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Why is My Toilet Backing Up and What Can I Do About It?

why is my toilet backing up and what can I do about it?

Homeowners dread the splash of water on the floor that signals their attempts to clear out a toilet clog have failed, and the toilet is now backing up. This creates a mess, and it’s even more frustrating if the problem keeps happening. You’ll have to crack out the bleach to clean it up, but you should also take steps to make sure that this problem doesn’t happen again.

Non-Flushable Items

Toilets typically back up because they have a clog in the drain line, and these are most often caused by trying to flush down items that should not be put down a toilet. This includes:

  • Grease,oil and food: Don’t pour your excess kitchen waste down the toilet.
  • Paper products: Only toilet paper should go down the toilet. Paper towels, wet wipes, and even “flushable” wipes can all create clogs.
  • Disposables: Items like masks, gloves, feminine hygiene products and diapers all belong in the trash and not in the toilet.
  • Kitty litter: Putting litter down in the toilet is a very bad idea and will cause a clog quickly.

If you keep putting these items down the toilet, you will keep getting a backed-up toilet.

Blocked Trap

What if you haven’t been putting anything unusual down the toilet? Then it may be that a collection of small things have developed in the toilet’s trap. You can get a clog through just normal use of the toilet, and these are usually in the trap. You’ll need a plumber to get at and empty out the trap. The good news is, these clogs are unlikely to reoccur for a long time.

Low-Flow Toilets

Early low-flow toilets had small trapways, or pipes through which the water runs. Unfortunately, these small pipes made toilet clogs much more likely. So much more likely that you may get quite tired of having to deal with your toilet and its back-flow issues. If you have one of these early models, we suggest you get a whole new low-flow toilet. The latest models are much less likely to clog and have issues from simple normal use.

Plumbing Vent Problems

What if there is no clog at all? Believe it or not, a toilet can still overflow even when the plumbing is clear. All of your home’s plumbing relies on plumbing vents to allow air out of the system. This vent ends on your roof, where it may collect debris, animal infestation, or get blocked some other way. When the tent is blocked, the pressure created by the toilet may create a back-flow.

Will a Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself?

The answer is, sometimes. But leaving the wrong kind of clog can actually make it worse. Learn more here.

Get Professional Help

Frequent back-up problems may also be due to a clog that wasn’t professionally removed. You may have created a partial clog or simply pushed the clog further back into the plumbing. A plumber can fix the clog for good.

Plumbers can also tell you why your toilet keeps backing up and what you can do to fix it. Reach out to a professional today.