Common Causes of Toilet Clogs
Everyone knows what usually clogs a toilet. Fortunately, most cases can be cleared up with a minute or two of vigorous plunging. However, to remedy more difficult situations, you may need a professional to help you out. Here are the most common reasons why customers call a plumber for help unclogging the toilet.
Toilets are designed to carry away human waste and toilet paper. If you flush anything else, you increase the chance of something getting caught in the U-shaped trap or further down the drain line. Seemingly innocent objects such as cotton balls, facial tissues, paper towels, dental floss and feminine products don’t readily dissolve the way toilet paper does. To keep your plumbing running smoothly, dispose of these items in the trash, not the toilet.
It’s also common for curious children to place toys and other small objects in the toilet – and then flush it. If your child does this unbeknownst to you, the toilet may suddenly start clogging frequently because a foreign object is wedged in the trap. Make sure your children understand the toilet is not a toy.
Ample water and power are needed to clear the contents of a toilet bowl. If the flapper in the toilet tank doesn’t open all the way, the resulting weak flush could result in frequent clogs. Adjusting the chain or replacing the flapper should solve the problem.
First-generation low-flow toilets from the mid-90s are also prone to clogging. Newer versions are much more powerful while still conserving water. Consider replacing your toilet if it’s from this era.
Water with high mineral content can calcify, leaving deposits that eventually narrow the gap through which waste can pass. A quick fix is to flush out the toilet system with a solution that removes the mineral buildup. The long-term solution is to install a water softener.
Blocked Drain Vents
Plumbing fixtures usually vent to the roof so fresh air can replace the vacuum that forms when water drains. If bird nests, leaves or other debris block the vent, it can cause the toilet to flush in a slow, gurgling manner. The solution is to clear the vent opening on the roof.
Sometimes, the blockage is located further down the sewer line. Tree roots are a common culprit. If they rupture your sewer line, none of your drains will flow smoothly, and the toilet may back up often. You’ll need to repair or replace your sewer line to restore proper function.
Call a Plumber to Fix Your Clogged Toilet
When you’re fed up with plunging the toilet only to have it clog again, a plumber can help you get to the bottom of it. At Bob Hoegler Plumbing, we’ll eliminate the clog and diagnose what caused it in the first place. Only then can we offer a more permanent solution to your toilet troubles.