Will a toilet eventually unclog itself? The answer is yes, but it’s not clear how long it will take to unclog completely.
Some toilets might take just one day to unclog while others might take as long as two or more weeks.
While you might be tempted to wait for as long as possible, it is important to know that the longer your clogged-up toilet sits without being cleared out, the more likely it is for other types of problems to arise. For instance, you are likely to experience mold growth or even worse things like septic tank overflow.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure the process goes more quickly as we shall see in this article. So let’s get started.
- Will a toilet eventually unclog itself? Factors that determine
- What do you do when your toilet won’t unclog itself?
- When to call a professional plumber
- Helpful tips on how to keep your toilet from getting clogged
- FAQ about whether a toilet will eventually unclog itself
Will a toilet eventually unclog itself? Factors that determine
It’s hard to know how long it will take for a toilet to unclog itself. This is because there are many factors that can affect this time frame such as what is clogging up the toilet, the size of your pipes, and the water pressure in your home among others.
1. What is the cause of clog?
You might be surprised to learn that a toilet will eventually unclog itself, assuming there is no foreign object in the bowl. Unfortunately, toilets clog when there is something foreign causing the blockage.
Figuring out why your toilet is clogged and how big the blockage is will help you to determine if it will eventually unclog itself or not.
One of the most common toilet clog culprits is hair. Hair can form hairballs or wrap around and stick to drainage pipes, building up until it blocks your pipes altogether.
Other types of debris that may lead to a clogged toilet include food waste or other items which are flushed down the toilet but shouldn’t be. These may include sanitary pads, cotton swabs, paper towels, and baby wipes among others. To avoid this problem in the future you should never flush these things down the toilet.
You can speed up the unclogging process by simply removing as much blockage as possible with whatever you have on hand like a plunger or toilet auger.
Once the cause of a clog has been removed, or if there’s not much blocking the path between the water inlet pipe and sewage outlet pipe, then chances are that gravity may be enough for things to work themselves out over time.
See also: Best stain resistant toilet seats
2. Size of the drainage pipes
The size of the drainage pipes can cause a toilet clog. The drainage pipes are usually hidden below your bathroom floor and run from the back of your toilet up through the wall into an outside storm drain system.
They can cause the clogging issue if they’re not sized correctly depending on how many people use them every day.
If there is not enough space around the drainpipe, water may accumulate in the pipes due to heavy usage and overflow in the toilet bowl or even pour onto the bathroom floor.
The best solution is to have your plumbing system inspected by a professional plumber. He or she will advise on whether or not your drainage pipes need to be changed to a bigger size to ease drainage and stop overflowing.
What do you do when your toilet won’t unclog itself?
It’s not uncommon for a toilet to get clogged and need some help.
If after waiting for some time the toilet still remains clogged, you might want to speed up the process yourself before calling for professional assistance.
There are many ways you can unclog your toilet at home with few household items like bleach, baking soda, or vinegar as explained below.
How to unclog a toilet with baking soda and vinegar to speed up the process
Unclogging a toilet can be a time-consuming, unpleasant process that requires a lot of patience.
But some of us (I included) don’t have the patience to wait for hours as the clog disappears while using traditional methods like plunging or using an auger.
If you are like me, there are some things you can do that will speed up the process and make it less messy.
One is to use baking soda and vinegar together in your drain pipe. This method has been proven effective by many plumbing professionals as well as homeowners.
The combination dissolves grease quickly and loosens hard water deposits so that they can flow freely out of your pipes again.
When you mix baking soda and vinegar, an abrasive chemical reaction occurs which breaks down any leftover food or waste particles stuck inside your pipes.
This mixture should work within 10-15 minutes for smaller toilets while larger toilets may require longer time periods depending on how much debris has accumulated over time.
See also: Does vinegar dissolve toilet paper?
Using hot water and dish soap to unclog a toilet
Using too much toilet paper and paper products can compact and cause blockage in the toilet pipes.
If this is the cause of your toilet clog, pouring down hot water and dish soap into the toilet bowl can help to unclog it without having to call for plumbing assistance.
To unclog it with hot water and dish soap all you need is to:
- Make sure the water level in the bowl is below the top of your toilet.
- Fill up a pot or bucket with enough hot tap water
- Put in some dish soap like Dawn and mix into a sudsy consistency
- Pour this mixture into your clogged toilet bowl until it drains completely
- Flush away any remaining residue by running more clean water through for at least two minutes.
- This should give you instant relief from any blockages
See also: Best toilet brush plunger combo
3. Use Drain cleaning products
Another thing you could do to unclog the toilet is to use products that are made especially for cleaning drains.
The most popular one is HG Liquid Drain Unblocker that can be used on sinks, bathtubs, toilets, and shower stalls to remove soap scum and hair blockages.
It dissolves hard-to-remove blockages in seconds without using corrosive chemicals. Thus, it is safe to use all metal and PVC pipes, septic systems, and garbage disposals.
This unblocker comes ready to use so there is no need to dilute, which prevents foaming and splashing.
When to call a professional plumber
Clearing a clogged toilet is one of the most unpleasant tasks, and it can take hours to do.
If waiting it out does not work and if all the cleaning and unclogging products fail, there are professional services available that will help you with your problem at a fee.
This might be your last resort but it is the best option because contacting a professional plumber will help to solve the problem even when;
- The cause of the clog is unknown
- You have tried plunging, but the water level stays constant even after repeated attempts at clearing away any blockage
- There’s hair blocking up the drainage pipe (hairballs) and the toilet has been completely blocked.
Helpful tips on how to keep your toilet from getting clogged
The last thing you want to do is to have your toilet clog again – but it can happen.
To avoid this, there are several things you can do such as;
1. Add a cup of bleach to the drain once or twice per month. This will help prevent any buildup and make sure your pipes are always flowing smoothly.
2. If using bleach doesn’t seem like enough protection for you, try using one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with lemon juice near the top of your bowl before going to bed each night. Letting these ingredients sit overnight should be just what you need to keep things running smoothly all day long.
3. Pour boiling water down into the drain
4. Take care of hairballs and clean up any food debris regularly. You’ll also want to monitor what goes down your drain, including hair care items such as conditioner and shampoo with high levels of silicone (dimethicone) because these types of substances can coat pipe walls and cause blockage.
FAQ about whether a toilet will eventually unclog itself
Q1. How long does it take for a toilet to unclog itself?
We’ve seen in this article that there is no definite time that it will take for a toilet to unclog itself.
This is because there are several factors that come into play such as the type and size of what is causing the blockage and the size of the drainage pipes.
Q2. Is it bad to leave a clogged toilet overnight?
The answer to this question is that it depends. If you have just noticed that your toilet is clogged at night, there is nothing much you can do until the next day.
You can try a few things like using a plunger and leave to see whether the toilet will have unclogged itself by daybreak.
The first thing you should do in the morning is to get the situation dealt with immediately. The more the water sits in your pipes, the worse the blockage will get and may lead to sewage seeping up into your home or apartment floor.
If you have an amateur plumbing skillset, know that leaving a clog for too long can be very dangerous because of cross-contamination risks from raw sewage.
Get a professional plumber if you are unable to unclog the toilet yourself. This will help you to properly diagnose and fix the issue without risking property damage or personal injury.
If you’ve found yourself asking the question, “will a toilet eventually unclog itself?” it might be time to try a few things to speed up the process or call in an expert.
There are many factors that go into determining whether or not your clogged and overflowing toilet will ever drain on its own again. For instance, you might want to consider what caused the clogging and its size.
Also, check the drainage pipes and their size in relation to the number of toilet users at home.
Baking soda, vinegar, and even hot water with dish soap might help to speed up the situation but for serious blockages, you will need to call in a professional plumber.
In short, whether your toilet clears up on its own or not will depend largely on where and how severe your problem is.