There are many reasons why your toilet may have a clog and several possible causes for a toilet that keeps clogging. These include problems with your drain lines or the toilet itself. Smiley Drain Cleaning offers solutions for how to prevent clogging from happening at home.
Why your toilet keeps clogging
Toilet backups can be a sign that something is wrong. It could be your plumbing, your toilet, or the water going down it. The following are common reasons why a toilet clogs:
- You have an older low-flow model toilet
- Items that should not be flushed were used
- Too much use of toilet paper
- S-trap is blocked
- Air vent blocked
- Your sewer line is blocked
Our New Jersey plumbers review the common reasons a toilet keeps clogging, what you are able to do to remedy clogs, and when you need professional services.
Older low-flow toilets
Your toilet could be clogged because of a fixture that was installed in an older model of low-flow toilets. Older low-flow toilets don’t have the right pressure to push material through the trap and down the drain. Low flush pressure can leave material behind, which causes constant clogs.
How to fix your low-flow toilet from clogging
A sure-fire method to get rid of constant clogs is to replace your low-flow toilet. These types of toilets were typically made in the middle of the 1990s and are more susceptible to clogging. To increase flush pressure and decrease toilet clogs, you can install newer models of low-flow fixtures if your toilet is older. Your plumber will be able to help you select new toilets that conserve water and install them in your bathrooms.
To prevent toilet clogs, you can reduce the amount of toilet tissue and other materials if replacing your toilet is not possible.
Using non-flushable items
Only human waste and toilet paper are allowed to go down the toilets. Toilets can clog when other types of paper and hygiene products are being sent down the toilet.
Almost all households are affected by this type of constant clog problem. Many people are not aware of what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet. The “flushable wipes” are the most common culprit plumbers encounter today. People have become accustomed to flushing their bathroom waste down the toilet, even cotton balls, and Q-tips, in order to keep the toilet clogged. Children who are curious about the toilet are more likely to clog their bathrooms.
How to clear your drain line
To clear a clog caused by improper materials in the drain, you can use a flanged plunger to remove it. If that fails, you can use a toilet auger to break up the blockage and clear the drain.
It is important to take the time to explain to your family what should be kept out and what should go down the drain. Children under the age of 5 should be taught that the toilet is not a place for them to play and that their toys and other items must not go down the toilet.
Excessive use of toilet paper or paper towels
Toilet paper can be flushed down the toilet without clogging if used in proper quantities. Too much toilet paper can cause problems. It doesn’t dissolve well and sticks to the drain or toilet lines, causing the toilet to clog.
Some 2-ply toilet paper doesn’t dissolve as well as others, leading to blockages. It is more comfortable to use more but may cause more problems in your household.
Prevent excessive use of TP
Most people use 8 to 9 squares per wipe of toilet paper, but 3 to 4 squares are sufficient. To prevent clogs, encourage household members to reduce their use of toilet paper. As you potty train young children, it is helpful to mark the proper length of toilet paper on the wall or cabinet down from the dispenser to help them use the right amount each time.
To create the desired thickness, fold your ultra-plush toilet paper sheets. Toilet paper that is not folded for use should be rolled up rather than rolled up. This can lead to clogs. Toilet clogs can be avoided by being more careful with how you use your toilet tissue.
Toilet Trap Clogged
While most homeowners are familiar with the p-trap on a sink, did you know that there is a trap on your toilet? The trap for the toilet is not a rectangular P-shaped shape. It sits between the toilet bowl & drain line. The toilet’s s-trap works in the same way as a sink’s p-trap. It catches objects and stops them from getting to the drain line, causing a blockage.
This is the most common area in the toilet that items can get stuck due to their purpose and design. After flushing excess waste, toilet paper, and other non-flushable materials, they can get lodged in the p-trap, and the toilet will clog if there is too much waste in it.
Clean your toilet’s s-trap
To remove a blockage in your toilet’s trap, you can plunge the toilet. To force water through the trap, use a flanged plunger to move the clog.
A toilet auger can be used to remove the blockage if plunging fails. The auger should be inserted into the toilet drain. If resistance is found just beyond the drain of the toilet bowl, it’s likely that there is a blockage in the trap. To break up the clog material, rotate the auger and grab the handle to pull out the rest of the material. If the clog is still not clear, you should call a plumber to clean your drain.
Obstructed air vents in your plumbing system
Although you may not be aware, your home’s toilets are connected via an air vent to the outside of your home. This vent is usually located on the roof. Fresh air can enter your home’s plumbing system through the toilet vent, increasing the pressure of flushes.
Toilets lose their flushing pressure if the vent is blocked. Poor pressure can cause toilet clogs to become more frequent and more severe. Blocked toilet vents can cause other problems in the household, including gurgling sounds from the toilet, slow drainage in all areas of the house, and sewer smells indoors.
Find out of your drainage vent is blocked
Toilet vents can become blocked when they are connected to the sewer line within your home. Check your roof if you suspect that a blocked vent is the reason why your toilet is clogging.
- Get a ladder long enough to reach the roof. Safely climb onto your home’s roof and locate where the toilet vent penetrates through the roof (it’s usually above where your main bathroom sits).
- To check for any debris in the vent, remove the cap. Then, manually remove any debris by reaching into the vent.
- Send water down the vent, use the spray nozzle from your garden hose. This can clear some blockages, but water will back up from the vent opening if it is not.
- Install a toilet auger in the vent. The auger must be at least 20 feet long to reach the sewer line/vent connection. To clear the obstruction, rotate the auger and then take it out.
- To verify that the obstruction is gone, flush some water down your toilet vent. If the water is still backing up, you will need to call a drain cleaner.
Main sewer line blockages
Most clogs can block your main sewer line and cause problems with drainage pipes. Clogs in the main sewer line can cause drain issues throughout the home and are hard to fix.
Tree root penetrations, sewer line breakage, and infiltrations can cause sewer lines to become clogged. These problems can cause your toilet to clog, which can impact your drainage system and ability to move your waste out of your house. If this happens, sewer line repairs will be required.
Clear your sewer line
Unfortunately, a plumber is required to fix major sewer line problems. If you ignore main line clogs, your toilet will continue to clog and cause more damage to your plumbing system. Call a plumber if you suspect that your main sewer line is clogged.
Smiley Drain Cleaning can prevent toilet clogs
If your toilet is constantly clogging, and you cannot identify the problem, it is time to call the professionals. To find the cause of a clogged toilet, our licensed plumbers in New Jersey will inspect your plumbing system and provide the necessary professional services. We can help you with any plumbing issues, including fixture replacement, drain cleaning, and sewer line repair. Smiley Drain Cleaning can help you schedule plumbing services in New Jersey.