Reasons Behind a Toilet That Keeps Clogging

A toilet that keeps clogging is a constant source of hassle and stress for Indianapolis area homeowners. Not only does this problem leave you with an unworking bathroom, but it often seems like there is no relief! You’re in luck – Mr. Plumber shares the causes behind a toilet that keeps running and how to take care of this troublesome problem.

I Have a Toilet That Keeps Running!

If you have a toilet that keeps running, you’ve likely tried time and time again to figure out what causes this recurring source of frustration for your household. The reasons behind a toilet that keeps running have to do with what goes into the toilet as well as elements of your toilet and plumbing system. Some issues are corrected with a change to household habits, while others require the assistance of a plumber to prevent clogs from happening again later on.

The common reasons behind a toilet that keeps clogging include:

  • Too much toilet paper
  • Non-flushable items
  • Original low flow toilet issues
  • Toilet trap clogs
  • Toilet vent clogs
  • Sewer line clogs

Excess Toilet Paper Use

One of the most common reasons behind a toilet that keeps clogging is the excessive use of toilet paper! While just a few squares of toilet tissue suffice, Americans often utilize several times this amount when using the bathroom! Though toilet paper is designed to be flushed down the drain without issue, using too much does lead to recurring toilet clogs. The tissue simply does not dissolve quick enough, so matter becomes stuck in the toilet or the sewer line.

Cushy, 2-ply toilet paper commonly used in many Indy area households also creates a clog risk. This toilet tissue doesn’t break down as easily, which leads to clogs. While chosen for its comfort, this TP option isn’t the best choice for your toilet.

Prevent the overuse of toilet tissue from causing a toilet that keeps clogging when you educate your family. Remind everyone how much tissue is adequate for use. For younger family members, it is often helpful to mark a line below the toilet paper roll to indicate where to tear off a piece, helping prevent overuse.

Instead of using 2-ply toilet paper, switch to 1-ply. If you like the added comfort of 2-ply, simply fold over your 1-ply tissue to add volume. Do not wad toilet tissue for use, as doing so contributes to toilet clogs.

Flushing Non-Flushable Material

Toilets are for human waste and toilet paper only – everything else needs to be kept out of this drain! Non-flushable items that make their way into toilets are a common reason behind a toilet that keeps clogging. These items don’t dissolve like toilet paper and are not handled like human waste – they belong in the trash only.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what is flushable and what isn’t. Alleged “flushable” wipes are one of the top items we see when clearing toilet clogs – while they say they are safe to flush, they certainly aren’t. Other items like cotton balls, facial tissue, cotton swabs, feminine products, and more also need to be kept out of the toilet drain to prevent clogs.

Sometimes, we discover a completely random item clogging a toilet. Often, a young child has gotten curious about the toilet, which leads to these types of clogs.

To prevent this source of a toilet that keeps clogging, remind family members what is appropriate to put down the toilet drain and what is not. Make trashcans available in all bathrooms so personal care items and other waste can be correctly disposed of without hassle. Talk to children and make sure they know what toilets are meant for and to keep their toys out of the bowl.

Older Low Flow Toilet Trouble

If low flow toilets were installed in your Indianapolis area home in the mid-1990s, your household was among the first adopters of this water-saving technology! While your decades of conservation have certainly been helpful, one problem often persists with these fixtures – a toilet that keeps clogging.

Why do original low flow toilets constantly clog? Well, they just don’t have the flush pressure needed to completely push waste material through the drain. It gets stuck, which forms clogs.

An easy option to help stop this problem is to cut back on toilet tissue use as discussed in the previous sections and keep non-flushable items out. A better solution is to install new low flow toilets. Newer fixtures offer even lower water consumption along with powerful flushing to prevent reoccurring clogs!

Toilet Trap Clogs

An important component of any plumbing drain is the trap, which stops items from flowing further down the line and causing sewer line clogs. Sinks have P-traps located underneath and toilets have S-traps behind their bowls.

If items continually become stuck in the trap, you have a toilet that keeps clogging and creating hassle. Toilet paper overuse and flushing foreign items are common sources of toilet trap clogs.

To eliminate a clog in your toilet trap, use a flanged toilet plunger to push clogged material through the trap. For tough clogs, it may require the use of an auger to break up the clog. If these DIY methods do not restore toilet drainage, a plumber needs to perform drain cleaning services.

Toilet Vent Clogs

Toilets are equipped with vents that allow fresh air into the plumbing lines. This prevents odors inside the home and ups pressure so the toilet generates a nice, strong flush to completely clear material and prevent clogs. If your toilet vent is clogged, you have a toilet that keeps clogging, and likely a few other issues. Common signs of vent clogs include:

  • Toilet gurgling
  • Sewer smells indoors
  • Slow drains throughout the house

Toilet vents typically open onto the roof, which is your starting point for troubleshooting this issue behind a toilet that keeps clogging:

  1. Access your home’s roof and identify the toilet vent, typically over the main bathroom.
  2. Detach the vent cover at the opening. Visually inspect for debris in the line. If you are able to reach, pull debris out of the line.
  3. Run your garden hose up to the roof. Using a spray nozzle, jet water down into the vent. The water pressure helps move clog material through and out of the line. Water backing up onto the roof is a sign the clog persists.
  4. An auger can be used (choose one that is at least 20 feet in length) to bust up the clog down in a toilet vent line.
  5. Flush the vent with water again. If it backs up, you need to call a plumber to address the situation.

Sewer Line Clogs

Lastly, perhaps the most major cause of a toilet that keeps clogging is a sewer line clog. Your home has several drain lines that carry waste away from each toilet, sink, tub, and other drains to the main sewer line. Waste flows through the sewer line to your municipal sewage removal lines (or septic system).

Clogs affect sewer lines from various sources, all causing a toilet that keeps clogging, among other problems in the home, such as poor drainage. Debris build up in the lines over time to form clogs, wads of flushed material become stuck deeper into the sewer lines, or outside sources cause clogs. Nearby tree roots can penetrate pipes and grow within, clogging up the lines. When sewer pipes break, waste flow is disrupted, which can cause a toilet that keeps clogging. Dirt and other materials are also able to enter through the break and clog the line.

Sewer line clogs are serious and require the attention of a licensed plumber. A plumber uses a camera inspection tool to assess your home’s sewer lines and find the clog’s location as well as the material making up the clog. With this information, your plumber is able to identify and implement the best method to remove the clog. 

Sewer line repairs make a toilet that keeps clogging a non-issue in your home moving forward.

Call Mr. Plumber for Plumbing Help Today!

If you fail to address a toilet that keeps clogging right away, this common plumbing issue leads to constant frustration and inconvenience. Not only that, but constant clogs have the potential to damage your toilet, drains, and sewer lines, which require expensive repairs or replacement due to the issue. If you find that your home’s toilets frequently clog, it’s time to take action to resolve the issue once and for all.

If you have a toilet that keeps clogging, call Mr. Plumber Indy now. There’s no need to deal with this recurring hassle when you have our plumbers on your side! Let us perform a thorough inspection of your home’s plumbing system to find the reason behind a toilet that keeps clogging. We perform expert plumbing repairs to eliminate the issue at hand and stop clogs going forward. When you notice clogs happening over and over again, do not hesitate to give us a call.