The Common Causes of Toilet Clogs

A plumber uses a plunger to unclog a toilet.

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Clogging the toilet is one of the most embarrassing plumbing mishaps that no one wants to experience. This can be a tricky one to address because there are many possible causes for this plumbing problem.


The good news, however, is that most toilet clogs can be avoided with an ounce of prevention, and some clogs can be cleared up in just a minute or two of vigorous plunging. In some cases, however, you would need to call plumbing experts.


Here are some of the most common reasons why your toilets might be clogged:


#01. You flushed the wrong objects.

The toilet is for disposing human waste and toilet paper – nothing more. Whenever you flush anything outside those parameters such as tissue, cotton swabs and balls, dental floss, feminine products or diapers, then you are taking a risk. If these things get caught somewhere in the drain line, they do not break down and move on like a toilet paper does. So, make sure that you do not flush anything else. If you have children at home who might be tempted, talk to them about what’s flushable and what is not.


#02. There’s a jam in the trap.

Drain pipes have ‘traps’ – a U-shaped bend in the pipe that is filled with water. That water acts as a barrier against foul odours that might otherwise waft into your home from the sewer line. A toilet’s trap is great at getting this job done, but there are times, that the bend in the pipe also makes a good place for clogs to develop. Sometimes, even if you have been careful about what goes down your toilet, simple things such as using too much toilet paper can create a clog on your trap.


#03. The flapper is malfunctioning.

If you take the lid of your toilet tank, you would see a round rubber gasket at the bottom. This is the flapper, the one that opens during flushing to allow the water in the tank to flush down into the bowl. If your toilet’s flapper does not open fully, you will get a weak flush, and this can cause clogs by failing to push the contents far enough down the drain pipe. Don’t worry, though, as this problem is easy to fix. The flapper is usually attached to the flush arm with an adjustable chain, so you just need to move the chain a few links to shorten it then do a test flush.


#04. It might be in the roof.

When your toilet does not flush, it is possible that the clog is not in the drain pipe, but in the toilet’s vent instead. Plumbing fixtures normally vent to a home’s roof to allow fresh air into the plumbing system, and this is where it replaces the vacuum of air created when the water drains. When the vent becomes clogged with debris or leaves, this can cause slow, gurgling or stopped drains – even in toilets! Make sure that you let one of our experts help you handle this problem.

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