Why Your Toilet Keeps Clogging: Three Main Reasons
Frequent toilet clogs can be annoying and, at times, embarrassing. You might be asking yourself, “Is it me or my plumbing?” This guide should help you figure that out.
Here is our rundown of the common reasons toilets clog and how to go about getting them fixed.
Too many times people think of their toilet as a big, wet garbage can. We can’t really wrap our minds around why, because toilets were made for a specific purpose.
If you flush anything other than human waste and toilet paper, then this may be the culprit of your toilet clogs. Even things that are commonly marketed as “flushable” should not be flushed! It We understand how that can be annoying, but just because something’s “flushable” doesn’t mean it should be flushed. This no-no list includes flushable wipes, flushable cat litter, and feminine products.
Tired Toilet Troubles
Toilet parts, including the porcelain, wear out over time. Think about the smooth rocks you might find in a flowing stream. The same process that smooths rocks over time, happens to your toilet and its parts.
Your flushing might be foiled by the flapper. If a flush isn’t strong enough, it can clog the toilet. At All Clear, we don’t believe in just changing a flapper. If the flapper is going bad, all the tank parts need to be replaced.
Of course, it may be something as simple as a chain that isn’t long enough. Don’t be afraid to take off the lid and see what’s going on.
Even if the tank parts are in good shape, eventually the toilet itself will need replacing. Older low-flow toilets (that never flushed well to begin with) are getting to the age where they need to be changed out. New low-flow toilets have excellent flushing power.
If you’re doing everything right and your toilet is in good working order, there are only a few more options for flushing foibles. The vent, trap, or line complete toilet plumbing, so those are where we look next.
Most people don’t think to climb on the roof to check their plumbing, but it’s not a bad place to start. Roof vents can get blocked with things like bird nests or leaves. Get in the habit of checking these when cleaning gutters to ensure maximum flush power. Blocked vents will prevent a good flush from going down.
Between your toilet and your sewer line is an S-shaped trap. Sometimes weird stuff can get stuck in those traps that you didn’t even realize got flushed. These odd items can partially block the trap and cause increasingly bad problems over time. These can be things like toys, toothbrushes, and that tiny flip phone from 2003 that you never heard from again. Sometimes a plunger can do the trick or you can try suctioning it out with a shop-vac. In an extreme case, you may need a plumber can take the toilet apart and manually retrieve the item.
The absolute worst-case scenario for toilet clogs is a broken or damaged sewer line. A break in the line, a bad connection, roots, or what we call a “belly,” can create bad spots where debris can get caught up in your line.
A belly happens when the ground beneath the sewer line isn’t packed well enough, causing the ground to settle in that spot. These bellies will hold water and create a dip in the sewer line that catches excess debris and messes up the flow of sewage.
Since sewer lines are underground, this can seem like a guessing game. After all, all of these things can go wrong! Luckily, you don’t have to take our word for it if a plumber claims your sewer line needs to be replaced. This is a repair that can cost into the thousands, so you want to be very sure that this is the problem by requesting a camera inspection.
A camera inspection allows you to see how bad the obstruction or issue is and decide on a game plan for addressing it. Not every sewer line issue requires replacement of the line, although this is often the result. The EPA mandates that any sewer line that’s broken – and thus leaching black water into the ground – must be replaced. Even hairline fractures in sewer lines can compromise groundwater reserves and cause a big public health issue.
You Aren’t Alone
We realize that this article isn’t going to allow a “simple” diagnosis at home. There are a lot of different things that can go wrong with a single flush, causing a toilet to clog. Hopefully this guide gave you a bit of insight into the plumbers’ diagnosis process. We’re always happy to answer questions for our customers and make sure that you feel perfectly comfortable with the work our plumbers are performing before the repair is done.
If you’re having flush problems and need a plumber to come take a look, you can always call All Clear at 864-979-7059 or text us at 864-507-5257. All Clear plumbers are here to help!