It happens to everyone: you finish using the bathroom, and suddenly, the toilet doesn't perform its job of flushing waste down the toilet. Whether it be an embarrassing situation as guest or something you have to deal with alone in the privacy of your own home, diagnosing the problem is the first step in the right direction. Thankfully, we're going to give you some insightful information on how to diagnose a clogged toilet and how to go about fixing whatever problem you may have with getting your waste down the drain. With this being said, here's a look at how to diagnose a clogged toilet.

How to Diagnose a Clogged Toilet

In order to correct a clogged toilet and make it fully operational again, you'll need to accurately determine what caused the slow drain, stop-up, or total clog. Once you can manage to do this, you'll be able to make the repair yourself or (in the worst-case scenarios) have it done at the lowest cost possible. So whether it's wasted/running water, noises, odors, flushes, or leaks, you'll know what to do the next time you're dealing with a clogged toilet.

Toilet Backs Up or Flushes Slowly

All items entering a toilet are meant to be disposed of for sanitary reasons. If the toilet is starting to back up or begins spilling out of the toilet, cleanup will be necessary because you'll likely confront bacterial hazards if left unattended. If you find yourself in this scenario, you'll have to diagnose whether the soil stack or sewer line is clogged. If a toilet drain pipe is clogged, it means there's either a clog at the base (of the toilet) or a clog in the drain pipe.

What to Do From Here

Before you go to town with a plunger, consider what could be clogging the toilet. If you happen to have a pet or child, think about what they may have or could have put in the toilet. If you have a child, the answer of what could be clogging the toilet might surprise you.


If this suits your scenario, you don't want to push whatever is clogging the toilet further into your piping, as it will only increase the cost for repair. If you have other toilets in the home, try flushing them to see if you're experiencing a local blockage with one toilet or you're experiencing a household drainage issue. If you find that the blockage is a local issue and nobody is taking credit for the possible clog, it's time to break out the plunger.

Unblocking a Toilet With a Plunger

If you happen to find out that nobody tossed in any objects, clothes, or toys into the toilet, it's time to break out the plunger. Wait to see if the sewage level drops before you start plunging away. This way you're not making an unnecessary mess to solve the problem.


If the blockage happens to be where you're plunging, you might be in luck. If the drain line happens to be nearly full or full of water, flush the toilet as you plunge. If you happen to be plunging a tub or a sink, plug any vents, overflow openings, or sink traps as you plunge.

You'd be surprised as to how many individuals have given up on plunging and called for assistance to only find out that their problem could've been solved with persistent plunging.


However, if the sewage or water is at a high level in the bowl, try not to make a mess. You will need to mop and disinfect the area in the event any water or waste goes elsewhere. If any of the water or waste gets on your skin, wash the area with clean water and soap. Do the same with clothing. Make sure nothing from the toilet makes contact with a cut, your mouth, or your eyes, as it will cause an infection.


If you're confident and know what you're doing, there is always kinetic water rams, plumbing snakes, and drain clearing chemicals that can break up any obstructions in your toilet piping.

Worst-Case Scenario

If you're in a situation where you're left with no operational toilet (with no other toilets in the home) and cannot receive professional assistance to fix your clog, there are still a few ways you can buy time until the issue is resolved. One answer would be using a chemical or portable toilet. If the problem is something that isn't going to be a quick repair, renting a portable toilet might be an answer.


Considering the information above, diagnosing a clogged toilet comes with some deep investigative work. However, it's important to not bite off more than you can chew when addressing the problem so that no permanent damage is caused. Thankfully, Drain Blaster Bill is here to help you with your plumbing problems. Contact us today for further information regarding our plumbing services and how we can help you!