Why Your Toilet Keeps Clogging and How to Fix it
Last Updated on January 6, 2022 by toilethaven
Why Does My Toilet Keep Clogging?
A toilet that constantly gets clogged can be very frustrating. It could also be a very expensive fixture if every time it clogs you have to call in a plumber.
Some toilets get clogged more often than others. Others don’t clog at all. But what makes a toilet to clog so frequently?
If your toilet keeps on clogging, it means you have a solid partial clog in the toilet trap or drainpipe creating a restriction. It could also be caused by flushing something which you shouldn’t, low water level in the tank or a toilet flapper that is not opening all the way.
There are actually many reasons why you could be having a constantly clogging toilet. In brief, the reason your toilet keeps clogging is:
- A clogged toilet trap or drain line
- Toilet flapper won’t open all the way
- Low water level in the tank
- You have a first generation low-flow toilet
- The vent stack is clogged
- A family member has chronic constipation
- Weak flushing toilet
In order for a toilet to flush properly without clogging, a large quantity of water must be dumped in the bowl within the shortest time possible. this is what creates the siphon effect in the toilet trap causing the waste to be siphoned into the drainpipe.
If you have a slow flushing toilet, partially clogged toilet trap or drainpipe, clogged sewer lines or even a blocked vent stuck, your toilet will most likely every time you flush it.
To fix a toilet that keeps on clogging:
- Use an auger to remove the clog
- Unclog the vent stack
- Adjust the flapper chain length
- Only flush down toilet paper
- Avoid using too much toilet paper
- Adjust water level in the tank
How to Fix a Toilet that Keeps on Clogging
Depending on what is clogging your toilet, your approach to fixing it will be different. Let us look at this causes one by one and how to fix them
1. Don’t Flush What You Shouldn’t
The most common cause for a clogged toilet is when things that should not be flushed end up being flushed. Anything outside of human waste and toilet paper has the potential to clog your toilet unless it’s in liquid form. Too much toilet paper usage will also clog a toilet.
From experience here are some of the things that are responsible for clogging toilets most of the time:
- Baby diapers
- Baby wipes
- Hand towels
- Tampons and Pads
- Dental floss
- Paper towel
- broken glasses
These things mostly clogs toilets in a house that has many family members as opposed to one or two people in a house. What can you do to make sure that things that are not supposed to be flushed stay away from the toilet bowl?
Having a conversation with all family members explaining to them what should not be flushed will go a long way in preventing a constantly clogged toilet. Also, put in a trash can in the bathroom for disposing such things as tampons and baby wipes.
2. Unclog the Toilet Drain
A toilet trap is the S-shaped part of the toilet between the bowl and the drainpipe. It is S-shaped for 2 reasons. It acts as an anti-clog mechanism to prevent items that fall in the bowl from clogging the drain further down.
Secondly, it holds a small amount of water that prevent unpleasant sewer gases from coming up to your bathroom. Due to that design most of the things that fall in the bowl can be removed, and if flushed clogs the toilet at the trap.
When your trap is fully clogged, it will not drain water and the toilet may start to overflow. A partially clogged toilet trap will drain the water slowly but will not flush properly.
It is easier to diagnose and a fix a fully clogged toilet than a partially clogged one. If say a toothbrush or pen is stuck in the trap, you will keep plunging your toilet which will only give a temporary solution before it starts clogging again.
The simplest way o clearing a toilet is by plunging it. If a plunger does not work get a toilet auger and snake the the toilet. A toilet auger will pull out items unlike a plunger which pushes everything down the drain.
Mineral deposits as a result of hard water could also build up inside of your toilet trap. Calcium is the most notorious one. This will reduce the internal diameter of the trap and there be prone to constant clogging.
If you suspect this is the problem, you can easily remove your toilet and lay it on its side and check the condition of the trap. It is always easy to check from the bottom of the toilet. Here is how to remove a toilet.
3. Have Chronic Constipation Treated
Some people suffer chronic constipation from quite a young age. In most families, such members are said to be “chronic toilet cloggers”. It can be quite an uncomfortable condition to live with, knowing every time you use the toilet you are most likely to clog it.
According to the healthline,Chronic constipation is as a result of the large intestines overstretching, a condition known as megacolon. The large intestine which is also known as a colon therefore holds more or a big poop which is hard and clogs the toilet most of the time.
Drinking lots of fluids and eating food rich in fiber can go a long way in softening your poop. Visiting the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to poop will also see you clog the toilet less and with time even stop.
4. Upgrade First Generation Low-Flow Toilets
Old toilets could use up to 3 gallons of water per flush. Such a big volume of water was enough to flush down everything and therefore the chance of clogging a toilet was low.
In a bid to conserve water and the environment, low flow toilets which use 1.6 gallons of water per flush or even less were introduced. In order for this toilets to work without clogging toilets, some design aspects had to be altered. This include size of flush valves and trapway, as well as siphon jets.
The first generation low-flow toilets were a hit and miss. If you were one of the unfortunate buyers, you will ultimately need to upgrade to a modern toilet. In the meantime, you should try and minimize the amount of toilet paper used. Don’t also flush items that are more likely to clog your toilet.
5. Fix Slow Flushing Toilet
In order for your toilet to flush powerfully and without clogging, water has to be released from your toilet tank to the bowl within seconds. The water also has to be sufficient.
It is the action of releasing a large amount of water suddenly into the bowl that produces a powerful and non-clogging flushing. This is why modern toilets have large flush valves and trapways.
When water enters your toilet bowl slowly, the siphoning or suction effect at the toilet bowl will be weak which will most likely clog your toilet. What cause a slow flushing toilet?
- Clogged rim hole jets
- Loose toilet flapper lift chain
- Low water level in the toilet tank
- Clogged toilet vent
A slow flushing toilet will also have you flushing the toilet several times before everything can leave the toilet bowl. Here is how to fix a slow flushing toilet.
6. Unclog the Plumbing Vent
A vent stack runs from your toilet drain to the top of the roof. It allows sewer gases to freely flow from the drains to the outside. This way, the toilet’s siphoning action is stronger and clogging is unlikely.
When you have a clogged toilet vent, air cannot flow out and as a result you will have a negative air pressure. In this case, the air will start backing up to the toilet. It is exhibited by a bubbling/gurgling toilet and/or a sewer gas smell in the bathroom.
To fix this issue, climb to the top of the roof using a ladder, with garden hose in hand. Have someone turn the water on and pour the water down the vent stack.
The water will unclog the vent and wash down anything that could be clogging it. A clogged vent stack can also cause a weak flushing toilet.
7. Unclog the Sewer Line
Sometimes a constantly clogging toilet extends beyond your toilet. At times the city’s sewer lines are clogged, rusted or tree roots have grown towards the lines and bent them as result.
You should make a point of talking to your neighbors to see if they are having the same problem . If they are in the same hole as you are, you can then jointly the relevant authorities to fix the lines.
If your neighbors are not having the same issues then probably your main house drainpipe is the problem. You should definitely call in a professional plumber to have a look.
To prevent a toilet from clogging, make sure that anything that is not toilet paper or human waste should not be flushed. Use less toilet paper or get a bidet seat. Adjust the level of water in your toilet tank to about an inch below the overflow tube.
Pouring hot water down your toilet bowl from time to time is also effective in ensuring that mineral deposits and grime are dissolved and/or washed down the drain.