Clearing a blocked loo without caustic soda?

(16 Posts)
espanol Tue 04-Dec-12 13:59:50

So our downstairs loo is running slow - either the water level fills up and then takes a while to drain, or it drains too much and is very low, and it occasionally makes noises - just flushed it 5 mins ago and it's making bubbling sounds at the moment. I have 4 yo DS who I think is a bit generous with the loo paper so I think there's a bit of a blockage. It has been like this on and off for a few weeks but is now doing it every flush and doesn't have enough suction to clear the toilet paper very easily any more

My local hardware store sold me some caustic soda but I am loathe to use it at the moment. It's pretty evil stuff, I don't have the goggles/mask in the house that it recommends, I don't want my toilet to explode or burn myself, and I have 2 small children running around the house so I really don't want to use it until all other options have been tried.

Any ideas? Just taken a wire coat hanger to it but can't feel a blockage - think it's a bit of a way round the S bend, plus it's an old toilet (quite likely original to the house which is 1930s) and it seems like the S bend is narrow and tight so it's hard to get much beyond the first bend.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Tue 04-Dec-12 14:01:16

Have you gone into a frenzy with a plunger?

I find getting good suction with that works a treat for dislodging blockages

espanol Tue 04-Dec-12 14:06:47

our plunger doesn't seem to stick to the walls of the bowl so I get no suction at all - am I doing something wrong? Do I need to drain the loo first and/or stick the plunger right down unto the s bend?

fergoose Tue 04-Dec-12 14:08:18

I tried caustic soda, plungers the works - in the end got a very large bucket and filled bath with water and very quickly poured large amounts of water into the bowl, after a few goes it cleared the blockage. Sheer volume and weight of water seemed to be the trick.

InExitCelsisDeo Tue 04-Dec-12 14:11:28

We cleared a huge blockage with caustic soda. Can't recommend it highly enough. Can't you wait until the children are in bed?

espanol Tue 04-Dec-12 14:17:10

I'll try that fergoose. It could work - just seems to not have enough force behind it at the moment so that might help.

I suppose if not we'll use caustic soda after bedtime. I'm a bit nervous just because it sounds quite scary!

Once I've mixed it and poured it down do I leave it for a while before flushing or flush immediately?

junemami Tue 04-Dec-12 14:20:27

Coke, pour in a bottle, leave it a while then flush. Not sure if it will work on more serious blockages but safe & easy so worth a try. Good luck

Furball Tue 04-Dec-12 14:21:25

I would lift the related man hole cover and see if it's not the drain thats the problem.

We had similar and it turned out a brick had collapsed on the drain so blocked the pipe and stuff couldn't get passed [puke]

espanol Tue 04-Dec-12 14:24:31

I'll have a look at the drains too. Occasionally get a funny waft from the drains so it could be that.

I'm wondering if it is a blockage caused by those toddler bottom wipes (like baby wipes). DS uses those because of toileting problems we've had and they have finally worked at getting him to take responsibility, but I'm guessing they're not so great for the pipes...

fergoose Tue 04-Dec-12 14:25:32

the caustic soda is v strong smelling and it gets very hot, so rubber gloves, open window and be very careful with it.

Rattitude Tue 04-Dec-12 14:32:48

I got this drain cleaner from Amazon a few weeks ago.

I have not had to use it yet though as by the time it arrived, I had managed to unblock my drains manually.

Caustic soda should be a last resort option: if it does not fix the problem, then it makes it more difficult to use other means to unblock the drains.

Feelingdetached Tue 04-Dec-12 14:56:01

Buckets of hot water and mop.

You need to dislodge whate er is cashing blockage, use mop as a plunger if you havnt got one. Flush with hot water, boiling.

This worked for me with same problem, be prepared to remove any debris, have a jug to fish out.

I got rid of mop after btw.

espanol Tue 04-Dec-12 16:57:52

Plunging with mop seems to have solved problem temporarily but I'll see how it goes. Suspect this is one of those household problems that isn't severe but is a bit stubborn smile

yorkshirebeautyspa Tue 04-Dec-12 19:17:04

A huge springy thing! Sorry dont know it's name but we got one from homebase it's like a narrow spring that's about 2 meters long, you ram it down the loo and hey presto it unblocks the toilet! It's amazing and cost less than a fiver smile

PigletJohn Tue 04-Dec-12 20:09:04

plumbers snake you mean

bear in mind that the blockage may be in a drain nowhere near the WC

I think you need to be searching for the manhole covers and see if any are full.

LetsKateWin Tue 04-Dec-12 20:14:39

When we had these symptoms the drain had collapsed after a tree root grew into it. I hope it's nothing too serious.

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