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How to Use a Wire Hanger to Unclog a Toilet

A clogged toilet is an easy fix with a wire hanger and our step-by-step guide. Straighten out the hanger, insert into the drain, twist and poke to dislodge debris. Fix your clogged toilet yourself in minutes with just a wire hanger!

Toilet Paper Smiling

Dealing with a clogged toilet is one of the most annoying and inconvenient household issues. After flushing repeatedly to no avail, most homeowners immediately think about calling a plumber to unclog the blocked drain. However, before picking up the phone, know that you can likely fix the problem quickly, easily, and inexpensively with items you already have.

In most cases, a clogged toilet simply needs manual dislodging of whatever solid matter is stuck in the drain pipe. Using something as simple as a wire hanger, you can break up the obstruction and restart your toilet normally.

This comprehensive guide will teach you how a wire hanger can effectively and safely unclog a toilet. We provide step-by-step instructions for this handy DIY approach. We also cover important safety tips when working on your toilet, when a professional plumber is needed, and alternative homemade remedies for freeing clogs.

With some knowledge and techniques, you can master the art of unclogging a toilet without paying for costly plumbing services. So before making that call, arm yourself with a wire hanger and clear that clog yourself.

Straighten Out Your Wire Hanger

The first step is to take a regular wire hanger and straighten it out. Remove any plastic coating on the hanger and untwist the hook from the top. Then, use pliers to unwind the wire until you have one long, straight piece of thick wire.

Once inserted, the straightened hanger should be long enough to reach at least 12 inches down into the toilet drain. Make sure to smooth out any kinks or bends in the wire. Removing extraneous plastic tubing and having a straight wire allows you to easily manipulate the hanger inside the drain when trying to dislodge the clog.

Blocked Toilet Green

You want the end to be able to hook onto solid matter and the length to let you reach deep down into the pipe.

Insert the Hanger and Twist

Once you have a straight wire hanger ready, the next step is to insert it into the toilet drain. Carefully feed the end of the hanger down into the drain opening. You may need to angle it slightly to maneuver past the curve in the pipe. Slowly push the wire down as far as you can go, but stop if you feel significant resistance.

Now comes the unclogging action. With the wire in place, twist it around in different directions, pushing gently to poke and prod at the blockage. The wire’s end acts as a mini snake, helping disintegrate or dislodge whatever is stuck. Twist the hanger all along the sides of the pipe as you withdraw it upward. This ensures any debris gets caught on the wire and removed. The twisting motion also further breaks up the clog so it can flush away.

Repeat inserting and twisting if needed until the water starts flowing normally again. Be patient and take care not to scratch the porcelain. With diligent snaking, the wire hanger should successfully bust up the obstruction and clear the backed-up drain.

Important Safety Measures

When using a wire hanger to unclog a toilet, there are some important safety precautions to take:

  • Wear gloves - The wire may have sharp edges that can cut your fingers. Gloves protect your hands.

  • Use caution if the toilet is cracked - Be very gentle if the porcelain is cracked or chipped. Excess force could further damage the toilet.

  • Always plunge after snaking - Follow up by plunging vigorously several times after removing the wire. This will help flush away any residual debris.

  • Never stand on the toilet - Standing on the toilet bowl can cause it to crack and break. Always stand only on the floor when plunging or snaking a drain.

  • Disinfect - Be sure to clean and disinfect the plunger and wire hanger after use to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.

Putting Gloves ()

Taking basic safety measures helps clear the clog quickly while avoiding harm to yourself or further damage to your plumbing. With gloves and the proper care, a wire hanger can tackle a stopped-up toilet safely.

Call a Plumber for Serious Clogs

While DIY methods can dislodge minor toilet clogs, there are some situations where the blockage requires a professional plumber:

  • Water overflows from the bowl - If water starts spilling onto the floor, the clog is too severe for DIY methods. The drain needs a hydro jetting machine that plumbers have.

  • Multiple attempts don’t work - If you cannot clear the clog after a few attempts with the hanger and plunger, it’s time to call for backup.

  • Repeated clogging reoccur frequently indicates a bigger problem like damaged pipes or tree roots growing into the sewer line. This requires expert diagnosis and repair.

  • Odours persist - Strong sewage smells after unclogging could mean the pipe needs cleaning, and only a plumber can perform it properly.

  • The toilet doesn’t flush at all - If no water goes down, the issue is likely beyond a basic clogged drain. Professional equipment is needed.

While frustrating, severe toilet clogs are better left to qualified plumbers. They have specialised augers and tools, plus the experience to fully clear drain obstructions and address underlying issues.

Other Handy Unclogging Methods

While a wire hanger is an effective DIY solution for unclogging a toilet, there are some other handy methods you can try as well:

  • Plunger - A forceful, vigorous plunge can create enough suction to dislodge a clog. Cover the drain completely with the plunger and plunge vigorously 15-20 times. This builds up downward pressure.

Plunger Toilet Blue Black

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar - Pour 1 cup baking soda into the toilet bowl, followed by 2 cups vinegar. Allow the fizzing reaction to work for 5-10 minutes before flushing with hot water. The chemical reaction can help dissolve some clogs.

  • Drain Snake - A manual crank auger can reach deeper into pipes and break up stubborn obstructions. Feed the rotating snake head into the drain and crank the handle.

  • Hot Water - Repeatedly pour hot water into the bowl to melt or loosen clogs. Boil a full kettle of water and carefully pour it in. Let it sit for a few minutes before flushing.
  • With persistence and the right homemade techniques, many toilet clogs can be cleared without paying a plumber.

Fixed Today Is Here for All Your Plumbing Needs

While a clogged toilet can often be cleared with simple DIY methods like a wire hanger, sometimes professional help is required. At Fixed Today Plumbing, our licensed plumbers are available 24/7 to assist with drain blockage or other plumbing issues in Sydney.

We provide emergency plumbing services around the clock to quickly address backed-up drains, burst pipes, leaks, and more. Our technicians have state-of-the-art equipment to clear even the toughest clogs that standard wire hangers or plungers cannot. We inspect your drainage system to find and repair the source of the problem completely.

Fixed Today Plumbing offers upfront pricing with no hidden fees. We stand behind our workmanship with a lifetime labour warranty on all jobs. Our technicians are local experts you can trust to completely solve any plumbing emergency or chronic issue. We won’t stop until your problem is resolved and you are 100% satisfied.

For fast, professional drain cleaning and all other residential and commercial plumbing needs, contact Fixed Today Plumbing today. Our friendly staff are standing by to dispatch an experienced technician to your property day or night. Don’t suffer from a stubborn clogged toilet or backflow - call us now for the relief you can count on.

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