Whether it’s a minor blockage or a more stubborn issue, knowing how to fix a clogged toilet is a valuable skill for any homeowner. Because, let’s face it, a clogged toilet can be a real inconvenience and a bit embarrassing too.
In this helpful article, we’ll explore the common causes of toilet blockages, provide troubleshooting tips you can try on your own, and outline when it’s time to call the experienced plumbers at Maffei Services to fix the problem.
Common Causes of a Clogged Toilet
Understanding what commonly causes toilet clogs can help you prevent them in the first place. Here are some frequent culprits:
Excessive Toilet Paper: Using an excessive amount of toilet paper or thick, non-dissolving brands can lead to clogs, particularly in older plumbing systems.
Foreign Objects: Objects like dental floss, cotton balls, hygiene products, or children’s toys accidentally flushed down the toilet can create stubborn blockages.
Hair and Soap Scum: Hair and soap scum can accumulate over time in the trap or drainpipe, reducing water flow and causing clogs.
Mineral Buildup: In areas with hard water, mineral deposits can accumulate in the toilet’s trap and drainpipe, constricting water flow.
Flushable Wipes: Despite their name, many “flushable” wipes do not break down as easily as toilet paper, contributing to blockages.
Troubleshooting Tips for Homeowners
Before you reach for the phone to call a plumber, here are some troubleshooting tips you can try to fix a clogged toilet on your own:
1. Use a Plunger:
- A plunger is your first line of defense against a toilet clog. Make sure there is enough water in the bowl to cover the rubber part of the plunger.
- Place the plunger over the drain hole and push down firmly but gently. Then, pull up sharply to create suction. Repeat this action several times.
- If the water starts draining, continue plunging until the toilet flushes normally. If not, move on to other methods.
2. Try a Toilet Auger:
- A toilet auger, also known as a closet auger, is a tool designed for clearing stubborn toilet clogs. Insert the auger into the toilet bowl and crank the handle clockwise to break up and retrieve the clog.
3. Hot Water and Dish Soap:
- Pour a few cups of hot water and a squirt of dish soap into the toilet bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes to help break down the clog. Then, attempt to plunge again.
4. Baking Soda and Vinegar:
- Pour about a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar into the toilet bowl. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes. The chemical reaction can help break down the clog. Follow with hot water and plunging.
5. Use a Toilet Snake:
- A toilet snake, or closet auger, can be used to reach and break up clogs deep within the drainpipe. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
When to Call the Plumbers at Maffei Services
While most minor toilet clogs can be resolved using the methods mentioned above, there are situations when it’s best to call our plumbers for help.
Recurring Clogs: If your toilet frequently clogs, it may indicate an underlying issue in the plumbing system. A plumber can diagnose and address the root cause.
Ineffective DIY Attempts: If your efforts to unclog the toilet have been unsuccessful, it’s time to bring in a professional plumber. Continued attempts may worsen the problem or damage the toilet.
No Improvement: If, after several attempts, there is no improvement in water flow, it’s a sign of a more severe blockage or a problem further down the drainpipe that requires professional attention.
Strange Sounds or Odors: Unusual sounds or unpleasant odors coming from the toilet could indicate a more complex issue in the plumbing system, and a plumber’s expertise is needed.
Call Maffei Services – One Call Does It All
Dealing with a clogged toilet is a common household challenge, but with the right tools and techniques, many clogs can be resolved by homeowners themselves. However, when the problem persists or appears more complex, it’s advisable to call the professional plumbers at Maffei Services.
How to fix a clogged toilet? Our plumbers have the expertise and specialized equipment, ensuring your toilet functions correctly and preventing further inconvenience. Remember that regular maintenance and mindful toilet usage can go a long way in preventing clogs and maintaining a smoothly running plumbing system in your home.