Monday, November 15, 2010

Clogged Toilet?

Eventually, we all will have to deal with it…the dreaded clogged toilet. There are a lot of myths and facts on the subject. Drawing on my own experience and research, I will share some of these simple drain issues (I am sure you can barely contain your excitement!).

When dealing with a toilet that will not flush there are some toilet basics I am going to share to help you understand how toilet draining works. A standard toilet has a 2” drainpipe. This pipe is usually formed in a curve that is not unlike the curves on a road travelling through the mountains. This is called a trap, and the reason for this trap is to, well, trap water so that sewer gases do not come into the home. Good idea, right?

In any event, we have a 2” curvy pipe that leads into the sewer lines that are traditionally 3 or 4-inch lines. With that in mind, the vast majority of clogs in toilets are in the curved portion of the two-inch pipe in the toilet, because once the waste reaches the sewer line there is a lot more room…and less chance for a back up. The best way to clear this, in my experience is with more water. Take a large bucket and fill the toilet with water very quickly. Careful not to overflow the toilet though! This rapid addition of water creates agitation and the weight (water is very heavy!) will usually clear the blockage. If this does not work at first... Watch the water level in the bowl. If the water level slowly goes down, this is a good sign. Try adding more water (quickly) again.

If this method does not work, add water like before and pull out the old plunger. The added weight of the water helps the plunger’s efficiency. Again, be careful to not allow the water level in the bowl to rise too much…that could me messy!

One thing I always try to avoid, and never advise is the use of a metal “snake”. These are found at most hardware stores and usually made of a spring steel material. The reason you do not want to use a snake is that most toilets are made of glazed porcelain (or similar). The metal scratching against it can damage this glazing. Among other problems, it could make the surface rough in the trap…causing more clogs!

If these things do not work, I recommend contacting a professional. Savannah Renovations may be able to help! If you have a plumbing problem, give us a call at 912-675-5569 and if we cannot help, we can put you in touch with someone who can!

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