clogged toilet

Clogged Toilet? Here’s 5 Steps To Fixing It

No One Likes a Clogged Toilet

The toilet might not be the most glamorous subject, but it’s an important one. When the toilet is experiencing problems, it’s important to figure out exactly what is causing these issues and repair them ASAP! When it comes to the most common causes of a clogged toilet, there are usually two culprits. The first is children who put too much paper in the toilet before flushing and then adults who don’t know proper toilet etiquette. The next time you’re stuck with a clogged toilet, don’t just plunge it, fix it for good. There may be bigger issues at hand and plunging won’t do anything besides create more work for yourself.


If the bowl is overflowing you can reach behind the toilet and turn off the valve. This will prevent the toilet from allowing more water into the bowl.

Patience is key! Toilet paper breaks down in the water. So if you’ll just wait a while for that breakdown to happen you may be able to flush it.


The old plunger method is a standard approach. It’s important to note that a plunger works not by pushing the clog down but by pulling it back up. In this way the clog is broken down and able to flush. Again, use patience, and many times the clog will break down and be flushable.

What Not to Flush

In general, people think that certain products can be flushed down the toilet without any problems. However, this is not true as there are some materials that will clog up your pipes or cause other plumbing issues that actually do more damage than good.

  • Wet Wipes

The very mention of the word “wipes” makes most people cringe. However, they’re advertised as flushable and even have a cute logo to make you feel like it’s okay for them to go down your toilet. In reality, these little packages can cause some serious problems with plumbing at home or worse. They can even compromise large municipal sewage systems!

  • Paper Towels

Paper towels seem like they should be flushable, but most paper towel products are used to clean up spills. By design they will resist tearing so they won’t break down like toilet paper when flushing them. These can create permanent blockages in the pipes that can only be solved by extensive pipe replacement. This can not only be very expensive but can be a huge inconvenience to a functional home. 

  • Everything else that is not toilet paper including feminine hygiene products

It’s important to understand the difference between a garbage can and your toilet. Items such as hair, feminine products, q-tips, and a myriad of other things considered to be flushable belong in the garbage and not down your commode. This careless act can be detrimental to a fully functional plumbing system. So to reiterate the only 3 things you should be flushing are pee pee, poo poo, and paper!

Is Your S Trap Blocked?

Your toilet is usually equipped with an S-shaped pipe that comes up from the ground and winds it’s way into your toilet bowl. This is a very important pipe known as the S-trap, it prevents sewer gas from escaping and entering your home. Which can obviously be very unpleasant and intrusive to any homeowner. In some cases, the toilet uses a P-trap instead of an S-trap. The purpose remains unchanged though.

S-traps or P-traps that fully clog are easy to identify because the toilet will not flush and you’ll need to clear it before using it again. However, if you have a partially blocked one then it may be difficult to diagnose until your home’s plumbing system becomes fully clogged. These partial blockages can linger even after the main clog has been cleared. This can cause your toilet to clog more than it should. When the clogged toilet won’t flush, try using an auger to break up and pull out any partial obstructions. If that doesn’t work for you then it may be time to call in a professional plumber.

Obstructions in Your Plumbing Vents

Did you know that the plumbing system in a home doesn’t just consist of water pipes? There’s also an extensive network to bring and remove wastewater. As strange as it may sound, the plumbing system relies on ventilation pipes to safely release any sewer gases from your roof that would otherwise build up within a home’s drainpipes. The flushing power of the toilet is increased due to these lines that allow clean air from outside in, creating suction and pressure within the line. But when the vent is clogged or obstructed then all of a sudden your flushing power goes down.

To make sure that it’s not something else, one person will need to stay with the toilet while a second climb’s up onto the roof and checks out the plumbing vent. The first individual should flush the toilet while the person on the roof holds their hand over the plumbing vent. If you’re not feeling any suction from the vent then you could use a plumbing snake to dislodge the obstruction. However, the vent could also be blocked at the outlet. If that’s the case cleaning the vent by hand will also do the trick.

When Your Low-Flow Toilet Doesn’t Suck Enough

The usage of a low-flow toilet helps to cut down on water usage and your pocketbook. Updating or replacing your old, outdated toilet can be a challenge. Are you experiencing clogging issues with low-flow toilets? This could be due to the power of flushing not being strong enough for pushing waste through both S and P traps into drain pipes. This is a common problem that can be mitigated by flushing small amounts of toilet paper and waste at once, but it’s better to simply upgrade your current fixture.

When it’s Time to Call a Professional

Tree roots are the main sewer line’s worst enemies. The sewer line is well-protected from rain, sleet, and snow but it’s vulnerable to tree roots that can wrap around or puncture the pipes. If the main sewer line is punctured or compressed, it can cause a number of problems. It might be a good idea to get in touch with your plumber as soon as possible and make sure that everything is taken care of before any permanent damage can occur. A punctured sewer line can be more of a hassle than you’re prepared to deal with that’s when it’s time to call in the big guns!

Mitch Clemmon’s Plumbing Will Get The Job Done Right!

When the job is getting too dirty and out of your hands it’s best to leave it to a professional. Leave it to the expertise of the trained plumbers at Mitch Clemmons Plumbing! They’re equipped for the toughest jobs and have all the right tools for any plumbing issue that might arise. So leave it to Mitch Clemmons Plumbing and see what we can help you with today!

CALL TODAY (562) 246-9778

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