- Frequent clogging of toilets can be due to a lot of things such as obstructed plumbing vents or ineffective Low-Flow toilets.
- Understanding the common causes of toilet clogs can help homeowners maintain a flowing plumbing system.
- Regular inspection and maintenance by a licensed plumber can help identify issues such as damaged sewer lines and blocked toilet vents.
What Actually Is a Toilet Clog?
A toilet clog occurs when an obstruction prevents water and waste from flowing down the toilet drain, hindering the flushing process. This blockage can occur at different parts of the toilet or the plumbing system, including the toilet trap, drain pipe, or even further down in the main sewer line. The obstruction can be caused by a variety of materials like excessive toilet paper, non-flushable items, or build-up of organic waste.
When a clog occurs, water and waste may back up into the toilet bowl or, in severe cases, overflow onto the bathroom floor. Let’s learn the main problems that we have run into at City Base:
Flushing Non-Flushable Items:
One of the primary reasons why toilets clog is due to the flushing of non-flushable items such as paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and baby wipes. These materials don’t dissolve like TP and can cause blockages in the toilet trap or drain line, leading to clogs. The toilet system is designed mainly for human waste and toilet tissue, which easily breaks down in water. Other materials do not break down as easily and can cause significant blockages.
Obstructed Plumbing Vents:
Plumbing vents allow fresh air into the plumbing system to help water flow smoothly through the drain lines. Blocked toilet vents can create a vacuum in the system, causing slow drainage or even toilet clogs. Regular inspection and cleaning of vent pipes can prevent these issues. When the vent is blocked, the water in the traps can get sucked out, allowing sewer gases to enter the home. A clear vent helps maintain the water seal in the traps and prevents this from happening.
Damaged Main Sewer Lines:
Damage to the main sewer line, often due to tree root penetrations or other obstructions, can lead to constant toilet clogs. It’s essential to schedule plumbing services to inspect and repair damaged sewer lines to prevent recurring clogs and other serious plumbing problems. Over time, sewer lines can sag or break, leading to a collection of paper and waste that eventually blocks the line.
Ineffective Low-Flow Toilet:
Modern low-flow toilets are designed to use less water per flush, but older models might lack the necessary flushing power to clear the toilet bowl effectively. Upgrading to a newer model can significantly reduce toilet clogs. The inadequate water pressure in older low-flow toilets can often lead to incomplete flushes and subsequent clogs.
Too Much Toilet Paper:
Using too much toilet paper can easily clog the toilet’s trap and drain pipe. Not to tell you how to do your business, but if your toilet is constantly clogged, you may want to consider switching to a thinner, single-ply toilet paper to prevent toilet clogs.
For those willing to explore alternative solutions, installing a bidet can significantly reduce the amount of toilet paper needed freeing your toilet from those stubborn clogs.
Toilet Trap Clogs:
The toilet trap is a curved section of the toilet drain designed to hold standing water to prevent sewer gases from entering the home. It can become a hotspot for clogs due to accumulation of human waste, toilet paper, and non-flushable items. A toilet auger, which is a specific type of plumbing tool, can be used to clear clogs in the toilet trap effectively, making it a handy tool for homeowners to have.
Understanding the common causes of toilet clogs and taking preventative measures such as avoiding flushing non-flushable items, moderating toilet paper usage, and scheduling regular plumbing maintenance can help keep your toilet functioning properly.
If problems persist, consulting with a licensed plumber to inspect the home plumbing system and carry out necessary repairs or upgrades is always a good idea. We can suggest routine drain cleaning or other services so your toilet remains clog-free!