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What Can You Do When Water in the Bowl Overflows?

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A man on his knees needing a plumber as he is struggling to unclog his toilet

When we use water we expect that waste water will just keep flowing down the drain, it’s safe to say we take it for granted. When a clogged drain happens, we are faced with a certain type of dread. A sinking feeling in the stomach. The dreaded string of questions:  What the *&[email protected] ? What should I do now?  How do I unclog the drain?

To solve that problem let’s look at why a drain gets clogged in the first place.


There are many reasons a drain is clogged. Common clogs are caused by hair, soap, dirt, oils (Including grease and fat), food particles,dental floss, wipes & feminine products, cat litter, tree roots, offset or broken pipes, and too much toilet paper. For a comprehensive list of the unflushables click here.

No one wants to call a plumber for this type of problem so let’s look at the home remedies that have the best chance of working on specific drain clogs.


The short answer is yes and no. Depending on the type of clog, a home remedy might just work. Sometimes trying a home remedy may seem like a great idea. Let’s set this scenario up for success and look at some clogs and home remedies that actually have a good track record. 

Bathroom sink, tub and shower drain clogs are most often caused by hair accumulating around the fittings inside the drain. Hair builds up and slows the flow of water until one day it won’t drain anymore. There are many home remedies that work well for getting rid of hair clogs. Most involve a hooked object being fed down the drain with a twisting action. This helps to loosen the hair and drag enough out to be able to pull the clog out easily. It is not a pretty job, but once the hair clog is lifted it’s a satisfying feeling to see the water flow easily down the drain again. We rate this home remedy as an 8 out of 10 it will work.

The toilet drain clog is the most dreaded of all. Water rises up and over the rim onto the floor. ** PRO TIP** If you find yourself watching the water level rise, take the lid off the tank and push down the flapper to stop the flow of water into the toilet. It will save you the nasty clean-up. There are several reasons that a toilet plugs up. Most common reasons are balls of dental floss or toilet paper, hygienic wipes, feminine protection and objects that fall off the counter into the toilet. These items will often build up inside the toilet trap or in the flange on the floor. When waste accumulates around the object it compacts and plugs the toilet. The home remedy that works best involves using a plunger. They provide suction and pressure to dislodge the clog and get the water flowing again. If this problem keeps occurring it means, there is something stuck inside the toilet and it will need a professional to remove it. We rate the home remedy of using a plunger as an 8 out of 10 that it will work.

The kitchen sink drain clog is one of the most difficult clogs to clean with a home remedy. Often kitchen sink clogs are caused by putting the wrong things down a garbage disposal or pouring bacon grease, cooking fats and oils down the drain. When using a garbage disposal, a good rule of thumb is to break up food particles that are non-fibrous and that will dissolve easily in water. The best home remedy for a kitchen sink clog is to use hot water and dishwashing detergent with a plunger. The hot water helps to soften the grease that is causing the clog and the detergent helps to lubricate the pipe. This remedy has a smaller chance of working than others but if you have some extra time it might be worth a try. We give this home remedy a 5 out of 10 that it will work.

Foreign objects in a toilet drain clog home remedies are not very effective, using a plunger may dislodge the item from the inside of the toilet only to have it get stuck further into the piping system. When the object moves further into the piping system often means cutting pipe further down the line and having to open up drywall. These types of clogs are best left to the professionals who have the skills to remove the toilet and access the toilet trap. Taking off a toilet and replacing it is no job for a beginner. Serious water damage to floors and ceilings can occur quickly and without warning from improper installation. We give this home remedy a rating of 2 out of 10 that it will work.

Cat litter drain clogs in drains. This type of clog is extremely difficult to remove without calling a professional. There are home remedies like using baking soda and vinegar to try to cause a chemical reaction to get this stubborn clog to move. Learn why this type of clog is impossible to clear by using this home remedy. We give this home remedy a rating of 0 that it will work.

Tree root drain clogs The last type of clogs we can put into the same category. These are the clogs associated with tree roots and broken pipes. When a home drain system is clogged due to tree roots, off set or broken pipes there is no home remedy that can cure it. For this scenario it is best to contact a professional who can correctly assess the situation by using a drain camera to locate the problem then to provide options on the best remedy for that situation. Our rating: No home remedy will work.


We haven’t mentioned a very common remedy up to this point in the article because we feel it can cause real damage when used incorrectly. Damage can easily occur to home drain piping and cause physical harm to the homeowner. The remedy we are talking about is chemicals. There are many options for chemical solutions to break up clogs. Some are even proven effective, but if used incorrectly, many serious injuries can result, from fume inhalation to serious chemical burns. Storing chemicals around children and pets can also be tricky. We give this remedy a rating of caution when attempting to use chemicals to unclog any drain. This remedy should be used by professionals with training on how to use hazardous chemicals

Written by Jack Devetten

The company was built on dedication to quality services, skilled and experienced technicians, and competitive prices. Our owner, Jack Devetten, brings more than 45 years of experience with him. All our staff members are focused on delivering 100% satisfaction on every job they do – we guarantee it!
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