Is Your Toilet Backed Up? 3 Do-It-Yourself Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

If your toilet is backing up into the bathroom, the next steps you take are very important to the cleanup effort. If you're not careful, you could find out that a backed-up toilet is the least of your troubles. Before you start to unclog your backed-up toilet, here are three mistakes that you want to avoid at all costs. 

Mistake #1 - Keep the Water Running

When you flush the toilet, and the solid waste begins to back up over the edge, your first inclination might be to grab the plunger. Worse yet, it might be to grab a few towels. While both of those steps are important, they're not the first step you should take. You see, while you're grabbing the plunger and the towels, the toilet bowl is still filling with water, which means the solid waste is that much closer to spilling over onto the bathroom floor. To avoid a very smelly mistake, be sure to turn the water off before you grab the plunger or the towels. Once you turn off the supply of water to the toilet, the bowl will stop filling. 

Mistake #2 - Use the Wrong Drain Snake

If your toilet has backed up, you want to get the solid waste down the drain as quickly as possible. One of the best ways to do that is with the use of a toilet plunger. Unfortunately, not everyone has a toilet plunger at their disposal. Not only that, toilet plungers aren't always effective on deep-down clogs. When an ordinary plunger isn't an option, you need to reach for something bigger, such as a drain snake. But, don't reach for the wrong one. Many people think that drain snakes are multi-purpose. That's not actually the case, especially where toilets are concerned. Ordinary metal drain snakes can break right through the porcelain at the base of your toilet. If that happens, you'll need to replace the entire toilet. Before you reach for the drain snake, make sure you have the right one.

Mistake #3 - Get Yourself Into Hot Water

If your toilet is clogged, and solid waste has backed up into the bowl, you might be tempted to try a common method for drain cleaning — hot water. Many people use the combination of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water to resolve the issue. This approach does work well on sinks and bathtubs. Unfortunately, if you try this method on your toilet, you could be met with some serious problems. First, pouring hot water into a cold toilet may result in cracked porcelain. Second, if you try to use a plunger after pouring in the hot water, you could end up with burns. Protect your skin and your toilet. Never pour hot water into your toilet.

Call a plumber if you have a serious toilet backup. They have the best tools for the job and will know what to do.