Chances are we have all experienced the dreaded, embarrassing experience of realizing too late that the toilet is clogged once we’ve already flushed. In some instances, we can vigorously plunge the toilet to get the clog dislodged enough to continue moving down the pipes. In more serious instances, a residential plumbing expert might have to be called to correct the issue causing the toilet clog.
Here are a few of the most common reasons why toilets get clogged.
Flushing the wrong stuff
Toilets are designed to dispose of human waste and toilet paper, nothing else. Whenever you flush something, such as tissues, cotton balls, cotton swabs, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, or diapers, you are taking the risk of clogging your toilet. When these items get flushed, they could potentially get caught, and instead of breaking down and moving on like toilet paper is designed to do, they remain caught and cause a clog to form. This is why it is in your best interest to resist the urge to flush anything down the toilet that is not meant to be flushed.
Jam in the trap
All drain pipes have what is called a trap—a u-shaped bend in the piping that remains filled with water. This water acts as an agent against foul odors that might otherwise waft into your home from the sewer lines. Toilet traps are effective at doing this task, but unfortunately, the bend in the pipes is also a prime spot for clogs to occur. Even if you are careful about what you flush down the toilet, using too much toilet paper can result in a clog developing in the trap.
Located in the tank of the toilet, is a rubber gasket at the bottom. This gasket is the flapper. The flapper opens when the toilet is flushed, allowing for water in the tank to flush down into the bowl of the toilet. If the flapper doesn’t open all the way, the result may be a weak flush, which can result in a clog by failing to fully push the contents of the bowl far enough down into the drain pipes. Thankfully, this is an easy fix! The flapper is generally attached to the flush arm on an adjustable chain, move the chain a few links to a shorter length, and try a test flush.
For years, homeowners who have wanted to conserve water have installed low-flow toilets in their homes. Unfortunately, the early versions were not as powerful as ones that are available today. Similar to that of ineffective flappers, low-flow toilets may not flush hard enough to push the content full through.
Down the Line
If the source of your toilet clog, isn’t the toilet, the drain pipe, or not enough water force to push contents, you could have a bigger problem in the sewer line that is causing the clogs. This is often the worst-case scenario as it is time, labor, and cost intensive to fix. Problems in the sewer line aren’t always the result of what is flowing through the pipes; tree roots can cause serious problems on sewer lines. Over time, tree roots can put pressure on the sewer lines, eventually causing the pipes to break. If you think you might be experiencing a problem with your sewer lines, contact your local residential plumbing professionals and request a camera inspection.
While toilet clogs can be embarrassing and messy to clean up, they are not the end of the world! If you don’t know what caused your clog, or you are experiencing an excessive number of clogs, contact the plumbing professionals at The True-Pros today! We’ll get to the bottom of your toilet clog issues, with a simple phone call!