Prevent Toilet Backups
How to Prevent Toilet Backups
Do you recall flushing the toilet and watching as the water rises inside the bowl instead of draining away? Anxiety builds. Will the water stop at the very rim, or . . .ugh, continue to flow onto the floor? Even worse is when the flusher does not notice the overflow and leaves the water to damage walls and flooring. This can be a costly mistake.
Preventing Toilet Backups
The average home has 2 or more toilets, with each toilet getting flushed multiple times daily by each person in the home. Yet, toilet backups are relatively rare. Here are several suggestions to prevent toilet backups from happening.
- Only flush flushable items. Toilet paper is designed to be fragile and break up as it drains away. Items that do not easily break up—baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, and even paper towels—can easily catch onto something and develop a clog. Dispose of such items in the bathroom trash can.
- Avoid flushing foreign objects. When toys, articles of clothing, or small electronics fall into the toilet, it is tempting to flush the item rather than retrieve it. Get a rubber glove and retrieve the item to prevent toilet clogs.
- Enough is enough. Using too much toilet paper also clogs a toilet. A better approach—use smaller amounts and flush more often if necessary.
- Poor water pressure. Low water pressure can cause a toilet not to drain properly; this can happen while water is being used for other purposes, such as a shower or doing laundry. Low pressure can also develop when a flapper valve allows water to leak from the tank, leaving an inadequate supply of water per flush.
Solving Backups DIY
While avoiding backups is the best, removing most clogs can often be accomplished by homeowners with a few essential tools.
- The plumber’s helper. Yes, that is the actual name for what is commonly called a plunger. Here are some things to remember about using a plunger. They can be used early if you see a clog developing. They can be used late once some of the water has drained away. But adding a plunger to the toilet with the water level at the rim will cause an overflow. The volume of the plunger and the movement required to remove the clog causes water to overflow the toilet, so wait a few minutes to allow some water to drain away.
- A drain auger. Also called a drain snake, an auger is a cable designed to be inserted into the drain to forcibly remove clogs. Augers come in various lengths to find and remove clogs at different drain depths. Motorized augers are available, but we recommend they be used by professional plumbers.
- Cleaning Supplies. Anticipate that removing a clog will be messy and be prepared.
Solving Backups Professionally
Not every homeowner is a do-it-yourself plumber and not every clog will be solved with simple methods. Call a plumber when you have:
- Tough clogs. A clog that cannot be removed with a plunger or auger might require a professional plumber. A clogged ventilation stack or roots in the lateral line will be more than most homeowners want to take on. However, these are common problems, familiar to most plumbers.
- Toilet repair or replacement. If the toilet is the problem, repairing an existing unit or replacing it with a toilet better suited to your home is an easy fix for a professional.
- Water pressure. If water pressure continues to plague your household water use, a professional plumber can investigate and offer solutions unique to your home design.
Have a Back Up or Questions about How to Prevent Toilet Backups
Let Doctor Cool help with ways to Prevent Toilet Backups or Plumbing Repair questions. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool and let our professional Residential Plumbing Contractors assist with all of your Drain Cleaning questions.