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5 Reasons Your Toilet Keeps Clogging and How to Avoid Future Plumbing Problems

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Stephen Plumbing

January 10, 2016

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The 5 Most Common Causes of Frequent Toilet Clogs

The dreaded clogged toilet. You push down the toilet lever, see the water filling up the bowl, and then—nothing. Your toilet is suddenly filled to the rim with water and showing no signs of going down. So you break out the plunger, your drain snake, or your phone to call the plumber to fix the problem.

One toilet clog every once in awhile may be inconvenient and annoying, but it’s not typically a huge deal. However, if you’re reaching for the plunger or phone every week, it’s time to determine the real cause of your plumbing problems. To help you prevent future clogs and other plumbing issues, here are some of the most common causes of toilet clogs.

1. You’re overdoing it on the toilet paper.

Over time, using too much toilet paper with each flush can lead to a buildup within your toilet drain. If you have young children, it’s very likely that you’ve encountered this problem at one point or another—as they may not have figured out what’s an appropriate amount of toilet paper yet. Other causes of toilet paper clogs can be due to extra-thick toilet paper or a slow-flush toilet.

To help prevent these clogs, you can teach your children to fold their toilet paper instead of wadding it into a ball, which will help them use less. You can also flush your waste before flushing your toilet paper to avoid sending too much down your drain at once.

2. You’re flushing feminine hygiene products or paper towels.

Feminine hygiene products are specifically designed to absorb moisture, which is what they’ll continue to do when flushed down a toilet drain. When these products absorb moisture within your plumbing, they can easily lead to clogs. Paper towels, which are much thicker than toilet paper, can quickly lead to drain clogs as well.

3. You’re flushing hair down your toilet.

Whether it’s human hair or pet fur, if you’re cleaning off your brushes into the toilet, it’s time to stop that habit. Hair, when sent down a drain, can clump up and attach to other buildup, leaving you with a hard-to-clear mess. To avoid hair clogs, throw excess hair or fur into the trashcan instead of the toilet.

4. Someone is sending toys or other objects down the drain.

Maybe you accidentally dropped your toothbrush or razor down the toilet drain. Or maybe your child decided to send one of their toys on a water adventure. Depending on the size of the object, it may cause your toilet to clog immediately—or it could become a problem a week down the road. One of the easiest ways to avoid accidents like these is to keep your toilet lid closed when it’s not in use.

5. There’s a clog somewhere in the main line.

Often, toilet clogs are located close to the toilet itself. However, clogs can also be the result of buildup somewhere else within your plumbing system. These can be caused by other nearby drains—like your sink or shower. Another potential cause could be a tree root that has made its way into your sewer line. In either instance, you’ll need to call a plumber about hydro jetting or sewer line services.

Have a plumbing question? Need more information on toilet clogs?

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