Out of all of the possible plumbing problems, having a toilet stopped up is, by far, the most common. While often times, a solution is not more than a plunger away, sometimes the remedy can stump even the most seasoned of plumbers.
In this article we will take a look at some of the questions that you may have, should you face a backed up toilet. You can also feel free to visit our Toilet Stoppages page for some handy money saving tips.
My toilet is backed up. What do I do?
The answer to that is two-fold. First you want to make sure it is the toilet, and not your sewer main. The easiest way to do that is make sure that the other toilets are working okay, and your tubs or showers are not backing up as well.
Once you have decided that it is indeed the toilet, the easiest fix is usually a plunger. The correct plunger applied correctly will usually do a good job of unclogging a simple blockage (such as from too much toilet paper). If not, it’s probably time to call a plumber.
Why would a plumber need to “pull the toilet” to unclog it?
Often times, when the clog was caused by a foreign object, auguring the toilet will not remove the offending object. Often times, even though the toilet flushes again, testing it will cause it to back up again. This happens because sometimes the auger just pushes the object off to the side, or out of the way temporarily. In these cases, it is often necessary to remove the toilet and turn it upside down in order to remove the object.
My toilet used to work really well. Now it backs up a lot. Why?
There could be a number of reasons for that. One may be that there is an object stuck in there that is causing repeated backups (see the question right above this one). Another reason could be the age of the toilet. As a toilet ages, it tends to work less efficiently. The biggest culprit here is calcium.
Calcium will clog up the ports that send the water from the tank to the bowl. This will cause the toilet to not flush as well, and can often lead to backups. Calcium may also build up along the trap-way, “catching” things as they travel through it, causing backups.
How can I fix an old toilet?
Honestly, you could spend a ton of time trying to refurbish an old toilet, but it really is not worth it. Yes, the first few generations of “water saver” toilets were terrible, and clogged often. Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since those days, though. A good toilet, these days, will not only save a lot of water, but actually flush better than the older ones did when they were new.
So, how do I make sure I get a good toilet?
Research is your friend. Take a look at ratings for different toilets. Always go with major named brands. You can go fancy, if you like, but brands like American Standard have a pretty huge variety as well, and they function well. Once you know the toilet you want, stay away from Home Depot. Get your toilet from a plumbing supply store. Even if the brand and model are the same, trust me… there is a difference.
Who do I call if I have other questions, or need an estimate on fixing my stopped up toilet?
That’s an easy one! Call Gogo Rooter! Whether a simple back-up or a new toilet, Gogo Rooter has you covered!