Here's How to Figure Out Why Your Toilet Keeps Clogging

Trying to fix a clogged toilet by hand - Jarboe's Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling

When your Louisville toilet keeps clogging, you need to know what’s behind this common issue to prevent it ongoing. If your toilet keeps clogging, likely causes include the fixture itself, your plumbing system, and what you send down the drain. There are certain issues that are correctable on your own, though others require the help of a skilled plumber

The Louisville plumbers of Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing share why your toilet keeps clogging and the steps to take to prevent this issue in the future.

Reasons Why a Toilet Keeps Clogging

Continuous toilet clogs are a problem no Louisville area homeowner wants to deal with, time and time again. Some sources of this issue have to do with how you use your toilet. Others concern the fixture or your plumbing system. Learn the common causes why a toilet keeps clogging and how to stop recurring toilet clogs below.

Common causes of a toilet that keeps clogging include:

  • Too much TP
  • Flushing things that shouldn’t be flushed
  • Older toilet models
  • Toilet trap clogs
  • Toilet vent blockages
  • Sewer line clogs

Your Toilet Keeps Clogging Due to Too Much TP!

Toilet tissue is made to be flushed, but when you use too much, your toilet drain cannot handle this much waste! Excessive toilet paper use leads to a situation where the toilet keeps clogging. A small amount of toilet paper easily dissolves in water, but larger amounts do not dissolve quickly enough and become trapped in the toilet drain or sewer line.

More toilet paper options exist today than ever before, including those with multiple layers for better comfort. Two-ply toilet paper takes longer to break down, increasing the chances that the toilet keeps clogging.

Prevent a situation where your toilet keeps clogging due to excessive toilet paper use by changing the way your household consumes this bathroom product. Try to stick to just a few squares per use – most of us use many more than necessary, increasing the amount of material that gets flushed down our drains. Young children are frequent TP wasters – you may find it helpful to make a mark on your wall or cabinet below the toilet paper roll to note the proper length to tear off for each use.

Instead of using 2-ply paper, use 1-ply and simply fold it for thickness. Don’t wad up toilet paper, as this raises the risk of toilet clogs.

That Which Should Not Be Flushed

Toilet paper and bodily waste are the only things that belong down the toilet drain. Non-flushable materials that continually make their way into the drain are one reason your toilet keeps clogging. Because they are not meant to be handled by the toilet, they easily become trapped in the lines to form clogs.

Beware of consumer products that say they are safe to be flushed – personal wipes are a common component of toilet clogs. Dispose of all personal use products in the bathroom trashcan instead of the toilet – even if you’ve been flushing these items for years, now is the time to stop!

Remind your family that non-flushable items belong in the trashcan, not the toilet. If your toilet keeps clogging and you have small children in the house, now is a great time to talk to them about what a toilet does and how to use it properly – it’s natural for them to be curious, but you want to keep their toys out of the bowl, as foreign items flushed by kids are a common source of clogs.

If a foreign item does get flushed down the drain, your toilet keeps clogging if your behaviors don’t change. Use a flanged plunger or toilet auger to remove the clog. For tough clogs, call a plumber for assistance.

Your Older Toilet Can’t Handle the Pressure

Low flow fixtures are a great tool for water conservation at home. Unfortunately, early low flow toilet fixtures are a common reason a toilet keeps clogging – these older fixtures just do not have the pressure needed to completely clear waste material through the line. This leads to waste sticking around in your plumbing to form clogs.

If your low flow toilet was made in the mid-1990s, it’s probably one of the first models available and has pressure issues. Replacing older low flow toilets with newer fixtures offers better water conservation along with the pressure needed to prevent toilet clogs.

If replacement isn’t in the budget, reduce your consumption of toilet paper, as discussed above, to end the issue of a toilet keeps clogging. With less material down the drain, there is less of a chance for clogs to form.

Clogs Trapped in the Toilet Trap

The toilet’s trap catches items to prevent clogs and buildup further on down your sewer lines. This S-trap functions just like your sink’s P-trap. Many homeowners know sinks have traps but do not realize that toilets have them, too!

When a toilet keeps clogging due to blockages in the trap, they need to be removed to restore drainage. The source of clogs also needs to be addressed, such as excess TP use, foreign item flushing, and improper flush pressure.

Use a toilet plunger to clear clogs through the toilet trap. If plunging proves unsuccessful, use a toilet auger to bust up the clog. If these methods don’t work and your toilet keeps clogging, call your plumber to request a drain cleaning appointment.

You Have a Blocked Vent

All toilets have vents that run outside, typically through the home’s roof. The toilet vent functions a few different ways to help the fixture. First, it allows fresh air into the plumbing lines to stop sewer gases and their odors from reaching your living areas. Next, the air they add increases flush pressure to ensure all waste material is completely pushed through the drain and the sewer line.

If your toilet keeps clogging, there could be a blocked toilet vent that’s to blame. Some additional signs that point to this cause are gurgling noises from toilets, sewer odors indoors, and drainage problems throughout the home – not just the toilet keeps clogging.

A blockage commonly occurs either at the vent’s point of entry from the roof, or within the line where it meets the sewer line. Follow these steps if your toilet keeps clogging and you think a blocked toilet vent is the cause:

  1. Safely access the vent opening on your roof – the vent is usually positioned above the location of the home’s main bathroom.
  2. Remove the protective cover that sits over the vent opening. Look into the vent for debris, such as dirt, nesting material, and other items. If you can reach the clog material, pull it out.
  3. Use your garden hose to jet a swift stream of water through the toilet vent. The pressure from this water helps force a clog through the vent to eliminate it. If water starts to spill out onto the roof, you know the vent is still blocked.
  4. If you have a toilet auger at least 20-foot long, you can use this in the vent to break up a clog. Insert the auger down the vent, rotate and break up clog material.
  5. Repeat step 3 and flush the vent with water to ensure the clog is gone. If water backs up, you need the assistance of a plumber to eliminate the toilet vent blockage.

Sewer Line Clogs Create Toilet Problems

Your home’s main sewer line carries waste from all drains out of the home to your septic tank or municipal sewer source. Clogs occur in this line due to waste material that originates from the house (like items flushed down the toilet), or outside issues that affect the line, like penetrating tree roots, damaged piping, and soil infiltration through holes in the line. If there is a blockage in the main sewer line, your toilet keeps clogging until the problem is fixed.

Sewer line clogs are best handled by a skilled plumber. Call to make an appointment for plumbing service if you suspect a sewer line clog is the source of a toilet keeps clogging. Through camera inspection, your plumber looks into the line to find the location and source of the clog. Augers or hydrojetting may be used to force a material clog out of the line. If a broken line is creating a blockage, sewer line repairs are made using lasting techniques. Once the issue is fixed, continuous toilet clogs become a thing of the past.

Plumbing Service from Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

If your toilet keeps clogging, do not deal with the constant hassle of plunging or the inconvenience poor drainage poses to your household! Instead, call Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to schedule a plumbing inspection or plumbing service. Our licensed Louisville plumbers assess your home’s plumbing system if your toilet keeps clogging to find the root cause. Once identified, the right plumbing services are performed to eliminate the issue once and for all.

If your toilet keeps clogging, call Jarboe’s today to schedule plumbing service!

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