A clogged toilet is not the end of the world yet it will certainly prove frustrating, especially for those who have not encountered this problem in the past. Clogged toilets are messy and have the potential to be quite costly. If your toilet is partially clogged, you will end up wasting that much more water and paying an exorbitantly high monthly water bill. This is precisely why it is so important to determine why toilets clog in the first place and be proactive to prevent clogging. Let’s take a quick look at why toilets clog.
Toilets are engineered to flush toilet paper and waste – that’s it. Unfortunately children and some mentally unsound senior citizens flush everything from napkins to crayons, paper towels, baby wipes and other sundries down the toilet. Such items do not dissolve properly; rather, they cause nasty clogging.
If you think you will need a considerable amount of toilet paper, do not wait until the end to flush. It is better to flush when you are halfway through to ensure the abundance of toilet paper does not cause a clog. Otherwise, you run the risk of the toilet paper coalescing and clumping to the point that it is too large to make it through the plumbing system.
If given enough time, wayward tree roots are likely to reach your home plumbing system, causing a backup in the lines. If your home has additional backed up drains, it is a sign there is a significant problem. The underlying issue just might be plant and/or tree roots. If this is the case, you will need the assistance of a professional plumber or other specialist to eliminate the roots and return your plumbing system to normal.
As time progresses, an abundance of waste has the potential to clog the toilet. Toilets are designed with a curved trap meant to catch items so they do not slide on through. However, the downside to this design is it has the potential to catch so many obstructions that the pipes become blocked. Those who regularly flush items ranging from floss to cotton balls will likely find the excess waste ends up catching on parts of the piping. As time progresses, the buildup grows to the point that it prevents human waste from moving on through the drain as it should.
Hard water has the potential to calcify to the point that it causes a buildup of minerals that is challenging to eliminate from the toilet. The issue with hard water is it impedes the movement of waste and water through the pipes. A professional plumber can flush out the toilet system with a specialized solution. However, it might be better to opt for a lasting fix such as the installation of a water softener that guards against buildup in the first place.
Homes with septic tanks rely on leach lines for the filtration of water out of the tank, moving it into the ground below. There is the potential for this cycle to be impeded if leach lines are blocked by a material that cannot be composed or an excess of sludge. If such a problem is neglected, it will eventually reach the point where the backup affects the entire system. The assistance of an experienced plumber will be necessary to clear out the inlet/outlet baffles following the pumping of the septic tank.
Obstructions in the main drain of the home have the potential to lead to a backed up toilet. If this is the case, the assistance of a plumber will be necessary to analyze the drain pipes with video technology. Otherwise, it will be difficult to pinpoint the clog’s location and true cause. Clogs in the main drain are not always caused by the improper use of home plumbing systems. Rather, an accumulation of leaves, sludge, stones and other gunk can cause such clogging.
Remove the lid from the toilet tank and you will likely find a rubber gasket toward the base. This gasket is referred to as the flapper as it opens when the toilet is flushed to permit water to return to the tank and flush downward. A flapper that fails to open as it should is likely to result in a weakened flush, leading to clogs as the bowl’s contents are not sent far enough down into the drain pipe.