Are you at your wits end asking yourself, “Why does my toilet keep clogging?” We know there are only so many times you can grab the plunger before you have to admit you have a serious plumbing problem that needs to be addressed. But what is causing that pesky clog?
In this article, we’re here to help you identify common causes of a clogged toilet and teach you how to unclog a toilet.
You May be Flushing Things You Shouldn’t Be Flushing
The list of things that are okay to flush down a drain is very short — it’s only human waste and toilet paper. If you often flush common bathroom items like:
- Feminine hygiene products
- “Flushable” cat litter
- “Flushable” wipes
- Paper towels, cotton balls, or cotton swabs
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
your clogging problems should stop once you start properly disposing of these items.
Your Flapper May Not be Opening Completely
The flapper controls the flow of water from your toilet tank to your toilet bowl, and over time your flapper can wear down or get knocked out of place. If this happens, the flapper will stop opening all of the way, meaning not enough water is being released and you’ll get a weak flush. Weak flushes often lead to clogged toilets.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this! Just take the lid off of your toilet tank and adjust the flapper’s chain so that it properly connects to the flush handle. Once the chain is in the right place, the flapper should open completely next time you flush.
Your Plumbing Vents May Be Blocked or Clogged
Did you know your your toilet drains vent out of your roof? As strange as it sounds it’s true! This helps you get a good flush, but if a bird decides to build a nest in your vent, your toilet won’t be able to flush as well. Just like with the flapper, the weak flush will probably be the cause of your clog.
This can be fixed pretty easily, but it’s probably going to have to be done by a professional because the only way to clear this vent is from the roof.
Your Toilet May Not Have Enough Flushing Power
If your flapper is fine, and your vents are clear, the weak flush may be thanks to the toilet itself. Older, low-flow toilets just aren’t as good or efficient as current low-flow models.
To continue saving water, but to stop experiencing clogs, we suggest you update to a newer low-flow toilet.
You May Have Something Stuck in the Trap
Let’s say you previously flushed one of the items we just told you should not be flushed, and it got trapped in the s-shaped trap that separates your toilet from the drain line. With every flush, this item could be catching more and more debris making a bigger and bigger clog.
There are multiple fixes for this problem. If the obstruction isn’t a ridiculous shape that is completely lodged in there (think toothbrush), plunging can solve the clog. On the other hand, if you do have something crazy down there, you may have to remove your toilet and manually retrieve the trapped item (which is harder than it sounds, so we suggest you call a plumber to take care of it for you).
You May Have Sewer Line Problems
The problem may not even be your toilet at all! Sometimes the problem is in the sewer itself and no amount of plunging will be able to clear a tree root from a pipe under your house.
Again, this is a job for the pros — a plumber can likely do a video inspection to identify the obstruction, then can advise you how to handle the problem accordingly!
Here at Corley, we pride ourselves on providing great service from experienced technicians. If you’re experiencing a frequently clogged toilet but aren’t quite sure why, give us a call at (864) 661-2811 or click the banner below to schedule service online!