A clogged toilet is a frustrating problem. A toilet that clogs repeatedly can go beyond frustrating and into a genuine nightmare. There are a number of reasons why your toilet might not be clearing with a plunger or might seem to clog right back up again. Here are some of the most common reasons a toilet is clogging:
You Have an Older Low-Flow Toilet
Some low-flow toilets made in the 1990s don’t actually produce enough pressure to clear the drain. If this is the case then your only option may be to replace the toilet, although limiting toilet paper use can help, as can flushing twice.
You Have Something Stuck In There
This usually means somebody tried to flush something that wasn’t intended to be flushed, such as Kleenex, wet wipes, dental floss, feminine hygiene products, or a dropped toy. Make sure to have a trash can next to your toilet and if you have toddlers (or pets) lower the seat when not in use. Removing the problem may require a snake or the assistance of a plumber to fully get rid of the clog. Also, you should not flush medications – this is old advice that is not good for your plumbing or the environment.
In some cases, the item may be caught in the toilet’s trap. That’s the U curve you can see under the toilet basin, which is designed to hold standing water. Non-flushable items often get stuck in that trap.
The Vent Is Blocked
Your toilet has a plumbing vent that funnels air into the system. If it gets blocked or clogged, drain flow is reduced and regular clogs will start happening. This requires the attention of a professional to clear your vents.
The Tank Is Not Filling Properly
If your toilet’s tank or cistern is not filling properly, there will not be enough water for a proper flush. This can cause a clog and can also cause fecal matter and toilet paper (especially the former) to linger in the toilet bowl. Often, flushing again will solve the immediate problem, but you need to solve the overall issue.
Your tank contains a float ball that closes off the water entry when the tank is full. Sometimes it ends up out of position, fix this by bending the float arm. If that does not work, the float ball mechanism should be replaced. If the float ball is not the problem, then you should check the fill valves. Finally, the other issue might be the trip assembly, which is the part of the flush handle inside the tank. A problem with this can also cause your tank to run. Finally, it might be an overall issue with the water pressure in your house.
You Have a Problem Further Down
If you have eliminated all of the above issues or if more than one of your toilets is clogging regularly, then the problem is deeper into your plumbing. Other signs of this are sounds like a coffee percolator coming from your toilets after you run the dishwasher or gray water emerging into your bathtub or sink.
This can be anything from a clog deep in your plumbing or a blocked mainline. In some cases, it can even be a design problem with your plumbing. All of this needs professional attention, especially if you suspect a main sewer clog (this can result in sewage backing up into your house, which is a major health hazard.
Learn More About Why Your Toilet Is Clogging
In many cases, a toilet clogging is a very simple fix. However, it might require a little more than a plunger to resolve the problem. If you are unable to fix a clogged toilet, then you should call for professional help to properly diagnose and find a solution to keep your plunger in the closet where it belongs. Contact us to learn more.