Dealing with a toilet clog can be a frustrating experience and the source of many clogs is toilet paper. There are underlying issues that arise from sewer line clogs and frequent clogs may indicate that there is a problem that needs to be identified and fixed. In many cases, the clogs are caused by other materials that have been flushed along with the toilet paper and waste. In this article, we will take a closer look at why sewer line clogs occur and what you can do to clear them.
Let’s take a look at five common reasons why a clog develops. They are:
- The use of excessive quantities of toilet paper.
- A blocked toilet vent.
- The toilet trap is clogged.
- An older toilet model is gradually failing.
- The sewer line has collapsed.
As you can see, using too much toilet paper can cause a clog, but there are other possible causes that need to be explored.
It’s easy to think that this is not a big deal and that you can live with the occasional clogging issue and clean up. But, this is a health issue, the bad odors that you can smell in the drain are caused by harmful bacterial growth. The bacteria can be the cause of numerous illnesses including Legionnaire’s Disease with symptoms, including chest pains, coughing, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal problems, and more. The bathroom will be an unpleasant place to carry out your daily ablutions until the underlying problems are fixed.
If the source of the problem is a toilet paper clog there are three approaches that you can attempt to remove the clog. They are:
This looks like a regular cup plunger, but if you look closely there is a rubber flange around the edge to create a seal on a curved surface (in the bowl). Otherwise, this works in the same way, place the plunger in the bowl and apply up/down force to change the pressure. In many cases, this will shake the clog loose and the toilet will work again.
Also known as a plumbing snake, this flexible tool is fed into the drain until it butts up against the clog. Then turn the crank and the business end will break the clog apart. This approach will not work if the clog is further in the drain where it cannot reach.
Don’t use bleach or harsh chemical drain cleaning products in your home because they cause damage to your plumbing pipes. You can make your own chemical cleaner with store cupboard ingredients and it’s safe to use. Pour a cup of baking soda into the toilet, follow with four cups of boiling water, and finally add a cup of white vinegar. The resulting mixture will fix in the toilet, leave it for 15-20 minutes, and then flush to see if it worked. This process can be repeated multiple times if the clog is persistent.
If you tried these methods and they didn’t work, it’s time to contact your local professional plumber for expert help and advice.