Your Toilet Troubles: Answered

Man Plunging Toilet

With an extension on shelter-in-place orders, comes more time at home, pushing your plumbing's much-needed break back once again. Working around the clock, your plumbing can become stressed and teeter towards breakdown. It is not used to 24/7 use, and it is definitely unaccustomed to the alternative toilet paper products people are attempting to flush down their drains. So, if you encounter a clogged toilet, or you have been battling consecutive toilet problems throughout the pandemic, here’s some information you need to know.


Troubleshooting Guide for Common Toilet Problems


Toilet Flushes, but Waste Comes Back

Problem:

It seems like you always have to flush your toilet more than once to get everything to go down.

Solution:

There are many reasons why you may be experiencing this problem, but it's very possible that there's something wrong with your sewer lines. They may be clogged by tree roots, which commonly infiltrate underground pipes in search of water. There may also be a clog somewhere in your lines caused by things like congealed grease, trash, or other debris that should not have been flushed or sent down the sink or tub drain. If the problem doesn't have anything to do with what's in your pipes, it's probably the pipes themselves. They may have become damaged due to age or shifting soil. Either way, you'll need to call a plumber to investigate the problem with a drain camera inspection.

Toilet Paper is Clogging the Toilet

Problem:

Toilet is clogged from too much toilet paper.

Solution: 

When it comes to toilet paper, less is more. Overloading your toilet with toilet paper can lead to a surface level clog. Yes, toilet paper is manufactured to break down in your plumbing; however, there is a limit to how much it can handle at once. If you have flushed too much toilet paper down your toilet, you will see toilet paper sticking out of your drain, even after a few flushes. In this situation, you will need to grab that nifty tool that stands beside your toilet—the plunger.

Before you begin plunging, turn your water supply to the affected toilet off. This can be done by locating the valve behind your toilet and turning it to the right. Then, you can grab your plunger. Make sure you press hard to establish a tight seal and begin making repetitive motions back and forth. This should resolve your clog! Restore water to your toilet and you should be good to go!

Your Old Toilet Has a Weak Flush

Problem:

You have an outdated toilet that has to be flushed multiple times, wasting a lot of water in the process.

Solution:

If your bathroom houses a toilet made between 1994 and 1997, it is recommended that you install a new one. Toilet manufacturers at this time were experimenting with low-flow capabilities and missed the mark. These products were known to lack power; and, if you still have one of these installed in your home, it is likely the reason you are encountering clogs.

If you want to hold off on purchasing a new toilet until after these challenging times, try using thinner ply toilet paper, and remember to never flush anything but waste and toilet paper down your toilet. If these hacks do not work, it’s time for a new toilet.

Toilet is Clogged from Non-Flushable Items

Problem:

Your toilet is backed up after flushing things like tissues, paper towels, "flushable wipes," tampons, or other paper products besides toilet paper.

Solution: 

This is a big one, and a timely issue in the midst of a pandemic that at one point resulted in a toilet paper shortage.

Your toilet is manufactured to flush three things: water, waste, and toilet paper. Anything else going down your drain can become the source of a clog. While many people have turned to baby wipes, paper towels, and other paper goods as toilet paper substitutes, these products will prove detrimental to your plumbing. Foreign objects such as these will likely become lodged in your drain pipe and you’ll need to hire a professional plumber for clog removal.

Remember to keep all extraneous items away from your drains! And, if you have young kids, keep an eye on them when they are in the bathroom, they love to throw toys and other found items down the toilet.

Sewage is Backing Up into Your Toilet

Problem: 

Waste is flowing the wrong way in your system, coming back up your drains and into your home.

Solution:

You may have a clog in your toilets’ trap. The trap in your appliance is a curved-shaped pipe that is typically filled with water to create a seal between sewer gases and your home, preventing odors from spreading.

If you have a clog in your trap, a plunger will not relieve it. Contact a professional plumbing technician to restore proper function without delay to keep your home hygienic.

For timely toilet repairs in the Pearland area, contact Epic Plumbing at (281) 815-2322. As a result of the pandemic, we are taking the necessary precautions to keep our customers and technicians safe. We are open and available for all of your plumbing needs.

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