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Why Is My Toilet Clogged?

Not Again! You’re watching some playoff football and just want to get in and out of the bathroom during a TV time-out, when….BOOM… clogged toilet, soon to be overflowing.

Flag on the play….delay of game.

A clogged toilet isn’t the end of the world but it can be a major inconvenience and lead to a very unpleasant cleanup. Luckily, most toilet clogs can be avoided with a bit of prevention and cleared up with a touch of elbow grease. For those more difficult cases, we are here to help.

Here are some common reasons your toilet may be clogged, and what to do about it:

1. Something is Stuck.

Solution: plunge or snake the drain.

Just like NOT going for a swim in the Inner Harbor, the best way to prevent toilet clogs is to NOT put things where they don’t belong!

Your toilet has a trap—a curved segment of the porcelain fixture—that is built into the lower bowl designed to hold standing water and keep sewer gas from entering your home.

It can handle waste and toilet paper…but that’s it. Heavy paper products, such as paper towels, tissues, wet wipes, feminine care products, and especially “flushable” wipes can get caught in the trap, causing a clog. These items should go in the trash, not in the toilet. 

Foreign objects; toys, crayons, combs, losing Pick 3 tickets…can also cause a clog. Fortunately, a few minutes of vigorous plunging with a plunger should loosen most blockages and remove the clog.

2. You have a slow-draining toilet.

Solution: time for an upgrade.

The mid 1990’s were all about slap bracelets, the Spice Girls and… low-flow toilets. If your toilet was made in the mid-1990s, this could be the root of your problem. Search the back of your tank for a stamped “born on” date.

Low-flow toilets don’t always flush hard enough to push the contents through the trap, inevitably causing frequent clogs. You can reduce clogs in low-flow toilets by limiting toilet paper use or using a thinner brand, flushing in increments, and avoiding clog-prone items (like the ones listed above). However, if you’re consistently having trouble, it may be time to consider an upgrade. A new toilet is surprisingly affordable and can be replaced as a weekend DIY project or by giving us a ring. 

3. The problem is actually in your sewer.

Solution: bite the bullet and call a plumber.

A clog in a single toilet is probably an isolated issue, however stubborn clogs in multiple toilets and in sink drains is usually a sign of a sewer line problem. Over time, waste material, toilet paper, and non-flushable items build up in your sewer line and need to be cleared periodically by a professional. 

Outside your home, tree roots can also puncture your sewer line, letting in sediment and other blockage-causing debris. This can cause major problems inside and outside of your home so it’s best to hire a pro to investigate sooner rather than later.

The Bottom Line.

If you can’t determine the cause of a clog or have a problem toilet that you’re tired of plunging, we’re here to help. Give us a call at (443) 741-1129 or schedule an appointment. A professional, thorough drain cleaning starts at $167. Don’t forget to use one of our coupons!

Received a sewer estimate from another plumber?

It’s always good to get a 2nd opinion. Prime is now offering FREE Second Opinions that could save you a little or even a lot of money. It’s what we do. Call (443) 741-1129 or click here to schedule an appointment today!


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