My toilet started misbehaving this morning. It does not flush, it does not empty at all, or it does it really slowly that I cannot see it.

I tried using a plunger, that didn't work.

The bad part:

I tried using the plastic handle of my toilet brush to see if I can feel something, but the handle broke and now there's a piece of the handle that is stuck in the trap.

I can touch it, but I'm not certain I can grab it to pull it out; and the toilet is still clogged.

Am I so screwed that I will need to replace the whole toilet if I cannot remove what is stuck in the trap?

  • Sure seems like it. What alternative were you hoping for? If you can touch it you should be able to grasp it with a tool.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 12:38
  • 2
    remove the toilet and access the trap from the other side ?
    – Max
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 13:02
  • 1
    Sure. I thought that's what we were talking about? You certainly don't need to throw the toilet away. What got in can come out.
    – isherwood
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 13:04
  • 1
    There's always one of the nuclear options ... ;)
    – brhans
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 13:36
  • "I'm not certain I can grab it to pull it out" Become certain by trying :) Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Disassemble and demount the toilet. Remember to plug the hole, since the toilet is the trap, and that's a direct path for sewer gas. Use something really big and obvious so you can't ignore it when you go to remount the toilet (people have forgotten to take out plugs, and regretted it) such as a few plastic grocery bags or rags wadded up inside another plastic groucery bag or garbage bag (you can turn that inside out when you remove it for tidy disposal.)

Take the toilet bowl outside and turn it upside down, backside up, etc while running water from a hose into whatever opening is currently highest, and shake it around a bit as well.

If you've somehow managed to get "whatever" so stuck that you really can't get it out, you're ready for that new toilet. In any case, you need a new wax ring seal. If you manage to dislodge "whatever" you're good to reinstall the original.

Remember to remove what you have plugged the pipe with BEFORE you set the toilet in place on the new wax ring seal.

  • 1
    My brother once ran into a toilet that would NOT unclog, so he ended up replacing it. Then, being curious, he took a hammer to it, and found that two toothbrushes had gotten in and crossed - they were effectively immune to snaking, but they sure hung up anything going through.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 22, 2019 at 18:33
  • 1
    That's what the plumber did, the plastic piece was just there; now the hard part is un clogging the toilet pipes, doesn't look good... Thanks
    – Max
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 17:08

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