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How to unblock a toilet

We shouldn't need to tell you just how important a properly working toilet is. And we certainly shouldn't need to tell you how unsavoury and embarrassing it can be when it stops working. So when you've got a blocked toilet, you need to know how to deal with it safely and thoroughly. These easy steps will show you how.

1. Come protected

If there's one part of your plumbing you really don't want to come into contact with, it's a blocked toilet. Before you get started, make sure you've got:

  • protective glasses
  • a pair of long rubber gloves
  • a small plunger
  • a strong black bag without holes

2. Don't flush

Most of the time, flushing a blocked toilet is just going to make things worse. The bowl could fill up with dirty water, and you might even end up with sewage on your bathroom floor. So before you try anything else, get started on removing the blockage.

3. Be brave

Put on your protective gloves and glasses, and place your hand into the bowl. Feel around for anything that might have fallen in and become stuck, and see if you can start to loosen any toilet paper that might have built up in the bend.

4. Plunge carefully

Lift up the toilet seat and place the plunger at the bottom of the bowl. Move the plunger up and down to start to loosen the blockage, but do it gently – you don't want any sewage spilling over the side of the toilet and damaging your bathroom floor.

5. Safely dispose of the waste

Once you've loosened the blockage, pull all of the waste out of the toilet and place it carefully into your black bag, being careful not to drip any dirty water onto yourself or the floor. Once you've removed all of the waste, tie up the bag and take it straight out of the house.

6. Test the toilet

With the blockage cleared and the waste removed, your toilet should be back to normal. But just to be sure, place some toilet paper into the bowl and flush the toilet, watching to make sure that it clears. By following these steps, you should now know how to unblock a toilet, and you should be able to deal with most common cases by yourself. But if you find yourself stuck with a blockage that just won't go away, it might be time to call in one of our engineers to take a look.

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