Home & Garden Maintenance & Repairs

Clogged or Sluggish Toilet


    • Pour a bucket of water into a toilet's bowl rapidly to determine if the toilet actually is clogged partially or if another problem is causing the sluggish flushing. When you pour the water in the toilet's bowl, the water should not slosh over the sides of the bowl. If the toilet flushes normally, there is no clog, but a sluggish flush means something is obstructing the toilet's drain line.

    Not a Clog

    • Once you have determined that a clog is not causing the sluggish flushing, check the level of the water in the toilet's tank. If the water level does not sit within one inch of the overflow tube opening, adjust the height of the toilet's float to a higher position. If the water level in the tank is okay, mix one part muriatic acid with ten parts water and pour it down the overflow tube. The room must be well-ventilated, since the acid emits fumes harmful to your health. After half an hour has passed, flush the toilet to remove any buildup from the toilet's flush ports.


    • Funnel-cup plungers work especially well with toilets, since their design allows them to sit down into the toilet's drain. Press the cup over the toilet's drain opening firmly, maintaining the seal over the drain opening as you pump the plunger's handle up and down at least a dozen times. Plunging will work best on clogs that sit toward the top of the drain.


    • A toilet snake or auger is a better solution for clogs that are deep in the drain. Feed the auger's flexible line down the toilet's drain as you spin the handle clockwise. Push the snake through any obstructions that are encountered. When you are done, turn the snake's handle counterclockwise as you remove it from the drain. You may need to snake the toilet up to three times.

    Other Methods

    • Home clog remedies exist, giving you alternatives to tools. Pouring baking soda and then vinegar in a toilet that does not have any standing water in the bowl will create a reaction that will break apart clogs. Also, try pouring about a cup of dish detergent down the toilet's drain. Boil water on the stove and then pour the water down the drain as quickly as possible. The detergent will settle around the clog, lubricating it, and the water will break it apart and place pressure on it at the same time.

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