A blocked toilet is, lets be honest, one of the worst plumbing problems to have. Especially if it is later at night or on the weekend when the problem is discovered, times when a good plumber can be hard (and very expensive) to come by.

The first thing that every homeowner tries is a good old plunger and often, with a little bit of elbow grease these simple tools get the job done. But if you have plunged until your arms ache and still no joy it is time to move on to something else.

Here are a few more tricks you can try before calling in a plumber:

The Coat Hanger Trick -You can only attempt this one if you still happen to have an old fashioned metal coat hanger in the house, the plastic kind won’t work. Twist the top ends of the coat hanger apart until they are no longer connected. to protect the inside of the toilet wrap one end in a rag. Insert the wrapper end into the bowl and then (yes, it can get messy) literally dig around to try to unclog the blockage.

Vinegar and Baking Soda – This is one method that can actually be very effective if a blockage has been caused by organic materials that many people do not try.

First pour a whole box (the size you might put in the fridge) down the bowl. Immediately follow that up with a medium sized bottle of vinegar (any kind while do) Pour slowly though, as this mixture is going to fizz up a lot!

Leave the mixture to sit for about ten minutes, then pour a kettle full of boiling water on top and leave for ten more minutes, before attempting to flush.

If all of this fails, the yes, you will have to call in a plumber, and you’ll find some great ones here.