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Toilet Troubles 101: Everything a Homeowner Needs to Know

Picture of Toilet Plunger

You use it every day, rely on it to work, and couldn’t live without it—your toilet is an essential part of your home, and when it is not functioning as it should, it causes many problems… not to mention frustrations. Usually, we do not think twice about our plumbing fixtures. They tend to do their job; however, as soon as one stops working, it becomes a nuisance that you can’t seem to escape. That’s why we here at Lloyd’s Plumbing are here to give you some tips on how to avoid malfunctions in the first place.

Your lesson on toilet troubles commences:

Use Less Toilet Paper

When it comes to toilet paper use, less is more. Overloading your toilet with this product can lead to consecutive surface-level clogs. Even though toilet paper is manufactured to break down in your plumbing, it can become problematic when your pipes become inundated with it.

If you see toilet paper sticking out of your drain, even after a few flushes, this is a good indication that you are overloading your drains with too much toilet paper. To prevent a complete blockage, grab your plunger to relieve your clog.

Make sure your water supply is shut off before you begin plunging! You can do this by locating the valve installed behind your toilet bowl and turning it to the right. Knowing where this shut-off valve is located is vital in case of an emergency where water is rising.

Whether you reach for your plunger more often or not, it is time to use less toilet paper. If that does not resolve your frequent blockages, you may have an underlying plumbing problem that needs to be addressed.

Upgrade Your Toilet

If your toilet was installed between 1994 and 1997, you are up for an upgrade. Back in the ’90s, toilets experimented with low-flow technology, but the outcome missed the mark. These appliances seemed to underperform, as the toilet's power was subpar. So, if you have one of these outdated low-flow toilets in your home, it is the probable cause of your repetitive problems.

If you are not financially prepared to replace your toilet, you can try to hold off clogs by using thinner-ply toilet paper; however, this hack will only work for a limited time. A replacement will be your best bet to resolve your negative plumbing encounters.

Don’t Flush Miscellaneous Objects

Regarding your plumbing, you should only flush water, waste, and toilet paper down your drains. If miscellaneous items, from toys to hair ties, make their way into your plumbing, you are more likely to encounter a major backup. Not to mention, baby wipes, paper towels, and other paper goods cannot go down your drain, either! Using these items as toilet paper substitutes is not a good idea, as most paper products are not manufactured in the same way toilet paper is and will not break down in your pipes as toilet paper does.

How to Get a Toy Out of the Toilet

If you find out that your child flushed a toy down the toilet, your instincts may say to grab your plunger. Please don't listen to them! A plunger will push the toy further down the drain, making it even more challenging to get out. If you can see the toy, try removing the water from the toilet bowl by putting on some gloves and scooping it out with a disposable cup. Then, grab the toy and try to pull it out. However, if you know a toy was flushed down but can't get to it, you need the help of a professional. So, if you see your toddler flush their toy car down your toilet, contact your local plumbing experts for clog removal!

Check Your Trap

Sewage backups can occur if you have a severe clog forming in your plumbing network. Sewage backups are no subtle malfunction. You will encounter waste flowing up your pipes and out of your drains. This happens when your blockage is in your toilet’s trap, a U-shaped pipe that is shaped to prevent sewer smells from leaking into your home. Unfortunately, due to the shape of this particular pipe, a plunger will not be able to relieve your clog. A professional plumber will have the skills and tools to restore proper flow and function.

Observe Your Sewer Line

Your main sewer line may be compromised if you encounter repetitive clogs throughout multiple drains in your home. This can occur from accumulated debris, tree-root infiltration, and pipe deterioration. Have your sewer line inspected for leaks, cracks, and obstructions!

For professional sewer services, contact Lloyds Plumbing at (805) 495-8766. We are here to ensure your toilet troubles don’t return!