No one likes to cause a clog. And even fewer people like to be the ones to discover a clog. It can be one of the most embarrassing toilet plumbing issues, and a tricky problem. There are many potential causes of a toilet clog, and each reason has a different solution. Let us break it down, and you’ll see that smooth swirl of water before anyone discovers the backed-up bathroom. Most toilet clogs can be completely avoided with small attention or a good plunging. Keep in mind that there are some more difficult cases that you may need to call your local plumber to help solve.
Here are a few of the most common reasons why your toilet might be clogged:
The Toilet is the Trashcan
The toilet is for human waste and toilet paper. The trashcan is for everything else. It’s so tempting to toss other things like tissues, cotton balls, cotton swabs, dental floss, feminine products or diapers straight down the toilet instead of in the trash-who wants the smell hangin’ around? But if these things get stuck anywhere in the pipes, they can block the entire line from flushing. This is because they won’t break down and move on like toilet paper can. Resist the urge to flush trash, and have a conversation with small children in the house that may be even more tempted than you.
The Trap is Trapped
The trap is the famous U-bend of the toilet. This is found on any drain pipes, and the section is constantly filled with water. This water is a stand-in barrier for foul smells that could otherwise fill the room through the sewage lines.This is obviously an important piece of the bathroom plumbing. And while the toilet’s trap is good at serving the odor-blocking purpose, it is also a good place to cause clogs. Even using precaution with what you flush, it can become easily clogged with something as simple as using too much toilet paper. This can generally be solved by a simple act of patience. The toilet paper will eventually break down from the water in the U-bend, and flush more easily.
That strange-looking rubber gasket at the bottom of the toilet tank can also cause clogging. This is called a flapper, and it regulates the water flow in the toilet tank that allows flushing in the bowl. However, if the flapper does not work properly, the flush will be weaker than necessary. This causes issues with clogging by simply not forcing waste far enough down the drain pipe. We’ve encountered this in cheap bathrooms at motels or airports, and most would agree it’s not very attractive to walk into. Luckily, this is easy to fix. The flapper is usually attached to the flush arm with an adjustable chain, so move the chain a few links to shorten it and try a test flush.
Ever since the spawn of low-flow toilets, the water-conscious of the world have been buying them to help conserve. However, the earlier versions (and even some current versions) are not as powerful as necessary. If there are consistent issues with flushing all the contents completely, it may be time for an upgrade to a standard-use toilet.
A toilet clog isn’t the end of the world, but if you don’t know the cause or can’t clear it on your own, help is only a phone call away at Miller’s! (804) 758-4314