If your toilet has backed up, you may have already attempted to use a plunger to get the clog to move. However, if doing so did not help the water in the bowl go down, you may be at a point where you are trying to think of other things to try. If so, make sure that you do not make the following mistakes that would not only fail in unclogging your backed-up toilet, but could also make the problem worse.
1. Using a Standard Plumber's Snake to Remove the Clog
Especially if you have had experience removing clogs out of your sink drains using a plumber's snake, you may be tempted to stick it down the toilet and try to break up the clog. After all, the clog is most likely in the pipes, and the snake should go down easily, right?
Using a standard plumber's snake in a toilet not only does not easily remove whatever is clogging up your toilet, but you risk damaging either the bowl or trap if you attempt to shove it down the hole. Since the snake's head is designed for pipes that are open, it will not pass through the toilet's trap without resistance. Even if you manage to pass the trap, you will most likely break it as the head catches on the trap while pulling it out.
While there is a snake, or auger, that is specifically designed for toilets, if you do not know how to use it, you could wind up breaking the bowl. It is better to leave its use to a professional.
2. Pouring Chemical Drain Cleaner Down the Toilet
Another mistake you want to avoid when dealing with a backed-up toilet is pouring chemical drain cleaner into the bowl in an attempt to soften or melt the clog. While this may seem like a great idea at the time, you will, at least, have a major mess on your hand. At worst, you may end up with a cracked toilet.
Drain cleaner only works if it is able to actually reach the clog. If your toilet is completely backed up, the chemicals will not be able to get to the clog, and you will end up with a bowl full of chemicals.
However, while this leads to a messy ordeal, another issue could also arise. As the drain cleaner sits in the bowl, the heat from its reaction will conflict with the cold water and material of the bowl, potentially causing the bowl to crack.
Unless you can use a toilet plunger and almost immediately unclog the toilet, attempting to deal with the problem yourself could lead to disaster if you make any mistakes. Instead of trying to unclog a stubborn toilet yourself, contact a plumber who offers toilet backup repair services to handle the clog and get your toilet flowing for you.