Toilet Plumbing Made Easy: How to Fix a Clogged Toilet

toilet plumbing guideIt happens at the most inopportune times. The toilet is clogged, and now you need to find a way to unclog it.

There are some bathroom hacks that can help you out. But how can you be sure you aren’t making the problem even worse?

First off, take a deep breath and then realize there are some toilet plumbing techniques that can help.

More info on how to proceed below.

This One Does Not Involve Toilet Plumbing

If your toilet isn’t overflowing, there is one technique you should know about.

It’s important to note you will need to add liquid to the bowl, so that is why this remedy is best for non-overflowing toilets.

  • Try squirting large amounts of dish soap or shampoo into the toilet.
  • Add a gallon of near boiling water to the bowl.
  • After waiting a few minutes, the idea is that the soap will help break up the toilet paper.

It’s possible you may have to repeat the first two steps, or try unwinding a wire (clothes) hanger to gently push down the debris.

The Plunger

For MOST toilet clogs, you should be able to clear with a good old-fashioned plunger.

Below are some steps to take while utilizing a plunger that will help you clear the blockage:

  1. Don’t keep flushing the toilet. All this does is pump more water into the toilet bowl.
  2. Don’t make a mess. Splashing might occur, so it’s a good idea to put down newspapers or towels to help soak up water.
  3. Clear the obstruction. If you can reach the blockage, try using an object (like a small toy) to remove the blockage.
  4. Plunger time. To clear your toilet plumbing, use a high-quality plunger that is made of rubber.

When using the plunger it’s important to make sure it completely covers the hole.

Your plunger will need to be completely submerged so it can be effective.

If you feel like the plunger is pumping air, versus water, then it’s time to refine your technique.

Plunger Technique

With your high-quality rubber plunger, there is a technique to it that can help make the process go more smoothly.

When you first begin, make sure to start slowly as you’ll want that first plunge to push air into the bowl to help dislodge whatever is down there.

The next step, or steps, is a series of pushing down and pulling up which will help to loosen the clog.

Roughly 15-20 times may be necessary to complete dislodging the blockage.

When you think you’re all wrapped up, try flushing to verify the toilet plumbing is clear.


Another option trying an enzyme product that will serve as a waste removal agent.

The idea here is that the enzymes will help liquify the waste materials. They are commonly used in septic tanks so they really aren’t that uncommon.

You can pick up these products at home improvement stores, in the plumbing aisle.

Note that these will only function to clear the waste if it’s organic, as opposed to a toy or another plastic type object.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the label, and only use the recommended amount of enzyme product.

Homemade Drain Agent

If you were into chemistry in high school, this option may be of interest to you.

This option can oftentimes be as effective as what you’d buy in a store.

Here are the steps you’ll need to take if you go the homemade concoction route:

  1. Heat a half gallon of (hot) water. You’ll need at least this amount since a small amount won’t generate enough force to push out the clog.
  2. Ingredients needed. This method uses a combination of hot water, baking soda, and vinegar.
  3. Amount of ingredients. Use 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar added to the hot water.

Ideally, after you pour everything into the bowl, you let the mixture sit overnight.

Note this organic method is intended for waste that is also organic, so if your child’s toy is blocking the toilet plumbing this won’t work.

Plumbing Snake

At this point, we are moving up the scale to a more costly mode of clearing your toilet plumbing. Maybe you have a neighbor that can lend you theirs?

A plumbing “snake” is basically a coil of wire that can navigate the curves of a drain.

Sometimes these devices are also called “augers”.

Once you begin pushing one end of the snake into the toilet, you should feel the obstruction.

Not sure about what you are doing? This option is slightly more technical so keep in mind a professional plumber might be of service like Hays Cooling Heating & Plumbing in the Greater Phoenix area.

The Coat Hanger Trick

At least most people will have one of these at home.

Try unraveling, and then straightening the wire coat hanger.

At the end of the hanger, wrap it with a rag. Use duct tape to keep everything held together.

This option is best if the obstruction is only a few inches away from the edge of the drain.


You can go into any grocery or hardware store to obtain these.

It’s recommended you use this as a last resort since chemicals can be toxic to both people and the environment.

Before you buy, make sure the chemical is made specifically for toilets. Other types of drain cleaners could cause damage.

Also make sure the room is well ventilated, as inhaling chemicals is a good way to get sick.

Wrapping Up

The good news with your toilet plumbing issue is that there are several ways to fix the issue.

However, there are varying degrees to which each remedy is either convenient, let alone sanitary.

If you want to leave it to a professional, Hays Cooling Heating & Plumbing can assist with all your plumbing needs.


Is your toilet acting up? As the top toilet plumber in Phoenix, we can take care of your toilet plumbing issues quickly and affordably! Email Hays Plumbing and Drain or call (602) 714-8270 now to schedule an appointment!


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About the Author

Chris Hays

Founder of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing

Chris and Stacia Hays, are the owners of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family owned and operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling and Heating focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact, Chris or Stacia today at (602) 607-1424.