If Your Toilet Keeps Clogging, Here’s Why

The Short Answer Is: A toilet can repeatedly clog due to several reasons, including inadequate flushing power, an obstructed trap or drainpipe, or an accumulation of non-flushable materials like toilet paper, hygiene products, or foreign objects. In some cases, underlying plumbing issues such as tree root intrusion or improper venting can also contribute to persistent clogging.

If a toilet keeps clogging, this is a constant source of hassle and stress for Indianapolis area homeowners. Not only does a clogged toilet 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 toilet clogs and how to take care of this troublesome problem. Oftentimes, a clogged toilet is caused by a few common issues, such as too much toilet paper used, clogs in the toilet drain, toilet trap, or toilet vent, a sewer line clog caused by tree root penetrations, and even older low-flow toilets. Once you know what causes constant toilet clogs, you can take action to prevent them and avoid a clogged toilet drain altogether.

My Toilet Keeps Clogging!

If a toilet keeps clogging, you’ve likely tried time and time again to figure out what causes this recurring source of frustration for your household. The reasons why a toilet keeps clogging 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 when a toilet keeps clogging is problems with too much toilet paper use! While just a few squares of toilet tissue suffice, Americans often utilize several times this amount of toilet paper when using the bathroom! Though toilet paper is designed to be flushed down the drain without issue, using too much toilet tissue does lead to recurring toilet clogs. The toilet tissue simply does not dissolve quick enough, so human waste and bathroom waste becomes stuck in the toilet or the sewer line.

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

Prevent excessive toilet paper usage from causing a clogged toilet when you educate your family. Remind everyone how much toilet 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 them from taking too much toilet paper.

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 toilet 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 – all other bathroom waste needs to be kept out of the toilet 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, or else you’re likely to end up with a clogged toilet drain line or clogged sewer line.

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 during drain cleaning services – while they say they are safe to flush, they certainly aren’t. Other items like cotton balls, facial tissue, cotton swabs, paper towels, feminine products, and more also need to be kept out of the toilet drain to prevent toilet 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 constant clogs. To toilet clogs like this, 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 bathroom 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. Keeping these foreign items out of the toilet drain pipe can prevent many calls to schedule plumbing services.

Older Low-Flow Toilets Causing Trouble

If older 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 that changed modern toilets! While your decades of use have certainly been helpful to conserve water, 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. Without strong flushing pressure, It gets stuck, which forms clogs.

An easy option to help stop the problem of poor flushing pressure is to cut back on toilet tissue use as discussed in the previous sections and keep non-flushable items out of the toilet drain. Doing so will help increase flush pressure. A better solution is to install new-generation low-flow toilet fixtures for your home’s plumbing system. Newer fixtures offer even lower water consumption along with powerful toilet flushing to prevent toilet clogs in the drainage system!

Toilet Trap Clogs

An important component of any plumbing drain is the trap, which stops items from flowing further down the line and causing main sewer line clogs. The sink’s P-trap is located underneath and the toilet’s S-trap sits behind the toilet bowl.

If items continually become stuck in the toilet’s trap and your toilet keeps clogging, clog material may be sticking in the area which causes a clogged toilet trap. Toilet paper overuse and flushing foreign items are common sources of toilet trap clogs.

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

Toilet Vent Clogs

Toilets are equipped with a plumbing vent that allows 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 you have a blocked toilet vent, you have a toilet that keeps clogging, and likely a few other issues. Common signs of blocked toilet vents include:

  • Toilet Gurgling
  • Sewer Smells Indoors
  • Slow Drains Throughout the House

The toilet vent penetrates the roof in most homes, which is your starting point for troubleshooting why your toilet keeps clogging:

  • Access your home’s roof and identify the toilet vents, typically over where the main bathroom sits.

  • Detach the vent cover at the opening. Visually inspect for debris in the line. If you are able to reach items filling the blocked toilet vent, pull debris out of the line.

  • 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 blocked toilet vent persists.

  • A toilet 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.

  • Flush the vent with water from the garden hose 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 through the main drain line. Debris build up in the lines over time to form clogs in the drain lines, 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, from tree roots or other causes waste flow is disrupted, which may be why your toilet keeps clogging. Dirt and other materials are also able to enter through the break and clog the drain 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 drain cleaning method to remove the clog, using tools like a flanged toilet plunger, toilet auger, hydro jet, and more. Collapsed or damaged sewer line sections can be fixed to restore drainage when your toilet flushes. Sewer line repairs makes 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 and drain cleaning 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.

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