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Common reasons for toilet problems

Here are a few common reasons for a blocked toilet and what could be done to clear it.

Clogged bowl

A blockage within the toilet itself is the most common reason for a blocked toilet. This could be caused by a simple build-up of toilet paper at the base of the toilet or it could be other materials stuck further down the line.

The first thing to ask yourself is how and when the blockage appeared?

Children, pets and even adults can sometimes drop toys, items of clothing and other miscellaneous items into a toilet bowl. These could very well be the culprit for your clogged toilet. If you think this applies to your situation, we recommend not to flush or force the item further down! This will only cause bigger problems in the end. That toy or item may get stuck in your main sewer line and clog up other or all drains in your house. You are better off removing the toilet and take out the item causing the blockage. If you are capable, you can do this by yourself. However, we recommend that a trained plumber carry out the work to avoid damaging the toilet of tiles in your bathroom.

Friendly tip: Those wet wipes that are commonly advertised as biodegradable or flushable are not! Be careful in using a lot of wet wipes and flushing these down the toilet. They contain plastic fibres that are not biodegradable and can cause serious blockages in pipelines

If you think the cause of blockage is just due to human waste or simple accumulation of toilet paper, then, by all means, use the almighty saviour of the day – the plunger.

If unsuccessful, you can always call a plumber to give it a try. Unknown to most homeowners, there are several kinds of plungers that could be used for toilet blockages.

A standard Plunger is a basic handle and rubber cap at the end that most homeowners have. Most of the time, this could do the trick and clear the clog.

Our plumbers have other kinds of plungers that they could use for stubborn blockages though.

And if plungers don’t work, then, we bring out the big guns. This is a jet rodding machine. This tool consists of a high-pressure flexible hose which is attached to a precision nozzle. It blasts powerful jets of water out of the nozzle to clear unwanted blockages in toilets and other kinds of drains.

Toilet backing up or takes too long to drain

An overflowing toilet is not a pretty sight for sure!

If water backs up after you flush the toilet, this is an indication that there is a blockage in somewhere down the line. You can try using the plunger to attempt to clear the blockage. However, if it does not work and you observe that water takes a long time to drain from the toilet, then, there is a high possibility that you have a blockage in your main line. When the main line is blocked, water has nowhere to go so it backs up in the toilet or other drains in the property such as shower or bath drains. This could then turn into a health issue as dirty sewer water will be coming up from the toilet or drains.

If you are not sure if it is a simple toilet line blockage or a problem in the main line, you can try to do the following to check:

1. Turn on the tap on the sink nearest to the toilet. Leave it on for 1-2 minutes. If the toilet water level rises or bubbles then you have a main line blockage.

2. Do a load of laundry, if the toilet overflows or water backs up on any of the other drains then you have a main line blockage.

3. Flush the toilet or pour water into your bath drain. Water should create a sort of whirlpool movement to drain fluidly into the waste line.

Friendly tip: Don’t flush a toilet if the wastewater level is already high. You’ll only be looking for more trouble if you do.

If none of the scenarios above happens, then you are lucky. You just might have a simple blockage in your hands. If, unfortunately, any of the above-mentioned problems do exist at your home. Then, we strongly encourage you to engage a blocked drains specialist to clear it for you. We have the equipment and experience to handle main sewer drain blockages. We have a CCTV drain camera and locator that can pinpoint and identify the cause, location and depth of the blockage. We also have a Jet rodding machine that we can use to attempt to clear the blockage.

Suspected blocked toilet due to strange noises or bad sewer smell

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, even if you clean out the toilet bowl with disinfectant and high-grade cleaners, a bad smell still lingers? Or sometimes, when you flush the toilet, you hear a gurgling sound from underneath? More often than not, these are the first signs of toilet blockage.

Foul smelling toilets are dead giveaways of a blockage especially if they are accompanied by strange noises.

Here are several reasons why you hear gurgling sounds and smell a bad odour from the blocked toilet and what can be done to fix it.

1. Over time, accumulation of dirt, gunk, toilet paper and other noxious materials in toilet pipes that decompose cause smell to rise back up the toilet.

SOLUTION: These can be cleared by a simply using the plunger or removing the toilet and using the jet rodding machine to clear the waste line.

2. The trap underneath is compromised. A trap is a u-shaped pipe that is installed in toilets and waste lines with the purpose of keeping the gases from escaping from the sewer line. Normally, there is water sitting in the trap. If not maintained, methane, carbon dioxide and other gases may drift out of the waste line of the toilet. The gases also cause the draining water to spurt and spit making the gurgling sounds.

SOLUTION: Make sure P traps are well ventilated. When in doubt, call a plumber to give you a hand with your blocked toilet.

3. Toilet ring has deteriorated. When your toilet was installed, a wax or rubber ring is squeezed in between the toilet and the floor waste to create an airtight seal. After several years, this could erode. Sometimes, if the bolts or silicone holding the toilet to the floor somehow becomes loose or corrodes, this will cause the toilet bowl to shift and the rubber ring becomes permeable. The odorous smells can then travel from the sewer line back up to the toilet.

SOLUTION: Replace the toilet ring. There are a lot of DIY articles online that can help you achieve this but if you are unsure or would like to ensure that the job is carried out correctly, call Blocked Drain Repairs and book an appointment.

Friendly tip: NEVER use DRANO to clear blocked toilet! Drain acids have strong chemicals that can corrode pipes, soften PVC and crack toilets. Worst case scenario? You may end up having to replace your whole toilet and/or pipeline.

If you think there could be another reason for your blocked toilet or if you are needing immediate assistance, call our expert blocked drain repairers now at 1300 668 220.

Blocked Drain Repair is a local plumbing company that prides its self on offering a high level of service so that our customers keep returning in the future. We guarantee that we will be there on time to carry out the work and remove our shoes at the door to respect your property.