How to Unblock a Badly Blocked Toilet in UK

How to Unblock a Badly Blocked Toilet in UK


A functioning toilet is a fundamental part of daily life, and a blocked toilet can disrupt the household’s rhythm. This comprehensive guide takes you through the process of identifying, addressing, and preventing badly blocked toilets in the UK. From understanding the root causes to using the right tools and incorporating preventive measures, this guide is your go-to resource for tackling this common issue effectively.

I. Assessment of the Blockage:

Begin the resolution process by assessing the blockage. Observe the water level and flushing behavior to gather insights into the nature of the problem.

Identify potential causes, such as foreign objects or excessive toilet paper usage, and determine the severity of the blockage. This initial analysis will guide your subsequent actions.

II. Gather Necessary Tools and Materials:

To successfully address a badly blocked toilet, assemble the necessary tools and materials. Equip yourself with rubber gloves, a plunger, a toilet auger (snake), a bucket, and old towels or rags.

Having these essentials on hand ensures you are well-prepared for various blockage scenarios.

III. Clearing a Minor Blockage with a Plunger:

For minor blockages, a plunger is often the first line of defense. Position the plunger over the drain correctly, apply firm and rhythmic pressure, and monitor for signs of improvement.

If the blockage persists, repeat the plunging process until the obstruction is cleared.

IV. Using a Toilet Auger (Snake) for Stubborn Blockages:

When faced with more stubborn blockages, a toilet auger becomes an invaluable tool. Carefully insert the auger into the drain, rotate, and maneuver it to break up the blockage.

Flush the toilet to confirm clearance. This method is particularly effective for persistent or deep-seated obstructions.

V. Additional Tips for Tough Blockages:

Explore alternative methods for stubborn blockages. The hot water and dish soap method involve pouring hot water and dish soap into the bowl to break down the blockage.

Enzyme-based toilet cleaners are effective in breaking down organic matter. If considering chemical drain cleaners, use them cautiously as they may cause damage to pipes and pose health risks.

VI. Preventive Measures to Avoid Future Blockages:

Once the blockage is resolved, shift your focus to preventive measures. Educate household members on proper toilet use, emphasizing the importance of avoiding flushing non-flushable items.

Install a trash bin in the bathroom for sanitary products, perform regular maintenance with enzyme-based cleaners, and remain vigilant for early signs of blockages.


Q1: Can I use a plunger on any type of toilet?

A1: Plungers work well on traditional toilets. For toilets with an irregular shape, consider using a funnel-cup plunger designed for those specific models.

Q2: What should I do if the water level in my toilet is rising after flushing? A2: If the water level rises after flushing, stop using the toilet immediately. This could indicate a more serious issue, and it’s advisable to seek professional help.

Q3: Are there specific items I should never flush down the toilet? A3: Yes, avoid flushing items like wet wipes, cotton balls, and sanitary products. Stick to flushing only toilet paper and human waste.

Q4: Can tree roots cause toilet blockages? A4: Yes, tree roots seeking water sources can infiltrate sewer lines and cause blockages. If you suspect this issue, consult a professional plumber for assistance.


Successfully unblocking a badly blocked toilet in the UK is achievable with the right knowledge and tools. By following the outlined steps, using appropriate tools, and adopting preventive measures, you can maintain a smoothly functioning toilet in your household. Proactive maintenance and responsible toilet habits go a long way in preventing future blockages, ensuring the optimal performance of your plumbing system.


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