Your toilet is clogged again. This seems to be happening more and more often recently. At best, it’s a bit of a disgusting annoyance, as you spend that extra few minutes working the plunger, trying to get the water to go down. At worst, it’s a significant expense as you’re forced to call the plumber to deal with it. How can you keep this from happening? Here are a few plumbing tips to help you avoid toilet clogs.
1. Use Less Toilet Paper. Quite often, if your toilet is clogged, it’s because there’s too much toilet paper in there at once. It’s designed to break down, but it was meant to do so in the sewer, rather than in your toilet. It takes time to dissolve fully, and in the meantime, that extra paper is keeping your toilet from flushing properly. Do your best to conserve paper, and use only as much as you need. If you find yourself needing a lot of paper, try flushing multiple times as you go along, rather than once at the end, to keep the toilet from getting overwhelmed.
2. Be Careful What You Flush. Your toilet was designed for three things: water, paper, and human waste. Anything else should be put in the trash instead. That includes cotton balls, Q-tips, and tampons. Even baby wipes marked “flushable” can cause problems.
3. Keep the Lid Closed. Sometimes, the clog comes from something falling into the toilet without your knowledge. Maybe something fell off the sink and down the drain of the toilet. Maybe one of your kids accidentally dropped a toy in there. Foreign objects like this can cause serious clogs. The best way to avoid accidental objects in your toilet is to keep the lid closed when it’s not in use.
4. Watch Your Roots. If you have a large tree planted in your yard, or nearby, then the problem might not have anything to do with what you’re putting in the toilet. It could be your tree roots. They can grow into the pipes and clog them, making flushing difficult. Talk to your plumber and see if this is the problem. If it is, get some tree root killer and put it down your drains periodically, as directed on the package, to keep the problem under control.
5. Don’t Use a Brick. An old trick to save water back in the day was to put a brick into your toilet tank. The space it took up would allow the tank to fill up using less water, in turn leading to less water used with every flush. However, modern toilets are already designed to use less water—and they need all of it to evacuate the toilet’s contents into the sewer properly. Thus using a brick can prevent it from flushing properly, leading to clogs. Even if you do have an older toilet, a brick still isn’t the best of ideas. The brick can break down over time, and particles can end up in your plumbing, causing clogs. Instead, fill a plastic water bottle with sand and put that in the toilet tank. And again, only do it if your toilet is older and uses more water than it needs.
Clogs happen sometimes, but with a little care and a little vigilance, you can keep them to a minimum. And when a clog does come along that you can’t handle on your own, Benjamin Plumbing will be there to help. Contact the team at Benjamin Plumbing today to learn more!