Many homeowners don’t even think about how a toilet functions until, of course, it clogs or breaks down. There are several reasons why toilets occasionally clog, causing a mess of your bathroom. But if you can identify the specific issue causing the blockages, you can effectively find the best way to ensure the problem is eliminated in the future. So, here are some reasons toilets clog and how to mitigate the issues forever!
Excessive Toilet Paper
Although toilet paper is very flushable, excessive amounts can lead to clogging. Typically, toilet paper disintegrates faster than paper towels and wipes, but flushing too much could contribute to a backup. This often happens when there is an existing clog building up in your drain pipes. So, toilet paper can compound the situation if it mixes with other solid debris.
Always be careful about the quantity of toilet paper you flush at one time. But to resolve the issue permanently, you may consider upgrading your toilet to a newer model designed to flush large waste without losing efficiency.
Low-Flow Toilet Models
Low flush toilets can significantly reduce the amount of water you use to flush the toilet, keeping your water bills and usage low. However, these types of toilets often cause problems when water pressure is low. So, if you have a toilet created between 1994 and 1997, it’s probably a first-generation, low flush toilet with too little power to push solid waste into the drains. It’s best to replace it with a modern unit with more efficient flush mechanisms.
Your Drain Line is Clogged
The age of your toilet drain line can work against it, causing the drain line to frequently clog even when flushing regular waste and tissue paper products. Paper, hair, and foreign objects are common culprits that old drain lines often have a hard time with. If that is the case with your toilet, call a plumber to clear your drain lines. If the problem persists, you may use a sewer camera to check everything then replace your drain and sewer lines if needed.
Inadequate Water in the Tank
To get waste out of the toilet bowl, you must apply adequate pressure. If the toilet tank does not completely fill up when you flush the toilet, there won’t be sufficient pressure to clear the bowl. To correct the situation, ensure that the supply valve is fully open and check the water supply line for leaks. If the issue persists, try replacing the fill valve.
A Defective Flapper
A weak flush generally contributes to clogging. A flapper is one of the elements that ensure powerful flushing pressure. In most toilet designs, a flapper is a round rubber gasket that sits at the bottom of the tank. It works by opening up every time you flush, allowing the water from the toilet tank to flush down. So, when the flapper doesn’t open up completely, it may cause a weak flush and a potential clog. To fix the flapper, look for the chain connecting to the flush arm and adjust the chain. Try shortening it a few links and give it a try.
How to Avoid Toilet Clogs
Having learned some of the most common causes of toilet clogs, let’s shift attention to some effective prevention measures.
Practice Mindful Flushing
One simple way to prevent toilet clogs is to be more mindful of the stuff you flush down your toilet drain. If you’re flushing down toilet paper, ensure you flush the right amount only flush human waste and toilet paper and nothing more. Things like sanitary towels, plastics, etc., shouldn’t be flushed down a toilet.
Clear the Tanks
Avoid using the toilet tank as extra counter space. Placing items like soap, brushes, and tissue paper on top of the toilet tank means that they can accidentally drop into the bowl and cause clogs.
Cleaning your toilet regularly helps keep it looking great for years. But besides the aesthetics, regular cleaning can help you spot leaks early and fix the issue before it results in clogs. For instance, if the supply line to the tank is leaking, the tank may not fully fill up with water, resulting in weak flushes and clogs.
To ensure a clog-free sanitary experience, ensure you keep up to date with toilet maintenance. Besides regular cleaning, make sure you assess the inner workings of your toilet system twice a year. With regular inspections, you can ensure that all the essential components of your toilet are functioning properly. It will also help you determine if there is a need for upgrades or fixtures replacements. Sometimes, replacing an old toilet is more economical in the long term.