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Toilet Clogs: 4 No-Flush Items & Beyond Plunger Solutions?

  • Life
Toilet Clogs

Flushing inappropriate items down the toilet is a common problem, which can lead to toilet clogs and serious plumbing issues. Certain items should never be disposed of in the toilet.

1. Avoiding Toilet Clogs: Food Waste

Food scraps, like soup or noodle broth, are not suitable for toilet disposal. Toilets are not designed to handle food waste, and even small amounts can cause a toilet clog. Fats in the food can combine with water, forming a grease layer that hardens and accumulates on sewer walls, leading to clogs, blockages, and bad odors.

2. ‘Everyday Items’ That Cause Clogs

Flushable wipes are a leading cause of toilet clogs. Unlike regular toilet paper, these wipes do not disintegrate easily in water. Reports of massive quantities of non-biodegradable wipes clogging city sewage pumps underscore this issue. Wipes can also combine with other debris to block sewers and even risk causing toilet backflows.

Cotton swabs and toothpicks are significant contributors to pipe blockages. They can get caught in the toilet plumbing and accumulate with other debris like toilet paper, leading to a severe toilet clog. Although cotton swabs don’t directly block pipes, their presence can lead to the accumulation of snared toilet paper. Consequently, this can cause significant blockages, affecting water pressure and leading to drainage issues.

3. Basic Tools and Alternatives for Unclogging

There are various ways to address toilet clogs, but some situations may require professional assistance. The most common tool is a plunger. A plunger works as a compressor, using air pressure differences to clear blockages in toilets or drains. There are different types, with piston plungers using air pressure to exert force on the clogged area.

When using a plunger, first exhaust as much air as possible. Then, forcefully pull to repeatedly apply pressure and clear the blockage. In the absence of a plunger, a cut PET bottle can be used. By cutting the bottle’s mouth and pressing it against the toilet opening, pressure can be applied to clear the blockage.

4. Severe Toilet Clogs

If these methods fail to clear the toilet clogs, it might indicate a deep and severe blockage in the plumbing, necessitating professional intervention.

5. Summary

Toilet clogs are a common issue, often caused by improper disposal of items like food waste, flushable wipes, cotton swabs, and toothpicks. These can lead to severe drainage problems. Tools like plungers or PET bottles can be effective for minor clogs. However, in cases of severe blockages, professional services may be required.