toilet needs to be repaired, the homeowner tends to assume that there must be something wrong with
the pipework, like a busted or rusted pipe that should be
replaced. But from the plumber’s perspective, the first assumption is that
someone flushed something down the toilet that they shouldn’t have.
For the majority of
plumbing service calls involving a badly clogged toilet, the plumber’s hunch will be correct.
The typical household toilet, and even those you find in pretty much any
commercial structure, is designed to flush natural waste and paper items
specifically engineered to decompose rapidly in water. Anything else should
not be flushed and will greatly increase the chances of a clog. However,
there are some foreign objects that tend to wind up down toilet pipes
far more often than others.
Here’s 8 household items that commonly cause toilet clogs, in no
When your toilet acts up, you need professional service and fast! At R
& S Mechanical, we offer emergency plumbing service in Raleigh and
the surrounding region. We are the first team to call when it comes to
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to request service or get a job quote. We look forward to working with you.
Kitty litter: Anyone with a cat knows it is a pain to have to scoop up their cat box
messes, store them in a small trashcan, and then empty that trashcan into
the house’s main dumpster on trash day. The tempting alternative
is just flushing the cat’s waste, kitty litter and all. This is
not a great idea, as most kitty litter will clump together in the toilet’s
plumbing, rapidly causing a significant clog.
Cigarettes: Some people tend to smoke in the bathroom, perhaps to hide the habit, or
just wander around the house with a lit cigarette. The toilet might be
a pool of water perfect for extinguishing flames but it is not suitable
for flushing cigarettes. The fibers of the average cigarette or cigar
are sticky and can expand when wet, readily forming a clog.
Dental floss: Where should you put your floss when you are done cleaning your teeth?
Not down the toilet! Drop the floss into a trash can, or else you could
be the one to blame when your toilet starts backing up.
Diapers: Changing a baby is sometimes not as bad as having to clean up afterwards.
Dirty diapers should go into a dumpster or trash barrel as soon as possible
to avoid smells in the house – and
never down the toilet. Just one diaper is enough to ruin your plumbing.
Dryer sheets: You might be surprised by how often plumbers unclog a toilet and find out
dryer sheets had been the main source of the clog. Dryer sheets withstand
the heat and tumbling of a dryer, so the water in a pipe will do nothing
to dissolve it.
Feminine hygiene products: Tampons, sanitary pads, and other feminine hygiene products are probably
the number one offender of causing toilet clogs in commercial settings.
Some women who do not want to place discarded products in the trashcan
of a restaurant bathroom, for example, will just flush it. After so many
of these products are flushed, though, it is nearly a guarantee that a
clog will occur and it will be catastrophic.
Toilet bowl scrubbers: There are some useful toilet bowl scrubbers that are disposable, allowing
you to clean your toilet without having to worry about cleaning the brush
afterwards. Carefully read the packaging on your choice of scrubber, though.
Most cannot be flushed and have to be placed into a trashcan.
Cleaning wipes: Lastly, cleaning wipes for generic cleaning purposes tend to find their
way down the toilet. The theory being that people wipe down the toilet
bowl from top to bottom to remove dust and stains, but then decide to
flush the used wipe. This is not a good idea.