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Clogged Toilet, the Cause May Surprise You

27 Mar 2013

There are items that are made to go down the drain, flushed or otherwise travel into your septic system. Essentially, these things are human waste and toilet paper. Everything else is off limits. So what about the items that marketers deem “flushable?”

Take disposable wipes and disposable household cleaning wipes. These items have been identified as flushable by the marketing industry. But that does not mean they are good for your plumbing or good for your septic system if you have one.

Once these disposable/flushable wipes get through your drain, they can cause serious problems in the home main sewer line. These wipes are tough, they need to be for what they are designed for. They are also disposable, into your trash can. When a plumber is called into a home, and these wipes are the culprit, most often they have caused a softball sized toilet clog. The wipes don’t disintegrate, and they have a snow ball effect with the other paper, or other wipes in the drain causing a massive pile up, or clog.

Unfortunately these large clogs take some time to remove from your main septic drain. As you know, the longer the time spent, the more costly the job. So take the extra time and don’t flush the disposable/flushable wipes.
Flushable Fact: In 2009, Consumer Reports tested leading brands of toilet paper and flushable wipes. They found that all of the wipes completely failed the disintegration test and even the strongest, thickest toilet papers squeaked by with a low passing grade.*

If you suspect you have a wipe’s clog, or your toilet is having any type of clogging issues, please contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.


Clogged Toilet Tips - Boston

14 Mar 2013

If you are a homeowner, your bathroom has surely had its fair share of plumbing problems.  Either the toilet keeps running, or it is stopped up, or it overflowed. Maybe your bathtub won’t drain, your sewer line backup up, or under the sink leaks. Any of these scenarios can result in a huge mess and a call to a plumber.
There are some things you can do yourself, but there are other for which you should call in a professional plumber. However, of all the plumbing woes nothing is worse than a clogged toilet. Here are some possible tips for fixing your own toilet.  These tips actually work in many cases.

1. Do nothing but wait, then flush.
Toilets, and all drains, work by gravity. A full bowl of water exerts its own pressure on the clog and, over time, often will clear the clog for you. If you have more than one bathroom just wait, then try to flush again. If the clog is just too much paper, this solution can work.
2. Pour in some hot water. Wait. Flush.
If you don’t have the time or you want to help gravity along, pour a few cups of hot water into the bowl. It is believed that the hot water helps to break down the waste, loosening the clog.

3. Add soap. Wait as long as possible. Flush.
This is the preferred method when you’re not at home and don’t want to tell the hosts that you have stopped up the toilet. The theory is that the soap breaks down the waste faster than water alone.

4. Plunge.
Standard cup-type plungers don’t work well on toilets because they can’t provide a good seal over the drain hole. Use a flange plunger, which has a rubber sleeve that extends down below the domed cup. Make sure the flange is extended then lower the plunger into the toilet at an angle so the boot fills with water and isn’t trapping air. Insert the flange into the drain hole and press down so the boot seals tightly around the hole.

Make the plunge action count on both the down stroke and upstroke, since both forces will help loosen the clog, and maintain a good seal at all times. If you have no success after several tries, let the clog sit and try again.

Important Toilet Tip:
If your clogged toilet is about to overflow, here is what you can do: Remove the tank lid and close the flapper, which is the round, rubber trap door that seals over the big hole in the tank. This will stop the flow of water into the bowl. Or, you turn off the valve in the water supply line. On the wall behind the toilet, several inches above the floor. It has a football-shaped handle, turn to the right. However, old valves can be stuck and corroded, they may leak after turning.

If none of the above tips work, you have a toilet that clogs regularly, or your water supply leaks after you have turned it off, contact Greater Boston Plumbing and Heating.



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