Easiest way to fix a clogged toilet.

There is nothing that strikes fear in a lady’s heart like living alone.

Because there’s no man to blame a clogged toilet on.

Last week I mentioned I had a slight problem with my toilet. I mentioned it all casual like, as if it wasn’t a big deal.

And it wasn’t. Until it was. Which is often the case with toilets. They seem a little iffy. Kind of temperamental. And then one day, your toilet lets you know EXACTLY how angry it is at you. It burps feces at you. And before you know it you’re running, RUNNING from feces chasing you across the bathroom floor.

Screaming at the horror of it all is clearly pointless, but scream you do. In slow motion, while diving for anything that will stop the horror. Rolls of toilet paper, shower curtains, a cat. You scream and slip and bark and for some reason start maniacally spraying Poo-Pourri on everything.

Why didn’t you have rubber gloves in the bathroom? Or boots??? Or holy water?? This never would have happened if you didn’t have an irrational fear of using public restrooms. You make a promise to go into therapy and conquer that fear at which point you will ONLY use public restrooms leaving your own bathroom as a sanctuary for wayward and constipated youth.

Don’t think it could get any more fun than that? Watch this.

Plumbing problems


Join me as I explore the laugh-riot world of plumbing problems.

And that my friends is what’s known as a shit show.


  1. Joy says:

    Hi Karen. Fun video. Glad you got your toilet fixed in the end, even though it was costly. I guess there’s a give and take when you live in an older home like that. In your case, you may want to be cautions when it comes to flushing anything down your toilet. To play it safe, only flush toilet paper and everything else like q tips, cotton, balls, and floss should go in a waste basket.

  2. Yabut says:

    I have a young grandson that frequently plugs toilets, including mine. We are teaching him better ways to deal with the toilet paper in hope that helps. I have discovered that when I do the plugging, waiting a while and flushing again works fine, so I guess I’m using appropriately dissolving tissue, thank god. He’s not so patient though, and has caused the whole thing to overflow, which is not fun! Loved your video, and got a good giggle at least. Misery loves company, as they say. :)

  3. R A Voll says:

    Keep having to discard perfectly good phone chargers because the new one shaped the plug differently. Can’t we just clip off the old plug and replace it with a plug of the new shape. But how?

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  6. Louise says:

    It’s 3:30AM in California and I’ve just had one of those days – the kind where all the hard work you put in was for nothing! (And this was for several projects, so I’m REALLY frustrated!) I’m glad I found this post, as it made me feel better. Even the great Karen has days like that!

    Also, I must compliment you on the beauty of the sequence where the plumber drives up. Yes, it showed him coming to your rescue, but it was so much more. The snowy, peaceful scene with just the touch of red from your wreath, all beautifully framed by your fence, is then artistically punctuated by his red truck pulling up to the curb. Really, I played it over and over. Now THIS would be a meaningful Christmas card to so many of us single women!

  7. Andrew Lisenby says:

    You are a smart and resourceful person. I have gone through many, many years of plumbing problems with always old, crumbling, half-assed plumbing. We currently have one of the Gerber Dual Flush toilets in each of our 2 bathrooms. This was supposed to be the answer- a toilet than can flush crap 50-75 ft. through a sewer line. It has not turned out to be the fix to our problems. Still, the toilets get clogged because you know why? To save water, the toilet makers reduced the size of the outlet going into the sewer line (under the commode). It doesn’t take a lot of paper and fecal matter to clog that up. What I have found is to keep a gallon jug of liquid laundry detergent in the bathroom, and if it has one of those pump dispensers then more the better. Every few days, and before you flush the toilet, pump about 2 or three pumpfuls of detergent on top of the stuff in the toilet and give it some time to do its’ work. This has saved my bacon many times. I am disabled and cannot crawl under the house or climb on top to use a “50 ft. snake” like I used to.
    Once you know that your plumbing vent stacks are clear, get some heavy gauge “hardware cloth” or screen wire from your favorite hardware or home store, cut a piece large enough to fit over the stacks with a few inches around the side. Buy some stainless steel hose clamps, about a 4 inch one should work. Fit this hose clamp over the vent stack and tighten the clamp down to hold the screen wire in place. This will keep out rodents, leaves, twigs, etc. I hope this helps you Karen. You ROCK!


  8. Tyree Back says:

    Great video, most people would ignore the bubbling water issue and let things get worse so this hopefully raise a bit of awareness. Better to fix a small problem before it’s a big one.

  9. Ohhmergerd !! Laugh out loud !!

    Love the sound effects … but dang… flushing money down the toilet. Grrrrrh.

    I think you should have kicked it.


  10. Mary Werner says:

    My first laugh burst out at the HOUR 1 text. That was great! Then came the bright red truck under the green garland LOL. I would have called the first time I looked out your bathroom window so high up Mary Poppins couldn’t have reached it. Love your posts, Mary

  11. Stephbo says:

    I have absolutely no idea plumbing vents even existed. Ditto clean-out drains. So basically, if I have a toilet problem, I’m screwed.

  12. Karin says:

    We had this toilette problem years ago. All we ever flushed in the toilette ended 10 cm high in our basement rooms. Thank god i’m a midwife and used to strange smelling things.
    It happened on Christmas Eve and was worth 800 Euro!
    We moved out of the house a Year ago ! ;)

  13. Barbie says:

    OH CRAP! I’m sorry you had to go through all that…but I was actually so happy when the plumber drove up in your video…… Sometimes ya just gotta….bummer about the $400. :(

  14. judy says:

    by the way, did you know Thomas Crapper invented the flush toilet? One of the remarkable things I remember from my college education. As the commercial goes….flushing the toilet without fear…priceless! Happy New Year!

    • TucsonPatty says:

      I, too, reach for the shut off valve immediately, but it always freaks me out because A) my face is now really, really close to the overflowing bowl, and B) my hand is now really, really close to the overflowing sludge.
      I have a septic tank and am always nervous that it might get iffy. My house is only 60 years old, but it does have a clean-out pipe, next to the brick patio underneath which is the septic tank. Someone way back added the brick over the top of the patio, but didn’t think it through. It had to be dug up once, pumped out, fixed the broken tile pipe, then replaced the bricks and sand.
      Oh, the horror!

  15. Susan says:

    This post made me really happy that a) We’ve never had a problem with the septic field (knock on wood) b) we have the coveted “clean out” in an easy-to-access location outside c) I read every reply, so I now have the “turn off the water” knowledge in my brain, along with so many horror stories to feel good about not having experienced, and d) that we’ve never had this problem (knock on wood). We’ve had just about every water issue you can have in this house, but no blockages that weren’t minor, temporary and easily fixed (knock on wood). The electrical, on the other hand…

  16. lori jones says:

    do u have city sewer? i did till we moved out of town, now once again we has septic, and once a month i put “ridX” down the toilet. works pretty good. Was told to use it pretty soon after you buy it, or you can have bugs! yikes! so what i am going to do is buy a box at the first of the month and use it that night. i don’t want bugs!

  17. Laura Bee says:

    Ohhhh hmmm. . . Our place is only about 90ish years old and we have been having troubles lately. (Well, on and off since we moved in almost 10 years ago.) Bubbing gurgling noises in the tub when we flush. Even the kitchen sink plays along somtimes and it gets clogged easily. I am reading all the comments too & getting a little freaked out.
    Now I want to call Ben (He is my Tim)

    And I hesitated for a second before I watched the vid, then figured we all have boundaries & that this was probably one of yours!

  18. Jeannie B says:

    I think that a lot of plumbers, when dealing with a smelly drain blockage, use a cigar to smoke, to keep them selves from gagging. I’m just gagging thinking of sewage on a floor. Using a squirt of liquid dish detergent and a bucket of hot water is a better way of unclogging a toilet than depressing the handle. Leave the handle alone until it’s completely cleared. I put bleach down my drains every month or so, toilets included.
    I’m glad that Tim soved your problem Karen.

  19. Jackie says:

    I’m a 1st time poster – now a formet lurker…. Very funny post, Karen. If anything can be turned into a funny store, you can do it. Reminds me of when I was a kid. & friends of my parents had an issue with their toilet. Water would flush but nothing else. They’re were 3 kids in their family (like in ours). My dad was helping to figure out the problem. They (the 2 dads) ended up removing the toilet & taking it into the backyard. They could find no clog & water from a hose would run right through. They re-installed the toilet & had the same problem. After removing & re-installing the toilet about 4 times with the same results, the owner got a sledge hammer & broke the toilet open. Inside was a whiffle ball (a plastic ball with holes in it). It would let the water through the holes but nothing else would pass. Seems one of the kids either flushed the ball or forced it down the hole. New toilet – no problem. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Well … that sounds like a far more fun solution than mine. Bashing a toilet sounds like a GREAT time. Welcome to commenting! I make a bet you won’t be able to stop now. ;) ~ karen!

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