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Clogged toilet in guest bathroom

Hello everyone,

This is such a crashingly trivial question I’m hesitant to post it.

The toilet in the guest bathroom (which is a private bathroom), is clogged. I’ve actually not encountered this in recent years, A search says that you need to use a plunger, or something called a plumbing snake. I have dim memories of using a plunger, so I must have experienced a clogged toilet at some point in the past. But we don’t currently have either.

The symptoms are that the water in the bowl is dropping very slowly. And if one pokes around inside the bowl, the water turns a dirty color. So there is probably something stuck there out of sight.

I found a link, http://www.familyhandyman.com/plumbing/toilet-repair/how-to-fix-a-clogged-toilet/view-all which seems helpful.

I’m sure I’ll be able to find a plunger here, even if not a good quality one. But I’m not sure about a plumbing snake.

Does anyone here have tips for handling this, aside from what is in the article above? And how serious is such a thing, typically?

I’m not sure what caused it. The guest who showed it to this evening was quite polite, and didn’t make a fuss about it. Fortunately we have a spare toilet they can use temporarily. I don’t know if the guests plan to make a fuss about this - I hope not. Apart from anything else, it’s possible they caused it - presumably a clog would manifest more or less immediately. And they’ve been the only ones using it since Monday morning when they arrived; they’re leaving early Friday morning. It’s currently early Thursday morning here.

Don’t mess around in the mess. Two choices. In order:

Get a plunger. Usually a big wad of toilet paper clogs up the system. The plunger creates pressure forcing it on its journey.

Get a plumber. If the plunger doesn’t work, the plumber will.

Don’t worry about the snake (we call it an eel). Effective but if the first doesn’t work, then the second will.

A lot of people keep a plunger in their bathroom or in a nearby closet. They even have “attractive” looking ones that match the bathroom decor.

I’d try the plunger route first. It may take multiple tries.

I’ve only ever used a pipe snake for sinks, never in a toilet. I’ve actually always been able to unclog them with the plunger.

I’m surprised this is the first time it’s happened to you. I think it happens every couple of months here.

When I lived in an old apartment building in Baltimore it was a weekly occurrence.

Yes, our local plumber is coming tomorrow morning. But it would be nice to be able to fix such things oneself. It’s not such a big deal if it is ones own bathroom, but a guest bathroom is a bit more urgent. Thanks for the advice.

The last time was when I used a toilet in 2006 (I think it was) in Chapel Hill which was clogged. It’s wasn’t my place. Before that it’s been a good many years since I saw a clogged toilet. But we don’t use toilet paper much in India.

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Um… could you clarify…


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Indians mostly just use water. I thought that was generally known. There’s a thing called a bidet shower. That’s quite commonly used. I believe they’re also popular in places like Japan.

Hmm, I sense a tangent coming on…


What a good idea. Yes, a tangent is definitely likely!

It could even rival electric kettles and duvets…


Try pouring a cup of liquid laundry detergent in the bowl, let it sit for a bit, and then flush with hot water from the stove (not boiling as it may crack the porcelain). The liquid laundry detergent will help break down the poo and help it to slide easier. Has worked for me when I couldn’t find the plunger (damn teenagers!).


Yes, I found a link that suggested exactly that. But I’m bit nervous about putting hot water in a toilet - clearly it isn’t designed for it.

Start with really warm water and repeat a couple of times. I used water that was steaming and it did not harm my toilet.

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I put some liquid laundry detergent in there. How long should I wait? And would water from a hot water heater work? It gets fairly hot.

Doesn’t Drano work in toilets?

It might, but I don’t have any. We don’t get a lot of plumbing problems here. But maybe I should be making that past tense?

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I would wait at least fifteen minutes. Yes, try the hot water heater water – can’t hurt. This is a low-cost method so if it doesn’t work the first time, try again :slight_smile:


If I were you; I would ask the plumber to show you how to use the plunger. I would be leery of getting advise from people in the West about how to unclog your toilet as you’ve said that your toilets are not designed for much toilet paper whereas ours are.

I wasn’t aware that toilets were designed differently for different places. Aren’t they all much of a muchness?


Ours don’t typically have bidets and they are designed for lots of toilet paper. I was mostly assuming that they were different based on you not owning a plunger and having not encountered a clogged toilet in years.

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