A clogged toilet is a common cause for a homeowner to call a plumber. Often, the clog is due to items that should never be flushed. Toilets are engineered for bath tissue and human waste, anything other than these should not be flushed in a toilet. For a clogged toilet a plunger won’t correct, contact a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Houston. Common items that are behind toilet clogs include:

  • Feminine hygiene products such as sanitary napkins and tampons are often reported as the most common cause of toilet backups. These products lodge in pipes, causing clogs. They are not flushable, and not only clog pipes, but create problems in wastewater treatment plants. Place them in the trash to avoid a clogged toilet and the need to call for service from a plumber in Houston.
  • Cotton Balls and Swabs – These common bathroom products will cause clogs, cotton swabs will lodge in pipes, trapping other items and debris until a clog develops. Cotton does not break down quickly, and should not be flushed.
  • Condoms are latex products that won’t break down in the water. Properly dispose of in the trash.
  • Dental floss is a common cause of clogged toilets. Dental floss isn’t biodegradable, and is made of synthetics such as nylon or Teflon. Drop it in the trash.
  • Disposable Diapers are made of plastic composites that expand in water, and should never be flushed. Doing so is a guaranteed clog requiring the services of a plumber in Houston.
  • Paper Towels, dinner napkins and facial tissues are manufactured to be durable, will not degrade quickly and will cause clogs. Place them in the trash. Toilet tissue breaks down into a mush quickly when placed in water and swirled briefly. Any bath tissue that doesn’t break up within a few seconds should be avoided.
  • Hair is a durable material that doesn’t degrade at all. It is a major cause of toilet clogs.
  • Cat Litter is an additional cause of severe clogs, and will build-up in pipes until a complete blockage occurs. It forms a stubborn clog that will require the services of a plumber in Houston.
  • Medications should never be flushed, for several reasons. First, they can take an extended amount of time to dissolve. The coatings tend to cause them to clump together and form stubborn clogs in the toilet and plumbing. The problem with flushed medication doesn’t end with clogged toilets and pipes. It is showing up in municipal water supplies through ground water and reservoirs. Water treatment plants don’t filter contaminate from water, but only treat it with chlorine and chloramine for bacteria.
    When medications are flushed dangerous drugs and toxins enter the water supply that you and your family drinks. Check for hospitals and pharmacies with drop off points for unused medications for proper disposal.
  • Baby and personal wipes that claim to be flushable, is not necessarily biodegradable at all. To test, use the toilet paper test. Place a wipe in a clear glass of water, and swirl for a few seconds. If it doesn’t turn to a pulpy mush, it shouldn’t be flushed. Baby/personal wipes have become a serious problem for sewer treatment plants.
  • Toys should never be flushed. A toy is a guaranteed clog, and can be difficult to remove. Teach your children that the toilet is off limits for play, and toys.

Keep the back of the toilet, and shelving above it, free of objects. This will prevent falling objects from going into the toilet bowl.

A plunger is a good tool for toilet clogs. Ensure that you use a flange plunger, made specifically for toilets. If the plunger can’t clear the clog, it is time to call a plumber in Houston.

A clogged toilet can also be due to a problem with the sewer line. Clogs may occur in the home’s sewer line due to tree root invasion, broken pipes, offset pipes and other causes. Slow drains and a poorly flushing toilet can be a sign of sewer line problems. Sewer line issues will require the services of a plumber in Houston.

A Benjamin Franklin plumber in Houston can identify the cause of your clogged toilet, and provide the repair that you need for an efficient flush.

Stopping an Overflowing Toilet

If your toilet has a shut-off valve on the toilet water supply line turn it off. If the shut-off fails, remove the lid on the toilet tank. Lift the float up to stop water from entering the tank. While you hold the float up have someone to turn the water off at the home’s main water shut off valve, or at the meter.

You can also push the flapper in the bottom of the tank down. If your home lacks functional shut-off valves, a Benjamin Franklin plumber in Houston can install them for you. They should be “exercised” (shutting off and on several times) each year to prevent them from sticking. Do not flush a second time while the toilet is clogged, overflow is likely to occur.

There are times when your best efforts simply isn’t enough. Continuous clogs can be a sign of a clogged main drain or sewer line. Other signs include water backing up into sinks, tubs or showers when a toilet is flushed, or when other appliances pump water out, such as a washing machine.

A Benjamin Franklin plumber in Houston provides the prompt, effective plumbing repair, installation or maintenance that you need. Our certified, licensed plumbers offer a wide range of plumbing services in Houston, Katy, Sugar Land and the surrounding areas. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.