Why Does My Toilet Keep Clogging?

The last thing you need during your busy day is a toilet that stops functioning. It’s one of those household inconveniences that you’d probably like to avoid at all costs.

Wondering why your toilet keeps clogging?

To answer this question, let’s take a closer look at a few common reasons your household toilet keeps getting clogged.

1) Something could be wrong with the mechanics of your toilet.

Check to see if the flapper, the part of your toilet that allows water to flow from the tank into the toilet bowl, is working properly.

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It needs to open all the way in order to release enough water, which enables a proper flush each time. If you notice that it isn’t working properly, try to adjust the chain and make sure it opens completely when you flush.

2) Another reason your toilet constantly clogs may have to do with what you actually flush down the toilet!

You’d be surprised how many people don’t know that the only things meant to be flushed down a toilet are waste and toilet paper – that’s it! If your toilet keeps clogging, ask yourself whether you’ve ever flushed one of the following items:

  • Dental floss
  • Paper towels
  • Medicine
  • Hair
  • Facial tissues
  • Sanitary products
  • Diapers If you have, stop!

This will definitely help keep your toilet running more smoothly, as it’s not designed to handle all of these products.

3) Your toilet’s trap could be blocked in some way

A toilet clogs easily if objects somehow get stuck in the trap of the toilet, which is s-shaped and sits between your toilet and your drain. The trap also functions to keep harmful sewer gases from seeping into the air in your home.

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This is when you’ll want to whip out your handy dandy toilet plunger. Take the plunger and make sure it covers the entire toilet opening, then move back and forth. This suction motion should help remove whatever may be causing the clog within the trap.

4) If your toilet clogs easily, your drain line could be clogged

Should the trap not be the source of the toilet clog, you may have to tackle unclogging your toilet’s drain line. You can do this using a chemical solution that’s designed to open drains – just make sure it has lye in it.

If pouring a drain opener (following the specific instructions listed on the back of the solution) doesn’t get rid of the toilet clog, it could be that another drain line in your house is clogged and causing a problem that’s affecting how your toilet functions.

Should the line connected to your laundry room be clogged, this could also affect the sewage system. It may be best to call on a professional to check each drain line if you think this could be the source of the problem.

5) You could have a low flow toilet if your toilet always clogs

If you’re not sure if you have a low flow toilet, it’s important to check when your toilet was manufactured. If it’s made from 1994 to 1997, it’s most likely low flow. This means your toilet can’t handle everything it’s being asked to do; purchasing a newer toilet with a bit more power may be worth considering to prevent clogs.

6) You may need to check your water supply line.

In the event that your toilet tank isn’t collecting enough water to successfully perform a proper flush, it could be due to your water supply line.

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You can raise the water level in your tank by using a screwdriver to turn the metal or plastic arm clockwise (this arm is attached to the float inside your toilet tank). As the ball rises, that means the water level will rise.

If your particular toilet utilizes a vertical fill valve, raising the water level is slightly different. Simply squeeze the clip on top of the metal bar that’s attached to the fill valve. Pull up the fill valve as high as you can before letting go.

7) You could have hard water build up.

If hard water deposits build up within your toilet, getting rid of them will help your toilet flush more effectively. If you see white buildup near the portholes of your toilet (under the rim) using a wire hanger to scrape them off can work well. Using a mixture of 1 part muriatic acid, 10 parts water, pour this solution down your toilet’s overflow tube.

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Image courtesy of Brutinel

Wait 30 minutes, then repeat again to remove the hard water deposits.

The above mentioned reasons are common household issues people encounter with clogged toilets. If none of these proposed solutions unclog your toilet, be sure to consult your local plumbing professional.