6 reasons why your toilet is clogged tips, Property WC tips, Online home bathroom advice

6 Reasons Why Your Toilet Is Clogged

9 Dec 2021

Blocked toilets are a messy situation that no one wants to deal with. What’s desired is a quick fix that will clear the clog and save the day. However, what do you do if it keeps happening? There must be a reason why the toilet keeps blocking.

Understanding why your toilet is clogged means you can take action to prevent it from happening again. Simple steps like not flushing certain objects and ongoing maintenance could save you plenty of future stress. Keeping your toilet plumbing clean is not rocket science.

6 reasons why your toilet is clogged tips

1.   Flushable Wipes

Over the last few years the dangers of “flushable” wipes going down the toilet have been highlighted. Many flushable wipes are proven to be the exact opposite; they do not break down in the sewers, thus creating large blockages.

Both private properties and public sewage systems are impacted as fatbergs spring up across the country. Just like an unappealing iceberg, fatbergs are large clogs consisting of  disposable wipes, grease, soap, sanitary items, etc. Everything that should not go down the toilet essentially clumps together in a disgusting mess.

Thankfully it is quite easy to avoid the offputting end result: do not flush disposable wipes. Place them in the garbage even if the packet claims they are flushable or biodegradable. Regulations are not strictly enforced enough to back the claims and too many wipes ultimately remain intact once they are flushed.

Toilet paper is the only material that does breakdown successfully once flushed. Therefore, refrain from even flushing tissue, paper towels and especially wet wipes/baby wipes.

2.   Tree Roots

You will find that one of the most common causes of blocked drains are invasive tree roots. Any crack in your sewer plumbing under the soil is an invitation for hungry roots to feast on the nutrient-rich water flowing through your pipes. And once the roots do take hold they rarely let go until you cut them out and seal the gaps.

Root systems can grow right throughout the pipework. It is not uncommon to even find roots weaving their way up through to a toilet suite. When you have clogs that are several feet long, it is easy to understand why your toilet no longer flushes properly.

To remove invasive tree roots you either require professional drain cleaning or pipe replacement. The tree roots must be removed completely to prevent future regrowth.

3.   Damaged Pipework

Another cause of concern is damage to your main sewer line. Cracks, holes or collapsed sections of plumbing will impede waterflow whenever you flush the toilet. Your waste is just going to run headfirst into dirty obstacles, causing the blockage to grow over time.

Just like tree roots – which love damaged plumbing – you will need a long term fix. Pipe relining is a non-invasive option that requires no excavation. However, the sewer line will need to be structurally sound.

Any weaknesses and your plumbing will have to be excavated and replaced entirely. That is the only surefire way to protect against recurring toilet blockages.

toilet clogged help guide

4.   Low-flow Toilet

Current water saving standards have led to multiple advancements, such as US federal requirements for 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Now, although most modern low-flow toilets still deliver average, or even superior, flushing capabilities, some do not. If it has a WaterSense label then you can expect to be purchasing a toilet that can flush anything away.

However, if it is poorly designed, it might not cope with high capacity demands. That means shallow clogs and unwanted waste sticking in the pan. Overuse of toilet paper may also compound the issue.

Your best bet may be a replacement toilet to ensure everything is going to safely flow through the sewer and away from your home.

5.   Blocked S-Trap

This is one of the easiest clogs to clear up – usually. The S-trap is located right behind the toilet and is where waste is expelled. Its shape ensures that sewer gases do not seep back into the home, with a layer of water providing an odour seal.

However, it is possible for clogs to form as stubborn objects might not flush down freely. A build-up of toilet paper, waste or other solid objects would prove nasty. Thankfully you can typically grab a plunger to apply some force and dislodge any concerning clog.

If it does recur, however, you may need to address the issue in more detail. The pipe may be degrading or there could be some sort of serious issue. A replacement toilet bowl or thorough drain clean might be required.

6.   Surprise Obstructions

Cat litter, dental floss, toys and more. There could truly be any number of surprise obstructions lurking in your toilet. Anything that has a solid body or is likely to snag and hook onto other items will prove to be a major nuisance. Kids love putting toys in places where they do not belong.

Meanwhile, we could take the tacit route with some euphemisms… but poop is also to blame. Dropping a large load is like bundling firewood into a campfire. When the angle’s not quite right things can go wrong. Long-term droppings can build-up to cause a serious traffic jam like peak hour on the freeway.

It is time to stop flushing hair, floss and sanitary products for the sake of convenience. Use the bin for all those items and leave the toilet for waste and toilet paper. Otherwise you may have to book a local plumber to clear things out.

Comments on this guide to 6 reasons why your toilet is clogged article are welcome.

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