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Why you have a Clogged Toilet & How to Prevent it

Dealing with a clogged toilet should not be something you have to deal with on a regular basis. Fortunately, being aware of what can cause a blocked toilet, and making changes accordingly, can help prevent your system from becoming clogged in the first place. By minimising the likelihood of a toilet clog, you may be able to avoid costly repairs to your plumbing in the long run.

Main Causes of a Clogged Toilet

The simple truth is that wet wipes block drains. Even wipes labelled as ‘flushable’ can cause major issues and should never be flushed.

Wet wipes are not safely flushable as they are made from materials that do not disintegrate when exposed to water. Toilet paper breaks apart while in the drain system, making it flushable, but this is not the case with wet wipes. Flushing wet wipes is a quick and reliable way to get your drains clogged, resulting in a call to your local plumber.

Flushing the Wrong Items

Given the growing popularity of ‘flushable’ wet wipes, more and more drain blockages are being caused by this misconception. Choice tested twelve brands of wet wipes—eleven marketed as flushable—and each of them failed to lose strength or break down in pipes.

Using an Old Toilet

If your toilet was installed in the 90s, it’s more likely that it will struggle to move waste effectively down the pipes when you flush. This is because these toilets often have low water pressure and little power, making the flush too weak to perform correctly. If you suspect that your toilet is suffering from this problem, having a qualified plumber install a new toilet may be the best solution.

clogged toilet - Old Toilet

Main Drain or Sewer Issues

Issues with your main drain or sewer are often the cause of a clogged toilet. Getting a drain inspection by a qualified plumber is the only way to be sure that your drains and sewers are the cause of your issues. It’s important to rule this problem out if your toilets become blocked on a regular basis as it can result in a more comprehensive and costly repair. If you have problems with your main drain or sewer, waste and non-flushable items will likely bond together, causing ongoing issues in your bathroom.

Main Drain or Sewer Issues

Deteriorating Pipes

Another issue that may be causing your clogged toilet is the deterioration of the pipes within your home. Deteriorating pipes can be a bigger issue and will require a plumbing camera inspection to diagnose. If your pipes have deteriorated, getting them repaired or replaced by a qualified mechanic will likely prevent your toilet from becoming clogged again.

Deteriorating Pipes - Clogged Toilet

How to Prevent a Clogged Toilet

Only Flush What Should be Flushed 

The best way to prevent a clogged toilet is to only flush items that should be flushed. That means only flushing waste and toilet paper (flushable wipes should not actually be flushed!). It’s also best to be mindful not to flush sanitary products, cleaning wipes, paper towels, Q-tips, cotton balls or anything else. By not flushing any of these items, even if they claim to be flushable, you will minimise the likelihood of your toilet becoming blocked in the future.

Opt for Double Flushing Toilets

The double flushing technique works by minimising the amount of toilet paper and waste going down the toilet at one time and can be done in a variety of ways depending on your preference. You can either flush the toilet before putting the toilet paper in or flush the toilet halfway through using the toilet paper. Both methods are an effective way to alleviate the pressure on your toilet to push the debris down the drain.

Be Aware of any Changes While Flushing

To prevent a possible toilet clog, or deal with the problem before it becomes a larger one, it’s important to take note of how your toilet flushes when it is working optimally. By doing this, you’ll be able to notice whether your toilet is flushing weaker or draining slower and take precautions early to prevent your toilet from becoming clogged.

Avoid Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

Using chemical drain cleaners may seem like an easy way to unblock your toilet, but they can actually do more harm than good. If you opt for natural drain cleaners rather than chemical ones, you minimise the likelihood of doing extra damage to your pipes that can cause clogs in the future.

Already Clogged your Toilet?
Call the experts

If your toilet is becoming clogged on a regular basis, you’ll likely need the help of a professional plumber to fix the problem. Using drain inspection camera technology and over two decades of experience, the plumbers at Drain Pro can diagnose and repair the source of the issue. For assistance clearing your blocked toilet, give the friendly team at Drain Pro a call today on 1300 620 273, or fill out our online contact form for a quote.

Currently, there is no standard for what makes a wet wipe flushable. The label ‘flushable’ is meaningless, and the products are likely to cause significant issues if you continue to flush them.

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