Does it seem like lately your toilet plunger is your best friend? If your toilet keeps clogging and you’re plunging once a week (or more!), it’s beyond annoying. You and your family might need to change your bathroom habits, or your toilet might need repair.
1. Flushing Non-Flushable Items
Sorry, but your toilet is not a trash can. It’s made for human waste and toilet paper only. So resist the temptation to get rid of “embarrassing,” messy, or hazardous items via your bathroom plumbing.
Your toilet can be clogged — partially or completely — if you attempt to flush non-flushables, so never try to put these things down the drain:
- Hygiene products, such as disposable diapers, wipes, tampons, cotton balls, or dental floss
- Unused meds, whether in liquid, capsule or tablet form
- Cooking oils and fats
- Leftover home improvement or car care substances, including cleaning products, paint, antifreeze, and the like
2. Older Low Flow Toilets
When the low flow toilet was invented a few decades ago, it was a great idea. Using only 6 litres per flush, as opposed to the conventional 13-26 litres) saved a huge amount of water over time.
Unfortunately, many of the first-generation, low flow toilets could be better called ‘low flush toilets.” Their poor design left them without sufficient flushing power. The result? A toilet that keeps clogging. Unfortunately, the best solution here is replacing “Beta” versions with more modern toilets.
3. Low Water Levels
If the water level in the bowl is too low, that’s another reason for a toilet that keeps clogging. Low water can be due to:
- the toilet tank not filling properly due to an incorrectly adjusted float
- blocked plumbing vents OR
- a cracked toilet bowl (if this is the case, you’ll need a toilet replacement because cracks in porcelain are impossible to repair reliably
4. Using Too Much Or Too Thick Toilet Paper
In theory, all toilet paper is flushable. But in practice, not so much. Ultra-soft, plush, 3- or 4-ply, and quilted toilet tissue usage is easy on your bottom but hard on your toilet. The reason is that this type of TP expands rather than disintegrating as it should, and that can lead to continually clogged toilets. Ditto if you or a family member (your recently potty-trained two-year-old, perhaps?) uses too much toilet paper at a go.
5. Clogged Toilet Trap
Have you ever noticed the curved portion behind your toilet bowl? That’s the toilet trap, which works similarly to a sink’s P-trap. Both are full of water in order to keep noxious sewer line gases from seeping into your bathroom.
Occasionally clog-causing items (for example, personal hygiene products or thick wads of toilet paper) can make their way into the trap. You might be able to remove the clog by plunging with a flanged toilet plunger or snaking with a toilet auger. Otherwise, you’ll need a professional plumber to take care of the problem.
6. Sewer Line Clog
If your home has more than one toilet that keeps clogging up, the origin could be in your main sewer lines. Sewer line clogs might be caused by the buildup of toilet paper, waste material, and those nasty non-flushables — or even by tree roots poking into the line. This problem is too complex for DIY repair; call a reliable plumbing company for sewer line repairs.
7. Blocked Toilet Vent
Unless it’s ancient, your home plumbing system is equipped with roof vents. These funnel fresh air into the plumbing system to ward off air pressure imbalances, which might interfere with the flow of your drain lines.
The toilet plumbing vent should be regularly cleared with a good hard spray from your garden hose. This will remove leaves, pine needles, twigs, or nests built by rodents or birds — all potential reasons why a toilet might clog too easily.
8. Hard Water
Defined as water with a high content of dissolved calcium and magnesium, hard water leaves mineral deposits on almost everything it touches… including your toilet drain line. Given enough time, the sediment will narrow the pipe openings and restrict water flow. This is yet another cause of toilet clogging.
Experienced professional drain cleaning services can solve the problem. However, to avoid this syndrome in future, the installation of a whole home water softener is a great solution.
Dr HVAC Will Get Your Toilet Going
Contact the licensed plumber at Dr HVAC for toilet repair or replacement. We’re your friendly local experts in the Greater Toronto Area.