anytime plumbing
06 Jul

Clogged Toilet – What Do I Do?

As a homeowner, it’s difficult to imagine anything worse than a clogged toilet.  Not only does it keep you from enjoying your bathroom in proper fashion, it causes a lot of stress for you family as well.  Despite what caused the clog, the reality is that the only thing a person wants if for the clog to be gone and their bathroom restored to normalcy.  When you’re confronted with a clogged toilet, take a deep breath and try to determine what caused the clog as well as how to deal with it. And if you cannot deal with it on your own, our team of expert professionals are always a call away.

What causes a Toilet to get clogged?

Understanding what causes this specific toiled problem can help you avoid any future problems such has having to deal with a flood caused by clogging.  Some of the more common causes of clogged toilets that the plumbing specialists at Anytime Plumbing of Santa Cruz have dealt with include:

The plumbing vent is blocked – in order to boost toilet flushing pressure, many newer models use roof vents to funnel air into the system.  Over time, these vents can get blocked by a variety of different objects.  The experts at Anytime Plumbing of Santa Cruz have unblocked plumbing vents that are clogged with leaves, sticks, and even the occasional bird’s nest.

The sewer line is clogged – if you’re toilet suffers with frequent clogging; the sewer line may be blocked by debris or tree roots.  Whenever this happens, there is no amount of plunging that is going to clear that blockage.  Your only option is to contact Anytime Plumbing to remove whatever is blocking the sewer line. We have the skill and tools to get the blockages removed permanently, after detailed evaluation.

The trap is clogged – located between the toilet bowl and the drain is an S-shaped trap that can get backed up or blocked with toilet paper.  The purpose of the trap is to keep the drain from getting clogged.  So when an object gets stuck there, the trap gets clogged.  In most cases, any ordinary toilet plunger will take care of this problem.

You flushed an object that shouldn’t have been flushed – do you have a child that likes throwing their toys and other non-flushable objects into the toilet? Toilets were designed to dispose of human waste and toilet tissue – NOTHING ELSE.  You run the risk of clogging your toilets if you flush any of the following objects down them:

  • baby wipes
  • cotton balls
  • feminine hygiene products such as sanitary napkins and tampons
  • Kleenex or other tissue
  • large clumps of hair
  • paper towels
  • pet fur
  • Q-tips

You have an older “low-flow” toilet – many older homes still have first generation low-flow toilets in them.  These older models lack the proper amount of pressure to ensure that the drain and trap are cleared.  If your toilet gets clogged fairly regularly, this is most likely what’s causing it. It is best to get it changed so that you can do away with the clogging once and for all.

Is there anything I can do or should I just call a plumber right away?

There are a couple of things you can try before calling Anytime Plumbing, most of which often work on the first attempt.  How many of remember building a miniature volcano for a science fair project by mixing baking soda with white vinegar to make the lava.  Baking soda mixed with white vinegar makes an excellent cleaner, and when you dump them into a toilet, it can break up a clog without having to do anything else.

For those of you who can’t tolerate the smell of vinegar, you can pour half a cup of Dawn dish detergent (or any degreasing dish detergent for that matter) and then follow that with 3 to 4 cups of boiling water.  The mixture of boiling water and dish detergent will usually break down the clog and send it on down the drain.  Naturally, you should try to unclog the toilet with a plunger before trying either of these remedies.  The ones made from rubber and made with a flange are the best choice.

When should I call a Professional?

It’s probably time to call a professional to unclog your toiled if you’ve tried everything mentioned above and the toilet is still clogged.  Another reason to call a professional is when you’re concerned about causing permanent damage to the system or if you’re worried that the problem goes beyond your toilet.  To learn more or to speak with a specialist, contact Anytime Plumbing of Santa Cruz today. Our business representatives are available to assist you with your standard and emergency plumbing requirements.

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