Having a blocked toilet stinks – literally! No one enjoys having to unblock a toilet, and everyone dreads the sight of water (and other debris) rising in the toilet when you flush instead of going down.

If you’ve ever had a blocked toilet, you know the mess it can create and the possible damage to your bathroom it can cause if it happens regularly.

A lot of other plumbing websites and blogs will try to explain to you how and why a toilet gets blocked by describing things like P-traps, S-traps, soil vents, soil stack pipes, faulty flappers. We suspect none of that means anything to you if you’re not a plumber.

The easiest way to prevent your toilet from getting blocked is to know what causes it and how to prevent it.

Reasons why your toilet is getting clogged:

You’re using too much toilet paper

This is one of the most common causes we see for a blocked toilet – and luckily, it is one of the easiest problems to fix.

You don’t need a huge handful of toilet paper. If you think you do, try two smaller wipes rather than one big wad of paper.

If you think you need to have several wipes (sorry, there’s no delicate way to talk about toileting), perhaps try flushing your solid waste down before you wipe and then again after you wipe.

Often, excess toilet paper being flushed is due to unsupervised toddlers or children going to the bathroom and getting excited by how easily the paper rolls off the hanger.

If you can’t keep an eye on them, try this simple trick. Before you put a new roll of toilet paper on the toilet roll holder, squeeze the roll so it changes from a round shape to an oval shape.

You’ll discover that it doesn’t roll as easily, so children will likely stop pulling sooner.

You’re flushing down things that shouldn’t be flushed

The only things that you should flush down the toilet – and there are only three – are liquid waste, solid excrement, and toilet paper. That’s it. (We do know of some keen environmentalists who flush their dog poo down the toilet.

That’s fine, as long as you’re not flushing anything else down with it, such as plastic bags, paper or paper towels.)

You have a plumbing or drainage issue

Not you personally, your toilet. Although, if you’re not eating enough fibre, you might have a personal drainage issue, causing you to have larger toilet-clogging poos.

But that’s not what we meant… There may be a problem in the pipes, either in your bathroom or further down the line, causing the toilet blockage.

If your household pipes are very old, there may be rust or cracks affecting water flow. If there are trees around your property, there may be tree roots interfering with the pipes under or near the house. In cases like these, we highly recommend getting in touch with our toilet unblocking specialists.

Your toilet needs repairing

A toilet is a complex bit of “technology”. There are several main parts – the base, bowl, cistern, tank. There are also numerous smaller parts – gaskets, valves, pipes, handles, etc.

Sometimes a flaw in just one of these can set the entire system off balance.

If you give the team at Sumich Plumbing & Drainage a call, we can either talk through the issues on the phone (video phones have made some of this diagnostic work much quicker), or we can come out and see what the problem is in person.

Your toilet needs replacing

Toilets usually last for years, if not decades. But eventually, they do need replacing. If the seals have perished or the internal parts can no longer be fixed or replaced, they can lead to blockages.

It’s then time to replace the toilet. Give us a call, and we can see what type of trades pricing we can get for you, including removing your old one and installing your new throne. (Please don’t be one of those people who leaves your old toilet on the lawn as a planter.)

There’s not enough water flow

A quiet toilet is great if you’re a middle of the night flusher. A half flush is excellent if you’re concerned about conserving water. However, both of these things may cause insufficient water flow.

It’s worth having us check to ensure that you’ve got enough water flowing through your toilet to push solid matters properly and toilet paper down the pipes through the drainage and sewer systems.

What can you do to prevent your toilet from getting clogged or blocked?

If you want to prevent toilet blockages, take these simple steps to keep your toilet flushing freely:

  • Don’t use too much toilet paper – and watch how much toilet paper your kids are using.
  • Don’t flush down paper towels, sanitary pads, plastic wrappers, bandaids, wet wipes/baby wipes, cigarette butts, etc. – in short, don’t flush anything down the toilet that isn’t liquid or human waste.
  • Have your plumbing and drainage checked as soon as you suspect there is anything wrong. If you hear any dripping or unusual noises, act quickly and give us a call. Even better, call the West Auckland plumbing team at Sumich Plumbing & Drainage for regular checks – we can advise you on what a regular maintenance schedule for your home might entail.
  • Have your toilet checked to see if it is still in perfect working order or needs repairing or replacing.

If you were to pull it apart, you’d see that a toilet is actually made up of numerous parts that all need to be working properly. The base, bowl, tank, cistern and all the related pipes and valves need to be checked, cleaned and possibly re-sealed from time to time.

The toilet is the one household “appliance” that everyone uses – and more than once a day. Don’t underestimate its value and the need to keep it working correctly to avoid bathroom repairs.

If you have frequent toilet blockages, suspect there are issues with your toilet plumbing, or are interested in an overall check of your toilet or drainage systems, let the experienced team at Sumich Plumbing & Drainage help out.

Believe it or not, we don’t mind dealing with clogged or blocked toilets – it’s what we do!

We have an Auckland emergency plumbing team on call 24/7 – give us a call.