WHY DOES MY TOILET KEEP CLOGGING
Does it seem like you’re plunging your toilet at least once a week (or more)? Not fun. Here are a few of the most common causes of a toilet that just keeps clogging and how to fix them.
You’re flushing stuff you shouldn’t be
The only things you should flush down a toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Nothing else. Even facial tissues can be a big problem. They’re not made to break down in water the same way that toilet paper is.
Common things people flush that cause clogs include:
How to fix it: Put a garbage basket next to the toilet so the next time you’re tempted to flush something you shouldn’t, you can just throw it in the wastebasket.
Flapper not opening completely
The flapper is the part of your toilet that lets water flow from the tank on the back down into the toilet bowl, creating the flush. If the flapper doesn’t open all the way it won’t release enough water, which means you’ll get a weak flush. Clogs are common in toilets with a weak flush. How to fix it: Adjust the chain that connects the flapper to the flush handle so that the flapper opens completely when you flush.
How to Unclog a Toilet When You Don’t Have a Plunger
It truly is the stuff of nightmares: faced with an away-toilet situation in someone else’s home, you do your business, flush … and nothing happens. Or worse, you flush and the toilet water (as well as its contents) slowly starts rising like super-gross flood waters. That alone is anxiety-inducing, but then you do a quick scan of the bathroom and realize that there is not a plunger in sight. Don’t panic or jump out a window. Try these tactics instead.
Run the hot water in the sink
This trick can work for a clogged toilet at someone else’s place or your own, but it’s definitely the most useful for those of us who embarrass easily when we’re away from the homestead. To get things moving again, YouTuber Aaron Bjorn says that you’re going to need some hot water to pour into the toilet bowl. But the sink will probably need a while to heat up and give you water that’s hot enough to be useful. So, get it running at maximum heat.
Reach for the liquid hand soap or shampoo
While the water is heating up, look around for some liquid soap. Dish soap is ideal, but you’re stuck in the bathroom so you might not be able to find any of that under the sink. Fortunately, liquid hand soap will suffice. Shampoo can even work in a pinch. When you find some, pour a lot of it into the toilet bowl. It will act as a lubricant for whatever is causing the clog
If the host is the type of person who only has independently made oatmeal bar soaps or something, Tess Wilson at Apartment Therapy suggests you look for some epsom salts, or even a bath bomb. Or, if they’re the type that keeps cleaning products under the sink or in a bathroom closet, try and find some bleach and powdered dish detergent. Wilson says to use a couple cups of bleach and one cup of powdered detergent. Really, anything that can lubricate or effervesce should do.
Dump hot water into the toilet and wait
Now that you have your lubricant in place, find a cup or container—use their toothbrush holder if you have to—and start pouring hot water from the sink into the toilet bowl. Again, the hotter the better here. But don’t flush yet!
End The Nightmare Of A Clogged Toilet Forever
The Root Causes Behind the Constant Plunging of a Clogged Toilet
We can all agree that having a consistently clogged toilet is a terrible problem for a homeowner. Unfortunately, there is no pleasant way of addressing this problem. If you’re continuously flushing the handle on the toilet, crossing your fingers and sending out a silent prayer, you may have a problem.
Have you noticed that your toilet is becoming clogged up more frequently? If you are having constant plumbing problems there may be a reason why your toilet is having a harder time flushing its contents
How Old is Your Toilet Bowl?
The simple fact behind the constant clogging may be that your toilet bowl is old. You may have a first generation, low flow design. The low flow design was originally created to help homeowners save on water, but the earliest models ended up lacking the necessary pressure to properly clear the internal trap and drain. In other words, this means that it can continuously become clogged if you aren’t careful. To find out what model your toilet bowl is, check the stamped date located on the back of the toilet. If you’re always fighting a clogged toilet, it’s better to get an update
Was a non-flushable flushed?
Obviously, a toddler’s toy is not a flushable item and can cause some serious damage. However, there are still items we flush that aren’t actually flushable. Be aware of what items can and can’t flush and save your ivory throne
The Flapper isn’t Working!
The flapper is what creates the flush. It lets the water flow from the tank on the back of the toilet and down into the blow. If the flapper doesn’t open all the way or it is worn out, it won’t release water that’s strong enough to actually create a flush. Luckily this is an easy fix.
How To Unclog A Toilet When You Don’t Have A Plunger
Do It All Again, Then Flush
After a few minutes, the soap should work its way down into the clog and you should see the toilet bowl water level start to go down a bit. Add some more liquid soap and hot water, then give it another couple minutes. Now you can make a judgement call and decide when it’s time to flush. Hopefully, everything goes down smoothly when you do.
Last Resort: Force It All Down
If you tried the soap with hot water trick and the toilet is still clogged, you might have to deal with this clog physically. Reach for the toilet brush or find a wire hanger you can uncoil—you can even stick your hand in a garbage bag if you’re truly desperate—and start poking down into the drain hole. It will be gross, yes, but you can always clean things up after the clog is gone.
Dump Hot Water Into the Toilet and Wait
Now that you have your lubricant in place, find a cup or container — use their toothbrush holder if you have to — and start pouring hot water from the sink into the toilet bowl. Again, the hotter the better here.
Reach for the Liquid Hand Soap or Shampoo
While the water is heating up, look around for some liquid soap. Dishwashing liquid is ideal, but you’re stuck in the bathroom so you might not be able to find any of that under the sink. Fortunately, liquid hand soap will suffice. Shampoo can even work in a pinch. When you find some, pour a lot of it into the toilet bowl. It will act as a lubricant for whatever is causing the clog.
Run the Hot Water in the Sink
This trick can work for a clogged toilet at someone else’s place or your own, but it’s definitely the most useful for those of us who embarrass easily when we’re away from the homestead. To get things moving again, YouTuber Aaron Bjorn suggests you’re going to need some hot water to pour into the toilet bowl.
Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet
There are certain things you know you shouldn’t flush down the toilet (even if your kids didn’t get the memo, like the Great Lego Flushing Incident Of 2017), but for every obvious pick, there are a few we’re all guilty of tossing in, just because we didn’t realize it’d cause any issues. Until we had to call the plumber … and get that bill afterward.
Yes, even the ones that say they’re flushable. According to plumbing company Boulden Brothers, these are frequently the cause of clogs and should always be thrown out in a wastebasket instead. Mike Agugliaro, co-owner of plumbing company Gold Medal Service also backed this up to TODAY, noting that even “flushable” wipes don’t disintegrate the way toilet paper does, which can eventually cause plumbing issues.
This one might shock you, but menstrual products (tampons, pads, etc.) should also never be flushed down the toilet. Why? Because as Agugliaro told TODAY, they’re products that are meant to absorb water, not break down in it, meaning they’ll only expand when you flush them — and that’s no good for your plumbing.
Q-Tips & Cotton Pads
Cotton balls, cotton pads, and Q-Tips are definitely not safe to flush — they don’t break down the way toilet paper (even cotton toilet paper) does, and according to Boulden Brothers, all they really do is clump together in your pipes and
Condoms are also not designed to break down in water, so flushing them can cause clogs in toilets and septic tanks, according to Agugliaro.