Please Flush: 4 Ways to Avoid a Clogged Toilet

  • Michael Grant
  • October 19, 2017

Clogging the toilet can be both an embarrassing and possibly costly experience. There are many ways how to clog a toilet and avoiding them can save a lot of time, money, and potential embarrassment.

The following are the most common ways to clog a toilet that you might not have been aware of. Knowing what they are, why they cause problems, and how to fix them will help you avoid this type of plumbing situation. The most common ways to clog a toilet:

1. Toilet Paper

The primary cause of all toilet mishaps is from using too much toilet paper. If you do prefer to use large amounts of toilet paper, consider first flushing the waste then a second flush for the paper. It is encouraged to avoid scrunching the toilet paper into a ball, as a condensed ball is difficult to pass through the drainpipe.

Changing your toilet paper habits from a ball to a folded piece with your desired thickness will prevent the clogging of paper without having to stop using a lot of paper.

The good news about clogging a toilet with toilet paper is that it can easily be fixed. Plunge your toilet, targeting the paper, for a few moments and the clog should be resolved. Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate throughout the drainpipe, plunging will help this process.

2. Hair

Many people have a bad habit of throwing hair from a brush, from a dog, or from sweeping into the toilet and flushing it away. Just as hair causes clogging in your sink or shower, it does the same in the toilet and drainpipe. An accumulation of hair causes a very thick, sturdy barrier that does not allow other items to pass, therefore creating a clog.

As with everything, first try to fix the problem yourself with a plunger, and if possible, hot water. Unfortunately, if you often flush clumps of hair down the toilet, it is likely that you will require a professional plumber to successfully remove the entire clump of hair and its remnants.

3. Toilet malfunctions

Though most people avoid over thinking about a toilet and its parts, there are many things that make up a toilet and they can often be the reason for a clog. The most common part that causes problems is the flapper.

The flapper is the rubber gasket at the bottom of the tank. You can see this after taking the toilet’s lid off. When working properly, it flaps up to let enough water pass from the tank into the drain system. However, if it does not open enough, a drain can be caused by a weak flush that will not push the contents of the toilet far enough down the drainpipe. If this is a recurring problem, consider calling a plumber to adjust the contents of the toilet’s tank. Another option is to invest in a new toilet if needed.

4. Toilet etiquette

The toilet is meant for only one job; to properly dispose of human waste and toilet paper. All other items, such as hair, feminine products, dental floss, or any other product you toss into the toilet can be potentially damaging to both your toilet and drain line. These items cannot break down and move from the system the same way toilet paper does. It may not always be what you immediately flushed that causes a clog, but a combination of all previous items.

By stopping the urge to place other items in the toilet, you can save yourself from potentially embarrassing situations, and costly plumbing repairs. If you have children at home, make sure to remind them of the importance of monitoring the amount of toilet paper they use and to not flush other items.

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Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a cancer survivor. I'm also a home entrepreneur and stay-at-home grandfather. In the past thirty years, I've dabbled in the the financial sector, the technology industry, as well as a little business consulting. I guess you can call me a jack of all trades!

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