Don't Keep On Flushing!
You are over at a friend’s house for his 45th birthday. Once the birthday dinner begins, you excuse yourself to use the restroom and do your do. You find yourself in a predicament as flushing the toilet. All of a sudden it makes a gurgling sound and it does not appear to be going down. Frantically you look under the sink for a plunger but nothing. A word to the wise, don’t keep on trying to flush the toilet or it will overflow!
We have all been in this situation one time or another. A backup in your bathroom can be an embarrassing plumbing mishap! It can be complicated to handle considering there is a myriad of probable causes. Before calling a Tallahassee sewer plumber, It is important to know why the toilet is backed up so you can avoid future blockages and vigorous plunging. Here are some of the reasons and tip as to why you may have a flushing problem.
Flushing the Wrong Items
Only toilet paper and human waste are supposed to go down the toilet and flushing
anything other than that would be taking a serious risk. Some items you should not flush include diapers, feminine hygiene applicators, hair after a haircut, dental floss, cotton swabs, or cotton balls. These all can get stuck in the drain line and they do not disintegrate the same way tissue does.
Children have a funny way of dealing with a toilet. They love to try to see what happens when they hide evidence and flush items down. Quite a few clogs are because of children’s toys. Talk to them about items that can and cannot be flushed so they do not make that mistake that will be costly in the long run.
A Blockage in the Trap
First and foremost what is a “trap”? An S-shaped trap in plumbing terms is also known as an S-bend. This is where water in the trap creates a seal, which prevents sewer gas from passing from the pipe back into the occupied space of the building. All plumbing fixtures including drains, sinks, bathtubs, and toilets must be equipped with either an internal or external trap before the sewer. Below is how the common and modern P-trap should look. Theses traps have a higher likelihood of developing clogs from items that are not supposed to be flushed. A plunger or an auger can help with really bad clogs. If your drainpipe doesn’t have this bend, it is likely you may smell foul odors and the building might need a repipe.
A few facts about traps are, Alexander Cummings invented the plumbing trap in 1775. They were coined the name U-bend following the introduction of the U-shaped trap by Thomas Crapper in 1880. As of 2017, only around two-thirds of the world’s population has access to traps on their plumbing. Evidence shows that a good sewage system significantly improves economic productivity in companies that employ them.
A Blockage in the Plumbing Vent
New toilets utilize roof vents to enhance flushing pressure and channel fresh air into the plumbing system. This blockage will decrease flushing pressure and lead to frequent clogs thus causing flushing problems. Roof vents can be blocked with rodent carcasses, nests, sticks, and leaves over time. Home plumbing vents may also be blocked by frozen water in extremely cold climates. The best way to clear a blocked and frozen vent is by pouring hot water into the vent pipe. Using a hose going from your hot-water spigot at the washing machine can be an easy way of getting this water if you have a long enough hose. Feed the end of the hose down the vent pipe and have a friend on the ground turn on the water at the faucet. You will hear a sudden whoosh when the weight of the water forces the clog into and down the drain.
Low-Flow First Generation Toilet
Low-flow older toilets do not have sufficient pressure to clear their drain and trap leading to regular blockages. If your toilet is shown to have been made sometime in
the mid-90s, it could be a low flow first generation toilet. You can decrease backups in your bathroom for low flow toilets by staying away from clog-susceptible items and reducing usage of toilet paper. We recommend replacing these toilets as they cause more problems.
A Problem With Your Sewer Line
Frequent blockages in multiple drains and toilets usually indicate a sewer line issue. In newer homes, common sources of clogging include hair, cotton swabs, feminine hygiene applicators, kitchen paper towels and even certain brands toilet paper. A backup of non-flushable items, toilet paper, and waste usually cause these clogs.
In older homes, tree roots are one of the primary causes of a backed up sewer line. They can rupture the sewer line and let in blockage causing debris. Any problem related to the sewer line can cause significant problems in and out of the home. Slow flowing drains and gurgling noises from your toilet bowls are the first signs that your sewer system is being affected by tree roots. If you don't take action to remove the roots, a complete sewer line block will occur and emergency plumbing service will be required
Should you need help give a call Capital Plumbing Contractors. We are a locally owned plumber in Tallahassee and deal with sewer-related issues. If you need a new sewer line replaced from the city sewers to your home you found the #1 local plumber. City of Tallahassee also offers up to a $12,000 loan. You may participate if you have city sewer service which includes Killearn Lakes residents.
A Faulty Flapper
The flapper in the toilet tank usually opens when the toilet flushes. This action moves water into the bowl. Should the flapper fail to fully open, you could have a weak flush resulting in clogs due to failure to push the bowl contents down the drain pipe far enough. Luckily, this flushing problem needs a simple fix; move the adjustable chain attached to the flush arm by several links to make it shorter and try flushing again. This should take care of the backup in your bathroom. If this does not fix the problem, you may need a new flapper or a toilet rebuild kit. Give us a call and we can diagnose the problem. Most of the time, it is a simple fix.
Keep in mind we want you to save money if you have a clog or sewer-line repair. Please don't wait for the problem to get out of hand. It is important to consult a service plumber in your area so they can see how to deal with the problem. Sometimes there is more than what meets the eye and most problems should be fixed before they get costly. Capital Plumbing Contractors can help with your plumbing diagnosis. We want to make sure that your toilets flush and sewer plumbing is working properly. Give us a call, We Are One Call Away, From Saving The Day! (850) 576-8420