Talking about clogged toilets isn’t pleasant, but it’s a situation that almost everyone from Anderson to Zionsville in the greater Indianapolis area has dealt with at one time. Most people have experienced the sinking feeling in the pit of their stomachs when it becomes obvious the toilet water isn’t going down the drain. Instead, it’s overflowing onto the floor and making a mess.
While toilet clogs are embarrassing and inconvenient, it’s important to understand why they happen, the damage they cause, and, most importantly, how to prevent them in the first place. If you’re dealing with a clogged toilet in your Indianapolis home right now, pick up the phone and call Peterman Brothers. We’ll get a plumber to your place right away to eliminate the clog and make sure there aren’t underlying plumbing issues that could cause additional problems.
Why Do Toilet Clogs Form?
Some reasons are obvious such as too much toilet paper being flushed, or an object accidentally finding its way into the toilet bowl. However, there are less obvious reasons that you might not be aware of. In fact, you could be doing everything right and still experience a severe clog. Here’s why.
If a person tried to flush a lot of toilet paper at one time, this causes a shallow, immediate clog. The cause is obvious, but most clogs form over time. As waste and debris buildup in the drainpipes partial blocking might occur. Water still gets through the pipe, but over time the water’s passage is blocked completely. When this happens, the toilet overflows.
Deep clogs inside the sewer pipe can cause toilet clogs too. Sometimes the blockage is caused by years of waste buildup. But water also backs up in damaged sewer pipes, pipes that have collapsed, rusted, or are too small.
Are you experiencing recurring toilet clogs? Although plunging and drain snaking might get rid of a clog temporarily, if it keeps coming back something bigger is at play. Call a plumber at Peterman Brothers for a drain inspection.
Side Effects of Clogged Toilets
We can’t stress enough how important it is to never underestimate a clogged toilet. When untreated, a clogged toilet drain has the potential to wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Here are some of the not-so-pleasant side effects of clogged toilets:
- Smelly drains: Have you noticed your bathroom smells foul even though you’ve cleaned the toilet? The bad odor might be caused by a dry pipe. When large clogs form inside the toilet’s drainpipe, it makes it hard for the water to pass through the pipe. Water must move through the pipe to ensure all waste is eliminated. If the passage is blocked, this can’t happen and the gross, stagnant water gets stuck behind the clog. The result is a horrible odor that wafts out of the toilet and stinks up the home.
- Plumbing leaks: An untreated clogged pipe will eventually become heavy and start to break down from the pressure. Pinhole leaks might form in the pipe, or the pipe connections might come apart. Clogged toilets have been known to cause massive leaks in ceilings and floors, resulting in costly damage.
- Health hazards: Did you know that a clogged toilet can release airborne irritants? When these irritants seep out of a clogged toilet and get into your home, they pose a serious health risk.
Five Ways to Avoid Toilet Clogs
Now that you know why clogs form and the risks of clogs pose, how do you prevent them from forming? The good news is that most toilet clogs are avoidable. Follow these five tips to keep your toilets clog-free.
Use the Right Amount of Toilet Paper
Too much toilet paper is one of the most common reasons households experience clogged toilets. While it’s true that toilet paper is manufactured to break down and dissolve in the pipes, this doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time for the toilet tissue to dissolve. Also, if there is too much toilet paper in the bowl, it has a hard time getting past the P-trap and the floor drain. When a lot of toilet paper is necessary, use a little at a time, flush, and repeat as many times as necessary.
Throw Trash Away in the Trash Can, Not the Toilet
Many individuals have the bad habit of flushing items other than toilet paper. They assume it’s okay to flush items such as facial tissues, cleansing wipes, Q-tips, cotton balls, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and even food particles. These items should always be thrown away, not flushed. Cleansing wipe manufacturers and tampon manufacturers might state on their labeling that their products are flushable, but take it from us, they’re not! They don’t dissolve fast enough in the water and are notorious for catching waste and forming large clogs.
Never Pour Grease Into the Toilet
The toilet isn’t a grease trap. When the grease cools, it almost instantly solidifies, and it doesn’t take a lot of grease to clog the toilet. Even if you’ve flushed grease before and think you’ve gotten away with it, think again. Grease easily forms a slimy coating on pipe walls. The more you flush grease, the thicker this coating gets. Eventually, the grease is so thick on the pipe wall that it doesn’t allow any water to pass through. What happens next? You guessed it—a clogged toilet!
Close the Toilet Lid
We can’t tell you how many times we get phone calls from panicked individuals dealing with an overflowing toilet caused by a toy or other foreign object falling accidentally into the toilet. Keeping the lid closed prevents this from happening.
Install Toilet Locks
Do you have small children in your household? Consider installing toilet locks. Little ones are mesmerized by toilets. Their curiosity gets the better of them and they don’t think twice about giving their favorite toys a bath in the toilet water. They’re equally excited to watch them disappear in a swirl of water down the drain. Toilet locks are an inexpensive way to protect your home’s plumbing and prevent clogged toilets.
Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning Services
The best way to prevent clogged toilets is to keep pipes free and clear of obstructions. Plunging and handheld drain augers can’t achieve the same results as a professional drain cleaning. Yearly drain cleaning services are a great way to maintain your home’s drainage system and prevent backups and flooding.
Rely on Professionals for Clogged Toilet Services
Even the best of us experiences a stubborn clog now and then. If you’ve followed the tips provided above, but find yourself staring down an overflowing toilet, call for help. At Peterman Brothers, our trusted plumbers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to address clogged toilets and any other plumbing emergency. Indianapolis area residents appreciate our fair, upfront pricing, quality workmanship, and friendly customer service. For clogged toilet services, toilet repair, drain replacement, and more, call us today!