Toilet Repair: What to Expect

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If your toilet isn't flushing properly, it might be time to call a professional. Here are some details that can help you make that decision.

When you have a toilet that’s clogged or doesn’t flush properly, it can be frustrating. You probably flush your toilet multiple times a day, and if it’s not functioning properly, it can be a real hindrance. There are several things you should know about when repairing your toilet. Here’s what to expect when getting someone to repair your clogged toilet:

What You Should Expect From a Toilet Repair Work

When you call in a plumber to repair your toilet, you’ll likely be addressed by a technician who has extensive experience fixing toilets. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem right away and offer a solution that’s cost-effective and easy to implement.

If they think you’ll need to replace other parts of your plumbing as part of the repair, they’ll let clients know up front. More often than not, a clogged toilet can simply be fixed with a plunger and/or a drain cleaning solution from your local hardware store.

Can you do repairs yourself?

Most homeowners can handle basic repairs like fixing a leaky faucet or plunging a toilet. Other major repairs, like replacing a toilet or replacing a burst pipe below the sink, are better left to a professional plumber. 

If you decide to handle repairs yourself, however, keep in mind that it’s easier to do something wrong than it is to do something right. If you decide to try to repair things yourself, first make sure you know what you’re doing. You can generally find instructions online, or you can ask a friend who has experience with DIY projects if you need help.

If the clogged toilet cannot be fixed by using a plunger or drain cleaning solution, it’s likely you may need professional help. If you plan on taking your toilet apart, make sure you first turn off the water valve feeding water to your toilet (usually on the wall behind your toilet). It’s a good idea to remove the water from the tank before disassembly. Once the tank is empty and the valve is off take a picture of the toilet assembly and make sure to label all of the pieces if you choose to take it apart. It’s recommended to also clean them with dish soap and warm water.

This way, you’ll know exactly where to put them back when you’re done. 

If required, the process for removing and replacing a toilet is different for every brand, so you should consult your owner’s manual for specific details. 

When should you call a plumber?

If you’re trying to fix your own toilet, but you’re not sure where to start, you might be in a situation where the job could cause more damage than it fixes. You should call a plumber if you’re unsure how to take apart your toilet, if you’re having trouble removing all of the pieces, or if you’ve damaged other parts of your plumbing. If your toilet is clogged and you can’t get the blockage to budge, you should also call a plumber. 

What causes a clogged toilet?

There are many factors that can lead to a clogged toilet, including:

  • Using too much toilet paper
  • Not flushing all of the toilet paper down the toilet
  • The type of toilet paper you’re using
  • Children’s toys or other non-flushable items
  • Toilet bowl is damaged

What’s involved in repairing or replacing a toilet?

The first recommendation is to try and use a standard toilet plunger to unclog the pipes. If that doesn’t work, you may have a blockage deeper in the pipes which could require a toilet auger,  shopvac, or ultimately the assistance of a plumber.

You’ll want to get someone to come out to your home to repair your toilet if you’re trying to fix a clog or if you want to replace your toilet. You’ll want to find someone who does high-quality work. You can ask friends or neighbors who they’d recommend or search online for reviews of plumbers in your area. Before you call anyone to repair your toilet, though, you should take it apart and clean it with warm water and dish soap. This will make it easier to put back together and will also prevent damage to the other parts of your plumbing in the process. Repairing a toilet will require you to remove the toilet tank and the pieces that go underneath it. You’ll then have to remove the ceramic ring inside the bowl.

How to Repair a Clogged Toilet

If you’re trying to unclog a toilet, you’ll want to follow the steps below.

Step 1: Line up a flange plunger with the exit spout out the bottom of the toilet bowl, and give it a few powerful pumps.

Step 2: If that doesn't work, try scooping some water out of the bowl first, then mix a bit of dish soap in the bowl. Pour a bit of warm water and stir to activate some suds. Allow this mixture to sit for about 15-20 minutes whereas the dish soap may seep down into the piping and lubricate as well as erode some of the buildup. Note: this will only work if the toilet is clogged by human waste and toilet paper. You should notice the water level drop 20 minutes later and try to give the toilet a flush. Prepare for an overflow just in case with towels.

Step 3: Use a toilet auger to fish into the drain and remove the blockage.

Step 4: If none of the above DIY methods worked, it may be time to call a plumber.

The cost of a clogged toilet repair job

Repairing a clogged toilet will usually cost between $150 and $300. This cost will cover the time of a plumber’s visit and any necessary repair work. The plumber will likely give you an estimate before starting work, which you should ask them to honor. You should be able to tell if the plumber is doing a good job by how well he or she clears the drain after the job is done.


A clogged toilet can be a nuisance, especially if you’re trying to use your toilet in an area where solid waste is being eliminated. Repairs for a clogged toilet are necessary from time to time.

If you are looking for a reliable contractor to help with household projects, repairs or maintenance, HireHandy can find you the perfect match.

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