No one likes dealing with a clogged toilet, yet it’s a fact of life that every homeowner (or renter, for that matter) has to contend with—usually a few times a year. However, you can be better prepared to handle toilet clogs simply by understanding why they happen in the first place. Moreover, if your toilet keeps clogging, you have to be ready to take action, as this definitely is not normal. Keep reading to learn the top five reasons your toilet is clogged, and make sure to contact our experts at All City Plumbing for toilet clogs and more.
The Top 5 Reasons Your Toilet Keeps Clogging
- You’re Flushing Non-Flushable Items: The number-one reason toilet clogs occur is flushing items that have no business being in the toilet. Maybe you have little children who are prone to throwing their toys in the toilet, or maybe you’ve accidentally dropped jewelry in your toilet bowl. Scenarios like this frequently lead to frustrating and unexpected problems. However, more often than not, people find themselves dealing with toilet clogs because of bad flushing habits. The truth is that other than good old fashioned toilet paper, you really shouldn’t be flushing anything down your toilet. This includes tissues, paper towels, cotton balls, tampons and pads, and even so-called “flushable” wipes. All of these paper products are tougher than toilet paper, and therefore do not break apart easily in your drains.
- You Have an Old Toilet: The second most common reason people experience toilet clogs has less to do with their habits and more to do with the type of toilet they have. While the average toilet is designed to last up to 50 years, the older your toilet gets, the tougher it may be for it to adequately break down waste. On top of this, if you have a first generation “low-flow” toilet, your model may not be equipped with the necessary pressure to get the job done right. While modern low-flow toilets are a great way to conserve water, many of the original versions (mostly manufactured during the mid-90s) have what is essentially a design flaw, in that their internal traps were prone to obstructions. Speaking of which…
- Your Toilet Trap is Blocked: Your toilet trap (sometimes referred to as a “p-trap," depending on the design,) is the curved part of the fixture designed to hold standing water and prevent sewer gasses from entering your home. This segment can become clogged when excessive amounts of toilet paper (or other paper products) build up and create an obstruction. This in turn may result in a nasty back-up. Fortunately, trap clogs can usually be taken care of with a plunger, or, for more severe blockages, an auger (aka a “drain snake.”)
- Your Plumbing Vent Is Blocked: Most modern toilets, not to mention other modern plumbing fixtures, use roof vents to flush fresh air into your pipes, thus preventing pressure vacuums that can interfere with the flow of your drains. Sometimes, when these vents become blocked by debris such as leaves, sticks, or even animal nests, proper drainage in your system may be interrupted, resulting in a clog in your toilet. This issue can be hard to spot, so if you have tried everything and your toilet is still clogged, it may be time to hire a professional to check out your plumbing vents.
- Your Main Sewer Line Is Obstructed: If you have noticed multiple clogs in toilets throughout your house, there is a good chance the problem lies with your larger sewer system. A series of toilet clogs may occur because waste or other materials have built up in your sewer lines. These materials could include everything from paper products to sediment to tree roots, which sometimes grow into sewer lines because the moisture inside acts as a kind of natural fertilizer. Remember, sewer line clogs are a serious issue, and can result in toxic wastewater overflowing from your toilet. If you believe your toilet is on the verge of a sewage leak, make sure to call a drain and sewer professional like our experts at All City Plumbing ASAP.