How To Unblock A Toilet


Rubber gloves
Toilet plunger/pump
Chemical cleaner
Toilet auger


Plungers and toilet augers both cost under £10


30 minutes to an hour


A job anyone can tackle

Bail Out The Bowl

Step One: Bail Out The Bowl

If you can, bail out as much of the water as possible from the pan into a bucket so that you can use a wire or plunger to try and shift the blockage.

 Check The Drain

Step Two: Check The Drain

Next, lift the drain cover nearest to the loo to see if the chamber is full of water. If so, the blockage is further along the soil pipe. If the chamber is empty, the blockage is in the soil pipe from the loo to the chamber or in the toilet pan. Use drain cleaning rods or call out a drain cleaning company if the blockage isn't in the toilet.

Use A Plunger

Step Three: Use A Plunger

Toilet plungers work in the same way as the smaller sink versions but the head is shaped to fit a toilet pan. You can also hire plungers with a pump action handle that are effective at forcing water around the pan, clearing the blockage.

Use An Auger

Step Four: Use An Auger

For compacted blockages, try using a flexible metal wire with a handle, called a toilet auger (you can get these at plumbers' merchants). Feed the wire into the pan and wind the handle when the wire meets the obstruction. Pull out the blockage and flush the toilet several times. If the water still doesn't flush away, call in a professional.

  • Chemical cleaners can be useful for dissolving too much toilet paper or lighter blockages. Always wear rubber gloves and flush the toilet several times to remove the chemical.
  • Keep a couple of local plumbers' cards or numbers in the kitchen just in case.
  • Try to remove hard objects rather than pushing them further down the soil pipe and causing problems in the drains.


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