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How Does a Toilet Get Clogged?

A clogged toilet is incredibly stressful. Aside from depriving your bladder the release it needs, it can also overflow, flooding your floor with filthy water rendering the entire bathroom unusable until professional plumbing help arrives. Apart from being an old toilet model, there are numerous other reasons why a toilet gets backed up.

Why Do Toilets Get Clogged?

  • Insufficient water flow.
    • Your toilet tank may not be getting enough water, so check your water supply line and make sure that it’s fully open. The proper water level for most tanks is near the top of the vertical fill tube. Some tanks have an indicated fill line, so make sure the water is set to that level. To do this, you need to adjust the float valve (also ballcock or ball tap). Attached to the float is a metal or plastic arm; turn the end of the arm clockwise using a screwdriver. The higher the float goes, the more water gets into the tank.
  • Waste buildup.
    • Cigar butts, tampons, napkins, Band-Aids, dental floss, tissue papers, etc. — these are just some of the stuff people carelessly throw in their toilet instead of in the trash bin. While these may appear too small or thin to create obstructions, they can definitely cause major waste buildup that you can’t deal with your trusty plunger alone once trapped between the drain curves.
  • Tree roots.
    • Drain water is nutrient rich, at least for plants. When tree roots find this water mecca, they will try to get in your drain line even through the tiniest of leaks to the point that they completely block the drains. This affects not only your toilet, but also your other drain outlets—a problem whose solution is better left to experts from companies like The Plumbing Authority, who have the tools necessary to remove all sorts of drain blockages. To avoid this problem from recurring in the near future, it would be best to keep your trees away from your plumbing lines or better yet, have a tree roots guard installed.
  • Limescale.
    • These are white or rust-like buildup of hard water deposits that may be clogging your toilet’s portholes (located right under the bowl rim). When present, limescale reduces the toilet’s flushing power until the time it can no longer use water sufficient enough to flush waste. To fix, try scraping them off or use a one-part muriatic acid to ten-parts water solution. If limescale buildup is severe, seek the help of a plumber.

If you are dealing with a clogged toilet in Knoxville, call The Plumbing Authority at (865) 238-2280 or contact us online.

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