Arrghhh! The toilet is clogged again! If this is a regular occurrence in your home you might be tempted to forgo the plunger and pour Drano in there to clear the clog instead. Hold on though! Do you know if this is safe for your toilet and pipes? Can you use Drano in a toilet?
Can You Use Drano In A Toilet?
No – don’t do it! You can’t pour regular Drano down the toilet.
Drano is designed to be used in kitchen and bathroom sink pipes. Clogs in these situations are usually closer to the drain and so the Drano can easily reach it. Once there Drano produces a chemical reaction that dissolves hair, soap scum, and gunk clogs. The resulting heat and toxic fumes can easily disperse because the drain is open to the air.
Toilet drains are designed differently than sink drains. They have what is called a ‘trap’ which is where most clogs occur. This bend in the internal structure of the toilet works effectively at sealing off the sewer system (and its gasses and odors) from your bathroom.
But this is what can also cause a real problem if you use Drano in the toilet. The chemical reaction that occurs to dissolve the clog produces heat and gas – which, in the trap of the toilet, has nowhere to escape to. The gasses can build up and actually crack the porcelain in the toilet. The toxic fumes and heat generated can further damage PVC piping and seals.
All in all, the answer is NO; you cannot use Drano in a toilet.
How Can I Unplug My Toilet Then?
The best way to get rid of a toilet clog is to use a plunger. The mechanical action of creating pressure in the pipes usually will dislodge the clog and allow the toilet to be flushed freely again.
If a plunger doesn’t work, the next best option is to use a toilet snake to push further into the drain and shift the clog. Toilet snakes are pretty much what you might think; a long, flexible, ‘snake-like’, apparatus is pushed into the toilet drain and turned to help break up the clog.
It can reach, and break up, clogs that are farther down the pipe. They are hugely effective, and can solve a clogged toilet problem in no time without the hassle of an expensive plumber.
If you don’t have a plunger (or a toilet snake handy), there are some ways to try to remove the clog using household items. They don’t always work the best but are definitely worth a try if you’re stuck! Check out our No Plunger, No Problem post to find alternate ways to clear the clog.