How do you stop a toilet from clogging? This is a common question that plagues many homeowners and renters. Toilet clogs are caused by a number of different factors, and as such, there may not be one right answer as to why this may be happening and there can be many ways to clear the blockage depending on what is causing it. In this blog, we will go through some of the reasons why your toilet may be getting clogged and things you can do so it doesn’t happen again.
What can be causing my toilet to block?
Toilet’s can get blocked quite easily if you aren’t mindful of what you put inside them. However, this isn’t the only way for toilets to get blocked. Other reasons can include things out of your control like tree roots blocking your pipes. Whatever the reason, it is best to keep on top of the cause before it becomes a bigger issue. Let’s go through some of the things that can cause a blocked toilet.
- Flushing wet wipes
Wet wipes tend to struggle getting through the drain once flushed which can lead to a blockage.
- Using more toilet paper than needed
Sometimes it’s easier said than done but if too much toilet paper goes down the drain at once it may be too big to get through which causes it to get stuck instead.
- Flushing anything that isn’t supposed to go down the toilet
A toilet was made to flush toilet paper, water and number 1 & 2’s. It was never intended to flush anything else and so anything that goes down there has the chance to block your toilet!
- Tree roots
Unfortunately some things are out of our control. Tree roots are one of those things! Tree roots can block pipes which cause the drains to start “gurgling”, this can also include your sinks and drains in the house. Eventually the drains will get so blocked that you may have water coming out of them. It is best to catch this early with the “gargling” sounds if possible and get a plumber out straight away to have a look before the issue gets worse.
- You have an old “low-flow” toilet
Some older model toilets used to have a “low-flow”. In other words, it didn’t use much pressure to flush everything down easily. If you are a renter, this may be another thing out of your control! If you are a homeowner, it would be best to switch out the low-flow toilet with a newer model toilet which would have better water pressure. If you can’t switch out the toilet the next alternative would be to look for new “low-flow” fixtures for your toilet and asking a plumbing what you can do to increase the water pressure to reduce toilet blockages.
- Flushing wet wipes
Where is the blockage coming from and how do I fix it?
These blockages can either be in your toilet trap, your toilet vent or in the drain. Determining where the blockage is coming from would be the first place to start fixing it!
The toilet trap is located between the toilet bowl and the drain line and is designed to “catch” things that aren’t meant to be flushed. This can also include excessive amounts of toilet paper. The good news is that sometimes this can be fixed by using a plunger to push water through which may loosen the blockage and push it through. If this doesn’t work your next step may be to call the plumber out.
A toilet vent is a vent that is usually through the roof and one of it’s main roles is to increase the water pressure when you flush. If the toilet vent gets blocked, your toilet may not have enough water pressure to push everything through the drain which ends up leading to it getting clogged. The problem with the block in the toilet vent is that clogs can happen more frequently if not taken care of. This can also start causing other issues in the household like slow drainage from all drains in the house which can also lead to bad smelling odours throughout the house. It is best to try and rectify the situation before it gets to this point! If you find your water pressure when flushing has dropped, it’s best to try and find the cause straight away.
The things out of our control that we spoke about above usually affect the drainage system. Other things that can cause issues to the drain would be the non-flushable items making it’s way through the toilet trap but then getting stuck in the drain when trying to get all the way through to the sewerage system. If this happens it can cause serious issues and a plumber will need to rectify the situation. Depending on what has happened to your drainage pipes, the plumber may be able to fix the blockage with jet blasting but if the issue is because of tree roots breaking the pipes you may need pipe relining. Whatever it is a plumber will be able to work with you to find the problem and fix it!
Whether your toilet keeps getting blocked or you’ve started hearing “gargling “noises coming from your drains, it may be time to contact DC Advance, your trusted plumbers to help fix the situation.