How to Prevent Clogged Toilets
Toilets were designed to flush two things down into the plumbing pipes and beyond into the sewer: human waste and toilet paper. Even too much of these things at one time can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. And when your toilet clogs, it can be a mess, damage floors, or even cause health problems.
Knowing what to flush, when to plunge, and when to call in a plumber can save you time, energy and money the next time you face water that won’t go down.
What’s Flushable … And What Isn’t
Just because it’s a drain doesn’t mean everything can go down it. Toilets are designed with one specific purpose in mind: sending human waste into the system. Flushing anything else contributes to the problem. That includes tissues, wipes, napkins, paper towels, cotton balls, hair, floss, feminine hygiene products, oils, medications, plastic, and diapers.
As these products leave your toilet, they don’t necessarily leave the pipes in your home. They sit there and block a section of the pipe, growing larger and firmer over time until it completely blocks the pipe. And that’s when the water no longer goes down.
How Do You Know?
There’s actually an easy way to tell what’s flushable and what isn’t. Get a bowl of water and add toilet paper. Swish it around and leave it to sit for an hour. See how it disintegrates, leaving only water behind? Now try that with anything else you’re considering flushing down. Does it dissolve?
Proper flushing means sending only what’s necessary down. Everything else should be placed in the trash.
It also means teaching your kids the proper way to flush. That means toy cars, dolls, even goldfish cannot be placed into the bowl. A toilet isn’t a toy, and it shouldn’t be used for any other purpose than it was originally designed.
A slow or weak flush is the sure sign of a potential problem. It could be a clog forming in your drain. It could simply be a faulty toilet mechanism. Instead of waiting until it turns into a bigger problem, act immediately and save yourself from the mess.
Use a toilet plunger, which has a neck-like end on it, and fit it over the hole to create a tight seal. This provides the proper energy to clear any problem that is within the toilet system. If you use a flat plunger not designed for the toilet, it won’t fit properly, and you’ll have little chance of clearing the problem.
Can’t clear the clog or have further questions? It’s time to call in a professional plumber.