There is nothing more frustrating than a clogged toilet, especially when it keeps happening over and over again! Diagnosing the cause of your clogged toilet can often seem like an impossible task, how do you know where to look? And how can you prevent it from happening again?
With a team of experienced and professional plumbers, we take the guesswork out of clogged toilets. Having seen and handled every situation you could imagine, we are able to provide you with an easy to follow guide on the most common reasons for a clogged toilet, what causes the block to occur and what you can do to fix it so you can start enjoying the comforts of your bathroom with peace of mind.
The Most Common Reasons Your Toilet Is blocking
For your average household, repeated blocking of the toilet is usually due to one of these main issues:
If you hear a gargling sound from your toilet or shower this could be a bigger issue somewhere in your sewer line. This blockage means instead of air flowing through the lines it pushes back and causes the gurgling sound.
What to do?
First up, you can try to plunge the toilet with a standard home handyman plunger. Make sure it completely covers the drain hole and give it a good 10-15 plunges to see if the blockage clears. If this does not help the situation, it suggests that your blockage is a much larger job and you’re going to need the help of a well-equipped plumber.
We use a tool called a ‘warthog’ to go down the line using hydrojets. This can clear tree roots for a short-term fix. Alternatively, we can use CCTV cameras to identify the exact location of the roots causing the blockage. We can then dig up that area, clear it of roots and replace the drain pipe in the affected section.
Items that shouldn’t be flushed have been flushed
The only two things that should be put down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. While this seems like an obvious answer, there are many products that have been marketed as ‘flushable,’ flushable wipes are a prime example. While some items can be flushed before repeated blocking occurs, we have seen first-hand what a build-up of cotton pads, flushable wipes and q tips can do to the plumbing system of your home.
Flushable wipes are an especially major problem here in NZ. Despite what the name suggests, they actually do not break down efficiently in your plumbing. The term ‘flushable’ is only used to mean that they won’t’ come back into the bowl after you flush them. Many of them fail to disintegrate as they should. Instead, they create and contribute to major blockages in sewer systems.
What to do?
Our best piece of advice for those who are experiencing repeated blocking of their toilet would be to call a licenced plumber, not only can they clear the blockage for you, but they can also prevent further damage down the line, such as mainline sewage leaks which are a messy, and expensive job! Your plumber will be able to tell you the cause of your blocking and will be able to let you know what is and what isn’t ok to flush down the loo.
Too much toilet paper use
This may come as a surprise to some, as toilet paper is designed to be flushed, right? While this is true, too much toilet paper can actually restrict the flow of water to the main pipes, causing a ‘dry ball’ of waste that can have disastrous consequences. A buildup of toilet paper in your plumbing system is much like paper mache, as it layers throughout your pipes it can harden and become a rock-like substance, resulting in a repeated clogged toilet.
What to Do?
When you are experiencing a slower flush, or are noticing the water isn’t draining away as freely as it once did, we would recommend you begin reducing the amount of toilet paper you are using. With the average household using over 20,000 sheets of toilet paper per year, it’s easy to see how blockages occur!
If you’re not noticing a difference in your toilet flushing system after reducing your toilet paper usage, we would recommend you enlist the expertise of a professional plumber, they will be able to assess the issue at hand and can provide you with the services and advice you need to keep your bathroom in working order.
Clogged Toilet Trap
While some toilet clogs can be cleared and flushed with ease, certain build-ups require a little more assistance. We usually see clogged toilet traps when blockages have formed around the connecting bend of your drainage system. Similar to your sink’s P trap, your toilet has an S trap, and this is commonplace for waste to build up. Whether it be overloading, a weak water flow or old age, this S trap is the point where your toilet meets the wider drainage system, so it’s important to keep it clear.
What to do?
When earlier blockages like these are not cleared correctly, your problems will continue to persist, eventually carrying the clog further down the drains, resulting in a much bigger job. That is why we would recommend getting your trusted plumber in to clear the blockage and provide you with their advice in preventing the build-up of waste in the S Trap of your toilet.
Looking For A Trusted Plumber?
For all of your toilet enquiries, no matter how big or small, the team at Grace Plumbing is here to help. With over 20 years of experience, we can provide you with the very best industry services and advice you can trust. Give us a call today on 022 671 8125 so we can get you sorted.