How to Plug a Toilet Drain

If you have ever experienced the frustration of a blocked-up or running toilet, you know how important it is to address the issue quickly. Whether it’s caused by roots in an old line, a malfunctioning septic system, or an accumulation of debris such as grease and hair, plugging a toilet drain can be a tricky task. 

How to Plug a Toilet Drain

It is important to know how to plug a toilet drain. Don’t let this daunting venture scare you off; with some basic knowledge and the right tools for the job, you’ll soon have your toilet draining properly again. In this article, we will give step-by-step guidance on how to plug a clogged toilet drain in no time!

Tools You Will Need

  • Drain snake
  • Plunger
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Baking soda and vinegar (optional)

Top 5 Easy Steps Guide on How to Plug a Toilet Drain

Step 1: Inspect the Drain Line

Have you ever had a mystery leak in your bathroom? It could be due to a clogged or partially-clogged toilet drain. To fix this issue, it is essential to inspect the toilet drain line. 

The easiest way to begin the inspection process is to use an auger, which can pass through the drain line and help identify any blockages that may exist. If it’s been a while since your last inspection of the drain line, you should consider having it professionally serviced as preventative maintenance. 

Use an Auger

This should also be done if there’s been any recent remodeling in your home, as additional plumbing may have been installed that has caused problems. Once your drain line is cleared and inspected regularly, you can confidently know that your toilet won’t overflow due to a blocked pipe!

Step 2: Use a Plunger

Using a plunger to plug a toilet drain is well worth the effort when you don’t have a snake or auger on hand. This quick and easy fix can save you time and money if done correctly. Make sure that the plunger is designed for toilet bowls by checking the size of the cup—it should fit perfectly into the bowl. 

Wet the plunger and position it over the drain hole so it creates an airtight seal. Plunge up and down vigorously until you get some suction and pressure—doing this will remove any blockage in your drain pipe. Flush to check if water can go through freely; if not, continue plunging until it does!

Step 3: Use a Drain Snake

If plunging doesn’t work to unclog your blocked toilet, you might want to consider using a drain snake. A drain snake is a flexible metal cable with an auger at the end. 

By inserting the auger into the toilet bowl and pushing it down through the line, you can use it to scrape or pull out any debris causing the blockage. This can be a much more effective method than plunging alone, but take care not to overdo it or you could damage your plumbing system.

Using a Drain Snake

Step 4: Use Baking Soda & Vinegar 

If you’re dealing with an especially tough clog, baking soda and vinegar might be a reliable way to solve your problem. To use this method, pour one cup each of baking soda and vinegar into your toilet bowl. After waiting roughly 15 minutes, try using the plunger again to remove the clog. 

There is no guarantee it will work, but it is worth a shot if you’ve exhausted other options. Baking soda and vinegar don’t cost much and require minimal effort; at the very least you can expect your bathroom to smell slightly better afterward!

Step 5: Check for Leaks

Once you have removed the clog from your drain line, it is important to check for any potential leaks before putting the toilet back in place. To do this, turn on the water supply to the toilet and flush it. If you notice any water leaking from the base of the toilet, you may need to replace a seal or tighten up a loose nut before reinstalling.

Checking for leaks after unclogging a drain line is an important step in the process of reinstalling your toilet. To do this, simply turn on your water supply and flush the toilet. 

If you observe any water leaking from the base of the toilet, it means that a seal or nut may be loose and require replacement or tightening up before reinstalling. Taking the extra time to ensure everything is secure with help prevent future accidents and costly repairs.

Checking for Leaks 
After Unclogging

With these simple steps, you’ll be able to plug a clogged toilet drain with ease! Make sure to wear gloves and goggles while performing this task, as it can involve dealing with the potentially hazardous material. You should also take the time to inspect your drain line every few months so you can spot any potential problems before they become a bigger issue.  Doing so will help you avoid costly repairs and keep your toilet in optimal condition for years to come!

9 Additional Tips for Plugging a Toilet Drain

1. The first thing you need to do is identify where the drain is located. In most cases, the drain will be located on the floor near the toilet.

2. Once you have located the drain, you will need to gather some supplies. You will need a plunger, a plumber’s snake, and a bucket.

3. The next step is to remove any water that is in the bowl. You can do this by flushing the toilet or by using a cup to scoop out the water.

4. Once the bowl is empty, you can begin plunging. Put the plunger over the drain and push and pull it up and down vigorously. Continue doing this until the water starts to drain from the bowl.

5. If plunging does not work, you can try using a plumber’s snake. Insert the snake into the drain and turn it clockwise. Continue doing this until you feel resistance.

6. Once the snake has reached the obstruction, you can begin to turn it counterclockwise. This should help to break up the obstruction and allow the water to start flowing again.

7. If neither of these methods works, you may need to remove the drain cover and try to clear the obstruction with your hands.

8. Once you have cleared the obstruction, you can replace the drain cover and flush the toilet to test it out.

You Can Replace 
the Drain Cover

9. If your toilet is still having problems draining, you may need to call a plumber for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Identify the Drain?

Identifying a drain can be tricky but taking a few steps can help ensure an accurate result. One of the most important things to check when you try to identify a drain is its position in other plumbing. An indoor kitchen or bathroom sink will likely lead to a standard drain, while an outdoor drain such as a roof gutter downpipe may have different features. 

You should also observe the shape and size of the pipe – for example, if it is considerably larger than what you would expect with typical indoor plumbing, it may mean it’s part of an outdoor drainage system. Knowing how water flows away from your property can also be helpful when trying to work out which drain is which. 

Finally, make sure to pay attention to any labels or markings that may indicate what type of pipe it is. With these tips, you should be able to confidently identify any drains!

How Can I Use a Plumber’s Snake to Unclog a Toilet?

The use of a plumber’s snake is an often recommended DIY solution for unclogging stubborn toilet clogs. This flexible steel coil can be inserted through the water inlet at the base of your toilet, and when done correctly it should allow you to remove most common toilet blockages. 

To perform this task, start by turning off both the cold and hot water supply lines that feed the toilet, then disconnect the large plastic nut that connects these lines to the base of the unit. After this is done properly and safely, you can insert your plumber’s snake down into the main water line. 

You may need to maneuver it multiple times to break up the blockage; however, once you can achieve this, flush normally and your clog should be cleared.

What Should I Do if Neither of These Methods Works?

If you find that neither of the methods you have previously used works, it could be time to look for additional solutions. One possible solution could be talking to an expert in the field. 

For example, if you are having car troubles, a mechanic may be able to help pinpoint the cause more effectively than a book or online research. You can also talk to family and friends; they may have experienced a similar problem that they were able to solve successfully. 

Don’t hesitate to ask or brainstorm outside of the box—you never know what kind of great ideas might surface!


So next time your toilet becomes clogged and you’re feeling frustrated, remember these simple steps on how to plug a toilet drain. With a little bit of elbow grease (and maybe some help from a plunger), you’ll be back to flushing in no time!

Use a plunger to loosen the clog and then use a drain snake to remove it. If you still can’t clear the drain, call a plumber. Be sure to keep your toilet clean and free of hair and other materials that can cause clogs.

Photo of author

Angela Ervin

Angela is the chief editor of Indoorense. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping and cleaning,home decorations as well as other efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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