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Can a Clogged Toilet Unclog Itself?

A clogged toilet is a frustrating and inconvenient situation. Sometimes, you don’t know why it’s clogged or you don’t have the tools to unclog it. You then might be stuck wondering: can a toilet unclog itself?

You’d be surprised to know that in some cases, yes. However, it depends on the type of clog that is blocking the flow of water. Read on to learn some signs that your toilet is clogged and how you can mitigate it.

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5 Signs That Your Toilet Is Clogged

A clogged toilet doesn’t always mean water that doesn’t drain away. Here are the five most common signs that your toilet is clogged:

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  1. Slow Draining:

    If you notice your toilet draining slowly, it’s probably because something is obstructing the drain or pipes. Slow draining means that your toilet doesn’t flush away all the water in its usual time of a couple of seconds, or that your water level is lower than usual.

  2. Gurgling Noises:

    A gurgling sound coming from your toilet or other bathroom fixtures could indicate a blockage. This noise is because clogs disrupt the liquid-to-air ratio in your toilet

  3. Bad Smells:

    Bad smells are pretty common in a bathroom, but if you are constantly dealing with strong, foul-smelling odors that are unfamiliar and linger, you could have a problem. The smells could be coming from your shower drain, sink, or toilet, and it could be because of a buildup of sewer gas.

  4. Overflows:

    Overflows are a common sign of a clogged toilet and are caused by a lodged item in the toilet trap. Although overflows are a nuisance, they can be a good sign because they typically indicate that the blockage is located in the toilet trap. This is a much easier issue to resolve than something being lodged in a drain pipe.

  5. Standing Water:

    Standing water around your toilet or in your b bathroom is never a good sign. It could be a clog or a leak, and your best bet is to call a plumber ASAP to get it figured out.

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8 Possible Reasons Your Toilet Is Clogged

Contrary to popular belief, a clogged toilet isn’t just caused by a blockage in your toilet. There are many reasons your toilet could clog, including:

  • Your Toilet Doesn’t Have a Powerful Enough Flush.

    Low-flush toilets are a great way to save water and lower your bills, but they could prevent any waste from properly flushing down the toilet because they do not have enough power to push waste into drains.

  • There’s Not Enough Water in the Tank.

    Your water tank needs to be full to apply the correct amount of pressure to clear the bowl, otherwise, it could clog your toilet.

  • There Is a Build-Up of Hard Water.

    Hard water is not dangerous to drink or shower with, but it can cause a build-up of minerals that calcify and form a scaly white substance that is difficult to get rid of. This substance will build up in your pipes and restrict the flow of water and waste down the drain, causing you to experience toilet clogs.

  • There Is a Clogged S-Trap.

    The S-trap is an S-shaped pipe behind your toilet that prevents sewer gasses from entering your home through the toilet drain. This pipe can also be susceptible to clogging.

  • There Is a Clog Somewhere Else in Your Plumbing System.

    Not all toilet clogs are actually related to toilets or bathroom plumbing. It could be that the issue stems from other water-carrying lines that are clogged or malfunctioning. 

  • You’re Flushing the Wrong Things Down the Drain.

    It’s well known you shouldn’t flush foreign objects and sanitary napkins down the drain. But did you know that some products labeled “flushable” should not be flushed either? For example, flushable wipes don’t properly deteriorate and should not be flushed down the drain. The only things that should be flushed down the drain are waste and toilet paper.

Flushing Wrong Things Down the Drain

  • You Have a Slow Septic System.

    A septic system that is slow to drain can cause issues with your toilet properly draining and may cause a backup. 

  • You Have Older Pipe Work.

    Another common culprit, old pipes are just not equipped to properly function. They can cause slow drains and sediment backwash and can wreak havoc on your entire plumbing system over time.

Will a Toilet Unclog Itself Over Time?

Yes, a toilet can unclog itself over time, but it depends on what is causing the blockage. If the clog is made up of water-soluble materials, like toilet paper or fecal matter, then eventually they will begin dissolving if you give them enough time. However, blockages from insoluble materials will not unclog on their own.

How To Eliminate Toilet Clogs

Toilet clogs can mostly be eliminated in a DIY fashion. For serious clogs, you should consult a plumber, however.

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Here are three ways to eliminate toilet clogs yourself.

  • Use a plunger
  • Use a plumbing snake
  • Use a chemical, store-bought drain cleaner
  • Pour baking soda and vinegar into your toilet
  • Pour hot water down the drain

Ways a plumber can help with clogs:

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Handle a Clog

Even though some clogs resolve themselves if you give them time, you shouldn’t wait to handle a clog, and here’s why:

  • Black water is a health hazard. Black water is any type of water that has been in contact with human waste. It is dangerous because it contains harmful bacteria that can make you and your loved ones sick. 
  • You may make the situation worse. Many clogged problems originate in the P-trap, and if you try to plunge a toilet with a clogged P-trap, you could inadvertently make the clog more difficult to remove, resulting in costly solutions.
  • Your toilet isn’t always the problem. Unclogging a toilet right away can help you determine what the issue is, and if it’s serious. If you plunge your toilet, and the toilet is unclogged, then you’re probably in the clear. If you do the same, and the clog doesn’t clear, then it is a more serious issue that needs to be addressed.

Call Andrew’s for Professional Plumbing Help

If you have a serious clog, or there is something strange about the plumbing in your bathroom, don’t wait to get a plumber over. Call Andrew’s for professional plumbing help so your bathroom can get right back to its best working condition.

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