WHY DOES MY TOILET KEEP CLOGGING?
Every toilet, even the newest state-of-the-art toilets are prone to the occasion clog every now-and-then. That’s not to say that older toilets may need to be repaired or even replaced, but you may want to consider if maybe the reason your toilet constantly clogs is due to some maintenance or repair issues. Just like any other appliance, as time goes on, the performance of your toilet deteriorates and requires more and more frequent repairs and servicing. Here are 4 reasons why your toilet keeps clogging and what you can do about it.
1. Stuff Is Being Flushed Down That Shouldn’t Be
If you ever accidentally spilled water on toilet paper, you’ll know that the way it absorbs water is very different than that of paper or even facial wipes and tissue paper. Toilet paper is designed to eventually dissolve in water as to avoid clogging issues in toilets. As such, placing content besides human waste and toilet paper creates a risk of clogging. As a result, you are prone to see your toilet constantly clogging.
If you are dealing with a clogged toilet, the first go-to advice is to use the toilet plunger. Note that this is different than what you may currently be using. If you’re imagining the red cup with a wooden stick, you’re thinking of a cup plunger which is actually ideal for sinks and tubs. Toilet plungers typically have a more rounded end to accommodate the surface of the toilet and offer better traction. And in the future, consider placing a small garbage basket next to the toilet so that you and/or your guests can dispose of trash properly.
2. Your Flapper Might Need Re-adjusting
Your toilet flapper may be causing some issues with how your toilet is able to use the water in your tank. The purpose of the flapper is to move water from the tank and into the bowl when your toilet is flushing waste down the bowl. If working properly, your toilet is able to deliver an appropiate amount of water that scrubs and rushes remaining waste down. Otherwise, you’ll notice that your toilet constantly clogs due to some issue with the flapper. It may be prone to get caught or stuck so ensuring it’s in good position is important for proper toilet maintenance.
Open up the top of your toilet and give it a flush to make sure everything works properly. If not, check out how another toilet in your house operates and adjust your wonky/broken toilet accordingly. Or, simply watch a quick tutorial on Youtube to see how you should manage the flapper. Essentially, you want to fix it so that the valve opens up all the way and water rushes down the toilet as it should.
3. Check The Toilet Trap
If the above two issues are resolved yet you notice constant and/or occasional toilet clogging, you may need to look at your toilet trap. This may be a reason why your toilet keeps clogging. The toilet trap is an S-shaped tube separating the toilet and the drain. This is what you have to thank for not smelling the scents of the sewer in your home 24/7 as opposed to something like an outhouse. Referring back to material like facial wipes that may get stuck, the toilet trap is the likely suspect of where all the debris may be hiding.
While some of these issues can be resolved with the toilet plunger, if you have a hard item like a toothbrush that fell in or (one time in my case) a mini toy boat my 4-year old thought should be flushed in and “delivered to the ocean”, a toilet plunger won’t do the trick. You’ll need to get to the bottom of the toilet which can be a hassle. Try exhausting other options before getting to this one. And if necessary, reach out to a plumbing professional for help.
4. Your Toilet Is Old
Try as hard as we may, there comes a point where maintaining an old toilet becomes more expensive yearly than the cost of investing in a new toilet. And while you may be dreading the cost, toilets can run for pretty cheap depending on where you find yours. Additionally, there are many energy-efficient that can reduce water use that, in the long run, can save you money over time. The rule-of-thumb is that if you find yourself calling for frequent repairs or your toilet is clogging up over basic fixes, it may be time to replace your toilet altogether.
If all these options fail,
Consider that the issue may extend beyond your toilet. If you notice that the tubs and sinks face similar issues to clogging like your toilet, or is slow to remove water, there might be some damage with your pipes leading to your house or away from it.
- Check Your Pipes and Water Level. Try turning off all your water to your house and see if the water meter still reads above 0. Ideally, it would be zero when no water is flowing to your house. If it doesn’t, that might mean you have a leak affecting the amount of water flowing to your home. This will cut the performance of your toilet as you won’t be able to flush water from your toilet tank to bowl to properly dispose of waste.
- Check Your Sewer Lines. The clog may be in your backyard and not your home. Tree lines may create clogging in your sewer lines that affect your home’s ability to discard of waste properly. Or, there may be other issues affecting your sewer lines that are keeping waste and water from leaving that demands repair and maintenance. This is sure to not only affect your toilet but also your tubs and sinks. If you notice issues across your home, make sure to investigate your sewer lines.