The coronavirus toilet paper shortage has not only been causing major headaches to consumers but local plumbers as well. Ever since the outbreak of the deadly disease, the toilet paper shelves are left empty due to panic buying. With the shortage of toilet paper, many people are using alternative solutions, such as paper towels, disposable wipes, napkins, and other hygiene products that are not meant for flushing.

Unlike toilet paper, these non-flushable products are not easy to break down and can clog the sewerage network as huge clusters of materials have blocked the pipes.

A Costly Mistake

Only poo, pee, and toilet paper should go down your toilet
Only poo, pee, and toilet paper should go down your toilet

A clogged toilet can be nasty and embarrassing. Removing those piles of materials that caused the clog comes at a cost. The cost of fixing a clogged drain and sewage line can be expensive and usually run into hundreds to thousands of dollars.

In serious cases, you will be looking between $200 to $400 to carry out a CCTV inspection to locate and clear the blockage.

Unclogging Your Toilet

A plunger or an auger helps clear toilet clogs
A plunger or an auger helps clear toilet clogs

When your toilet is clogged, do not panic! While calling a professional plumber is the best way to resolve the problem, there are 2 effective ways you can unclog the toilet if you can manage to keep a clear head.

Using a Toilet Plunger

Toilet clogs can be effectively cleared using the proper plunger. There are 2 types of household plunger — a cup plunger and toilet plunger. However, a cup plunger is designed to clear bathtub, sink, and shower clogs. A toilet plunger, on the other hand, can effectively clear the toilet clog due to its unique shape. It has a narrowed bottom designed to perfectly fit into the toilet bowl hole and a larger cup that seals around the outside of the hole.

Fill the toilet bowl with water until half full to ensure a seal around the drain opening. Make sure the flange is extended. Lower the plunger into the bowl and allow water to fill the plunger cup to increase the plunger force. Position the cup over the hole to fit the flange inside the hole. Pump the plunger repeatedly with quick powerful thrusts to create and send pressure down the toilet drain, loosening the blockage. Repeat the process while maintaining a good seal throughout the motions. Take the plunger out of the bowl after 5 to 6 pumps. If most of the toilet bowl water is gone, you have probably cleared the clog.

Using an Auger

To unclog toilet blockages using an auger, simply retract its cable so that its tip is at the end of the guide tube. Gently insert the guide tube into the toilet to allow the sweep elbow to rest at the bottom and the end of the cable to reach the opening of the drain. Crank the auger handle clockwise while you push its cable slowly into the toilet trap until the cable goes no further. Gently crank to prevent the cable from bending or twisting inside the toilet. Pull the auger slowly to avoid scratching the fixture. Flush the toilet to check if the clog is cleared.

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