’s enough water in the bowl to cover the plunger’s rubber cup. If not, add some water from a bucket.

  • Step 2: Place the plunger over the drain hole, forming a tight seal.

  • Step 3: Push down gently, then pull up sharply. Repeat this motion several times to create enough suction and pressure to dislodge the clog.

2. The hot water and dish soap method

If plunging doesn’t work or is simply too hard on your body, try a combination of hot water and dish soap.

  • Step 1: Pour a generous amount of dish soap into the toilet bowl. The soap helps to lubricate the pipes, making it easier for the clog to move.

  • Step 2: Heat a bucket of water (not boiling, as boiling water can crack porcelain). Pour the hot water into the bowl.

  • Step 3: Wait for a few minutes. The hot water and soap should break down the clog, allowing it to pass through the pipes.

3. Using a toilet auger

If neither of the above methods works, you may have a deep clog on your hands. In this case, a toilet auger may be your best bet.

  • Step 1: Insert the auger’s end into the toilet bowl and turn the handle. This tool is designed to snake through the pipes and reach deeper clogs.

  • Step 2: Continue turning until you feel resistance, which indicates you’ve reached the clog.

  • Step 3: Push and pull the auger to break up the blockage. Once cleared, flush the toilet to ensure the water flows freely.

When to Call a Professional Plumber for a Toilet Clog

Sometimes, dealing with a clog yourself isn’t productive or appropriate. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, it may be time to call in a professional.

Persistent clogs

If you’ve tried multiple DIY methods and the toilet remains clogged, it’s time to call a professional plumber. Stubborn clogs might indicate a more significant issue within your plumbing system that requires specialized tools and expertise.

Recurring issues

Frequent clogs could signal underlying problems like tree roots invading your sewer line or damaged pipes. A professional plumber can diagnose and fix these issues, preventing further damage and ensuring your plumbing system functions correctly.

Complex plumbing systems

Businesses and larger properties often have more complex plumbing systems that require professional attention. Attempting to fix clogs in these environments without proper knowledge and tools can lead to further complications.

Tips for Preventing Future Toilet Clogs

Preventing toilet clogs is much easier than dealing with them. So, here are some tips to keep your plumbing system in good working order:

  • Proper waste disposal: Only flush human waste and toilet paper. Avoid flushing sanitary products, wipes, paper towels, or any other non-dissolvable items.

  • Regular maintenance: Schedule regular plumbing maintenance to identify and address potential issues before they become major problems. A professional plumber can help keep your pipes clear and functioning properly.

  • Mindful toilet paper use: Educate household members or employees on the importance of using an appropriate amount of toilet paper. Encourage them to flush more frequently if needed to prevent build-up.

Your Toilet May Not Unclog Itself, But We Can Help!

A clogged toilet may not be able to fix itself, but it’s not like you’re stuck with it. If you still can’t resolve the issue after trying DIY methods, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. At Water Pros Plumbing, we’re here to help you with all your plumbing needs to ensure your system runs smoothly.

So, are you ready to tackle those toilet troubles? Click here to schedule a Water Pros Plumber online or call (480) 459-4424 today.

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