A Blocked Toilet

In this free English video, an American man has a problem with his toilet. How does he fix it?

Self Study


Listen to the dialogue in the episode again. Try to write down what they say and then check with the answers below.


One day my daughter put too much toilet paper down the toilet.

Unfortunately, when she tried to flush the toilet, the toilet paper got stuck and blocked the drain.

The toilet couldn’t flush properly, so people couldn’t use it.

I tried to use a plunger to dislodge the blockage, but it didn’t work. I tried again 30 minutes later, but to no avail.

In the end I had to call the building manager. He came up to our apartment with a special electrical machine and unblocked the drain.

$40 later, our toilet could flush successfully again.

Self Study

Use a voice recorder to try to summarize what they said in the episode. You can use the questions and answers below to help.


  • What was the problem?
  • What caused the problem?
  • How did he try to solve it?
  • Was it successful?
  • What did he do after that?
  • Did that successfully solve the problem?
  • How much did it cost?

What's a recent problem you had? What caused it? How did you solve it?


The problem was his toilet couldn't flush properly.

It was caused by his daughter putting too much toilet paper in the toilet. This blocked the drain pipes.

He tried to solve the problem by using a plunger.

No, he tried, but to no avail.

He called the building manager to help him unblock the drain.

Yes, the building manager used a special machine to unblock it. The toilet could successfully flush again after that.

It cost $40 to fix the blocked toilet.