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Toilet clogs are one of the most common plumbing issues and you can often get rid of minor blockages with a toilet plunger and a bit of elbow grease. However, a constantly clogging toilet isn’t just annoying, but it could indicate a more serious issue with your fixture or plumbing system.
If your toilet keeps getting blocked, you should call a professional plumber to get to the root of the issue. In this article, we’ll explain the most common causes of a blocked toilet.
1. Stuck Objects
Most plumbers have a few funny stories about weird things they’ve pulled from their customers’ toilets. If you can flush liquids down your toilet without any problems, but it can’t cope with solids, you may have a stuck object on your hands.
Unless you can reach the offending object easily, the best way to solve this problem is to ask a professional to retrieve it for you. However, there are a few things you can do to stop objects from getting stuck in your toilet in the first place. Keep an eye on young children to make sure that they aren’t throwing toys or other items inside. You should also keep the area around your toilet clear to avoid knocking items down the toilet accidentally.
2. You’re Flushing the Wrong Things
Many homeowners are unaware that the only things that should go down the toilet are human waste and toilet tissue. Any other tissue type, including facial tissues and kitchen paper towels, should go in your household garbage.
Any other items flushed down the toilet could get caught in the pipes and cause a stubborn blockage, leading to a clogged toilet. Menstrual hygiene products are regular culprits, so we recommend having a sanitary bin in the bathroom for this purpose. Diapers, cotton wool, and other common bathroom items are also common causes of a blocked toilet.
You should also approach so-called ‘flushable’ baby wipes and facial cleansing wipes with caution. Any plumber will tell you that these items are bad news for your plumbing system and are just as likely to lead to a blocked toilet.
3. Tough Toilet Paper
Although toilet tissue is supposed to disintegrate when it gets wet, some brands are better than others. Premium brands and cheap versions can be equally stubborn and build up inside your pipes, along with human waste, to form stubborn clogs.
If you’re sure there aren’t any objects in your toilet and you haven’t flushed anything down there that you shouldn’t have, your toilet paper may be to blame. If you can’t clear the clog easily with a plunger or snake, a San Antonio, TX plumber can use professional tools to clear the blockage quickly and easily.
If you think your toilet paper may be to blame for your clogged fixture, you should change to a different brand right away. Flushing solid waste away before using toilet tissue can also reduce the likelihood of a blocked toilet.
4. Insufficient Water
If there isn’t enough water flowing from your toilet’s tank to the bowl when you flush, it may not have the necessary power to get rid of solid waste. This problem is usually due to a faulty supply line and could lead to clogged pipes.
If you suspect that a weak flush is to blame, start by checking that the supply line is open. You should also inspect the rubber tank float to see if it’s set to the correct height. A plumber can check this for you if you’re unsure and make sure everything is set up correctly for a forceful flush.
5. Hard or Chlorinated Water
The water in San Antonio, TX, is relatively hard, which means that it contains high levels of calcium and other minerals. These minerals can accumulate inside your toilet’s drain pipe, making blockages more likely.
This problem is most likely to affect older toilets with a weaker flush. If your plumber says that mineral deposits are behind your frequently clogged toilet, using a water softener can help.
Chlorine is added to the water to kill bacteria and make it safe to drink. However, chlorine can damage the plastic and rubber components inside your toilet over time, leading to loose seals. This can prevent your toilet from flushing at full force, contributing to a blockage problem. It’s worth asking your plumber to check your toilet’s seals when they come to unblock your toilet and replace them if they’re faulty.
6. Badly-Designed Toilet
Not all toilets are created equal, but you shouldn’t assume that regular clogs are due to a low flush design. If your toilet is poorly-designed in terms of the drain opening size or bowl angle, it could lead to a weak flush and potential clogs, even if it uses a lot of water.
A professional plumber can tell you whether your toilet’s design is contributing towards frequent blockages and may recommend replacing it for a more efficient model. When you’re choosing, check the MaP score. MaP is an independent body that tests all toilets, and a score of 100 or more is a sign that you’re choosing one that’s well-designed.
7. Poor Airflow
Many homeowners don’t understand the importance of airflow in their drainage system. Decent ventilation is important because it stops vacuums from developing in your pipes and allowing waste to back up.
Your home has a pipe that leads up to the roof and keeps your plumbing system ventilated. If this gets blocked, the pressure build-up could stop your toilet from flushing properly and lead to blockages. Ask your plumber to check that your ventilation pipe is clear and correctly installed.
The Bottom Line
While there are plenty of simple methods to unblock a clogged toilet yourself, they are usually temporary fixes. If your toilet gets blocked frequently, you should call a professional to find the cause and make sure the clog is properly cleared. Call the expert team at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of San Antonio to get your toilet working perfectly again and prevent future blockages.