How to Unclog a Toilet That’s Backing up Into the Bathtub

Many homeowners fear dealing with a clogged toilet, especially when they have guests. This fear is not totally unfounded since it is estimated that more than 28 million American households a month will have to deal with this issue. One of the worst types of toilet clogs is one that affects your bathtub, too. Don’t stress over this; there are steps you can take to unclog the obstruction.

Steps to Unclog the Clog

This job is a little time-consuming, and it may be a bit icky, but doing this task yourself may save you some money. The first thing you want to do is make sure you have the tools for the job, which include the following:

  • Disposable cleaning gloves
  • Plunger
  • Duct tape
  • Patience and strength

Now, wrap duct tape around the bathtub’s trip lever. This is done to make sure there is limited airflow, which helps increase pressure that should help when plunging. The overflow holes on the sink should be covered with duct tape as well.

The next thing you want to do is pour water into the toilet bowel. The water should come up in the bathroom sink or the bathtub drain. This helps verify that there is enough pressure within the interconnected pipes. It also makes sure that the right pipes are affected when you start plunging. You can seal the bathtub drain and bathroom sink with a drain plug and make sure it is tight. It might be a good idea to place a little duct tape over the drain plugs just to be sure.

Make certain that your plunger sits on the toilet bowl’s outlet perfectly. There should be no room for air to escape when you plunge. You can add petroleum jelly to the plunger’s edge to improve its seal. Once you confirm that everything is secure, pump your plunger as quickly as possible. Do this a couple of times before checking to see if the toilet is working.

This might be a good time to make sure the tape is still in place. You may need to reapply those pieces or reinforce them. Of course, this step is only necessary for those who are still dealing with a stubborn clog, because you are going to have to plunge again.

Get an Auger for Tough Clogs

Now, plunging as hard as you can should do the trick, but there are times when this does not work. There is no need to fret, because you can still use an auger. This is a relatively easy tool to use, and it does the job when a plunger cannot. All you have to do is insert the auger through the toilet’s outlet and force it down until you feel a little resistance. Then, you want to crank the auger a few times and see if you can pull out the obstruction. You may need to clean the auger’s head before cranking it again.

There are times when the auger cannot reach the clog, which means that you have to go through the cleanout. This is usually near the toilet or in a closet in an adjoining room. It looks like a cap, and all you have to do is remove it with a wrench. Use the auger in this location to see if the clog can be taken care of.

There you go, these steps should help you resolve the issue. If you are still experiencing issues, it is time to contact a professional.

Never used a plunger? Check out the video below for help: