Few things in life strike fear into you like the prospects of a clogged toilet. The unique thing is that the fear arises not so much from the event in so much as what the aftermath could be. No one likes to think about waste in general, so when a toilet clogs up & causes waste materials to be anywhere other than in the intended place, true terror reigns supreme.
Perhaps a better way to think about why a clogged toilet is bad is that it usually spells trouble for the damage that can happen to your bathroom's flooring. The clog may also be a sign that something else is wrong. It is important to know that you can do a few things to help take care of a clogged toilet. These are important skills to have as a homeowner, and let's face it, any do-it-yourself project is a small victory.
For starters, be sure that all bathrooms in your home have a plunger nearby. Yes, they can be aesthetically unpleasant and might not fit a room's decorative vibe, but what they lack in pizzazz they more than make up for in function. Having a plunger next to your toilet is ideal and can make the difference between a big or small mess … or no mess at all. Plungers work off of the idea of creating a vacuum seal inside the toilet bowl around the toilet drain (the hole at the bottom). Be patient and calm when using a plunger as being too vigorous can cause water (and whatever is in the water) to splash all over you and your bathroom.
It's a bit of hindsight, but try to avoid causing clogs in the first place. Sewer / septic systems are meant to handle waste materials, so when you introduce other foreign items, clogs are surely around the corner. Think about public restrooms that make it a point to indicate what items are, and are not, safe to be flushed. Use the same logic at home.
If you are not having success using the plunger, you can use an auger to get things moving freely once again. The auger uses more manipulation and movement to break up a clog in your toilet, and for tough clogs, this may be the best way to remedy the situation.
Here, though, is where our tale moves in a decidedly different direction. If a plunger or auger have not been able to clear up the clog in your toilet, it's time to call in a professional plumber. You may be thinking that this seems like such a quick turnaround from being a do-it-yourself juggernaut to another person defaulting to a professional, but there's a reason for this. Plumbers have seen it all, and where you may have come up short they will usually find success. This is their job. Moreover, if you're using a plunger or auger in poor fashion, you may actually cause damage to your toilet. Plumbers are also able to figure out if there is a much bigger issue at hand. On the surface, it's just a clogged toilet, but you may have a major clog in your sewer system which requires professional attention.
Being the master of your domain is a great thing, and having the basic skills to tackle a clogged toilet in your home is a must for a responsible homeowner. However, in keeping with being responsible, know when it's time to bring in the pros.