Since 1935, Roto-Rooter has been the plumbing company of choice for millions of people. Part of our role as a plumbing leader is to provide homeowners with quality resources that will help them address common plumbing problems and perform preventative maintenance.
In this guide from Roto-Rooter’s expert plumbers, get familiar with how to quickly address one of the most common plumbing problems: a clogged toilet. The number one tool that should be stowed beside every commode in your house is a plunger. With just a few plunges, you can eliminate most toilet blockage issues quickly and easily. However, if your toilet seems to clog repeatedly even with normal use, what should you do? Here are a few suggestions for preventing and eliminating toilet clogs:
- Older toilet models use a lot of water—as much as 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. While they may not be environmentally friendly, older toilets can have fewer clogging problems due to the volume of water used with each flush. If you have a first generation low-flow or eco-friendly toilet that seems prone to clogs, you might get a more effective flush by holding the flusher down a few extra seconds and allowing a little more water to flow down the drain. This extra step will cut blockage instances in half, but you will also use more water than should be necessary.
Fortunately, the newest generation of ultra-efficient toilets are engineered for more powerful flushing even though they only use 1.25 gallons of water per flush.
- Thinner toilet paper is important to use as much as possible. Thicker, “luxurious” brands of toilet paper can provide a more pleasant tactile experience but often don’t dissolve as easily as thinner alternatives. Toilet paper that doesn’t dissolve quickly and thoroughly results in clogs, sometimes instantaneously. Quick dissolve paper products should be the only waste that is ever flushed (besides human waste, that is!). Using the toilet to flush candy wrappers, food products, and other garbage will cause serious blockages that will be extremely difficult to undo.
- In the event that someone accidentally flushes something they shouldn't have, the best tool to have around besides a plunger is a plumbing snake. These long metal tools have a claw at the end that can reach through a drainage line beyond what you can reach without a tool. The plumbing snake can be inserted into the drain line and twisted or agitated to attach to the clog, allowing you to pull it out. For serious clogs, you may need to repeat this process several times. Just make sure you use a snake that has a rubber sleeve over the steel cable so you don’t scratch your toilet’s porcelain finish.
If you find yourself facing a toilet clog or other clogged drain that you can’t resolve on your own, contact your local Roto-Rooter plumber. We’re available 24/7 to address any of your plumbing emergencies.