Unintentionally clogging the toilet or discovering the toilet is clogged is one of the more embarrassing plumbing mishaps. Some clogs may take a few minutes of vigorous plunging and others might need you to call in a professional. However, toilet clogs can be almost completely avoided when we take preventative measures.
What is Clogging My Toilet?
Here are a few of the most common reasons why your toilet might be clogged, and what you can do to avoid or fix the problem.
Toilets are Not Trash Cans
The only items that should be flushed down a toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Items such as tissues, cotton balls, cotton swabs, dental floss, feminine products or diapers do not break down but get caught somewhere in the drain line and cause a clog. The whole household should be aware of what is and is not flushable to avoid a surprise clog.
Caught in the Trap
All drain pipes have something called a trap, which is the u-shaped bend in the pipe that can easily be seen at the back of most toilets. This bend remains filled with water and is a barrier against foul odors that might rise through the pipes from the sewer line, into your home.
Although the trap gets the job done, it is also a good place for a clog to develop. Something as simple as using too much toilet paper or too many people using the same toilet can create a clog there. To avoid a clog developing in the trap, teach the members of the household not to use too much toilet paper.. Additionally, if your home only has one toilet, try to prevent everyone in the household from using it one after the other.
In the toilet tank is a round rubber gasket called a flapper, which opens during flushing to allow water in the tank to flow down into the bowl. If the flapper is not functioning correctly, you may get a weak flush, which does not effectively push the contents of the toilet down the drain pipe. If you suspect you have a weak flush, you can shorten the chain that attaches the flapper to the flush arm so that it has a stronger pull and creates a bigger flush.
If you have one of the first versions of the low-flow toilet in your home, you may experience the same problem as with an ineffective flapper; the flush is not hard enough to push the contents through. In this case, if you have continuous problems, the best fix is a new toilet.
When your toilet won’t flush, it may be a clogged vent instead of a clogged drain pipe. Plumbing fixtures normally have a vent in the roof that allows fresh air into the plumbing system. These vents can become clogged with leaves or debris and stop drainage. Unless you know what you are doing, clearing out the vents is best left to a professional.
Down the Line
If your clogged toilet has not been caused by any of the above reasons, then it must be in the sewer line. A sewer line problem can occur in a section of the sewer pipe located under private property when the pipe is blocked by tree roots or sustains other damage. To solve this problem, you will need to call in a professional who can conduct a camera inspection.
Inspector Jet uses the very best in camera inspection technology so that we can find a clog without digging up large portions of your property. For the very best in camera inspection services, call Inspector Jet.