One of the most common plumbing emergencies we receive calls for help on are clogged toilets, and more often than not blocked toilets are totally avoidable.
So, what causes toilets to block and what measures can you put in place to prevent it from happening.
Common Causes of Blocked Toilets
The first and most important thing to remember is the 3 Ps, only ever flush 1) Pee, 2) Poo and 3) Paper (Toilet) down your toilet.
Be mindful of how much toilet paper you use, often our plumbers find the only thing clogging the toilet is excess toilet paper. While this is an easy problem to fix, it can cause all sorts of headaches before we get there, toilets overflowing onto the floor not only make a mess of your bathroom they can be hygienically damaging.
Children have a great time placing toys or small objects into the bowl then watching them swim away as they flush the toilet, as much fun as this may be for your kids its not much fun for your wallet. Toys often get caught around the bend of a toilet or inside the drain causing blocked toilets. Often toilets need to be removed to retrieve toy’s and this can be a time consuming and often expensive exercise if your toilet has been concreted in position. Either closing the door to your toilet to prevent young children from being able to flush items down it or if old enough explaining to them the 3 P’s may prevent a clogged toilet.
Baby wipes and paper towel are other major culprits for clogging toilets. By having a small bin near your toilet to dispose of these items you’ll prevent needing to call a plumber out to unblock your toilet. Some baby wipes claim to be flushable as they breakdown over time but the time it takes for these items to break down is years. By stopping these items from being flushed down the toilet you are not only preventing a blocked toilet you're helping the environment by stopping these items from entering our complex drainage systems.
Call an expert plumber as soon as you recognise your toilet might be blocking. Some common signs your toilet may be clogging are gurgling noises when you flush the toilet, a toilet bowl that flushes away slowly or a toilet bowl that fills with water when flushed. Generally speaking, the earlier you call an expert plumber in unclogging toilets the easier and cheaper it will be to fix it.
Are there Alternatives to toilet paper?
Put simply there is NO safe alternative to toilet paper when we talk about flushing it down the toilet. Toilet paper is specifically designed to break down quickly in the sewer systems. Flushing wipes down the toilet, whether labelled ‘flushable’ or not, can cause problems with your plumbing, contribute to blocked sewers and be expensive to repair.
When to Call a Plumber
If your toilet does become blocked from flushing non-soluble items, excess toilet paper or toys down the drain then you will need to call an expert blocked toilet plumber to get it running freely. CCTV inspection of your drain after the blockage has been cleared will identify if the blockage has been completely cleared.