5 Causes Of A Clogged Toilet

When you flush your toilet, you want the contents to go down the drain. You certainly don't want them bubbling back up. Unfortunately, if your toilet is clogged, the above situation can occur. Why do toilets get clogged, though? Keep reading for some common causes of a clogged toilet.

1. Excess Toilet Paper

One of the most common causes of a clogged toilet is the presence of too much toilet paper. Typically, the toilet paper flows through the toilet trap, which is a curved segment designed to hold standing water and keep sewer gases at bay. If someone tries to flush too much toilet paper, though, it can become trapped in that curved segment and cause a clog.

2. Flushing Non-Flushable Items

In a similar vein, if family members try to flush non-flushable items, those items can become lodged in the toilet trap. The following items should not be flushed because they can cause a clog:

  • Grease
  • Facial tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Cat litter
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hair

In fact, even flushable wipes can clog your sewer system over time.

3. Sewer Line Clog

A toilet that's backing up multiple times can be a sign of a bigger issue. Some of the above items could have formed a larger clog farther down your sewer system. Tree roots can also invade your sewer line. When the sewer line is blocked, raw sewage can back up into your home. A clogged toilet is a warning sign of a sewer line clog, especially if more than one toilet is clogged at the same time.

4. Blocked Plumbing Vent

Part of your house's plumbing is a system of vents. Their purpose is to funnel fresh air into the plumbing. The vents also prevent air-pressure vacuums. These vents can become clogged themselves, which minimizes the effectiveness of that air-pressure prevention. If the air pressure creates a vacuum, it can reduce the flow of water and cause the formation of clogs.

5. Outdated Low-Flow Toilet

Manufacturers have started producing low-flow toilet models for water conservation. These toilets rely on gravity or pressure-assistance rather than water flow to flush toilet contents into the waste lines. Unfortunately, the early models might lack enough pressure to compensate for the low-flow feature. Since the toilet isn't completely clearing its contents, a clog can develop.

For some issues, you can use a plunger to resolve the clog. However, if plunging doesn't solve your toilet clog, call for professional plumbing services.