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DIY and how to guides

How to unblock a toilet

There’s a never a good time for a toilet to get blocked but here's some simple steps to help you clear the problem.

Image: How to unblock a toilet

How do I unblock a toilet?

Blocked toilet? Armed with rubber gloves and a plunger you’ll be ready to tackle it. A plunger can usually help you deal with the problem easily so make sure you have one in your home for emergencies and follow the instructions below:

Step 1

Firstly, you need to avoid the toilet overflowing by closing the flapper - take the top off the toilet, reach into your cistern (don’t worry, this water’s clean!) and look for a round plug attached to a chain - this is the flapper.

Step 2

Put down toilet paper, kitchen towel or some old towels to protect your bathroom from any mess (you might want to pop on a pair of rubber gloves to protect yourself from any germs too).

Step 3

If you can see what’s causing the problem, then you might be able to just pull it out - just make sure you’ve got your rubber gloves on first.

Step 4

If not, it’s time to grab your plunger - you can soften it first by running it under hot water.

Step 5

Place it in the toilet, making sure it fully covers the hole and it’s completely under the water. Add water if you need to.

Step 6

Starting slowly, push and then pull the plunger up sharply to loosen the clog.

Step 7

Speed up and check that the water is starting to drain away.

Step 8

Once you think you’ve cleared the blockage and the water has drained away, flush the toilet to check - you might need to try the process again if it’s not quite worked the first time.

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