Dear Everyone Who Has Ever Clogged a Toilet

September 23, 2019

Dear Everyone Who Has Ever Clogged a Toilet,

Hands up! You’re caught. I’m just kidding with you, but that’s probably how you feel when you encounter a clogged toilet. It is the ultimate stand-down. Either the toilet flushes or you are forever embarrassed, and you much prefer the former.

Clogging a toilet is turn red-in-the-face embarrassing; but, truthfully, you should not let this scenario fluster you. At some point in each and every one of our lives, we’ve done it. From user error to structural malfunction—there are a ton of reasons your friend’s, your coworker’s, or your kid’s toilet is refusing to flush.

I am here to make sure you know how to get out of any toilet-clogging catastrophe and inform you when it is time to call for professional assistance. Here is your fully-flushed guide to the common toilet tragedies.

Why Isn’t The Toilet Flushing?

An Obstructed Drain Line

When a drain line is obstructed, sewage cannot flow through the drain. Flushing sanitary products, pills, diapers, or simply too much toilet paper can cause a blockage. If these products have found their way down your drain before you conducted your business, chances are you are not the sole reason the toilet is clogged.

How to Slip Out of This Predicament: If you notice that the water in your toilet bowl is rising, stop flushing! You need to turn off the water to prevent the toilet from overflowing. Behind every toilet, you will see a water valve that can be shut off by turning the valve to the right. Once the water supply is off, pick up your plunger!

Establish a strong, sealed connection between the plunger and the toilet. Then, repetitively move the plunger up and down to generate suction. Once the water begins to drain, and the waste dissipates, resupply water to the toilet by turning the water valve to the left.

If this feat is unsuccessful—it’s time for licensed plumbers to step in and restore the drain. Contact us, here at Winters® Home Services, we will get you out of this jam.

Low Water Levels

Make it a habit to check the water level inside of a toilet bowl before using it, as low water levels are a clear sign you are entering a drain danger zone, and you should stay away. When water levels are low, a partial obstruction may exist within the piping or the toilet’s flapper is malfunctioning.

A flapper is a round, rubber stopper that lives inside of your toilet’s tank. It is supposed to open when a toilet is flushed; however, if it is defective, the toilet will have a weak flush. This leaves your toilet exceedingly subject to potential clogs.

How to Rise Up to This Occasion: To relieve the stress instilled from this scenario, lift the tank cover off of the top of the clogged toilet. Look inside the tank and locate the round, rubber stopper, or the flapper. It is connected to a chain. This chain is tasked with opening the flapper when a toilet is flushed. To regain normal water levels in the affected toilet, simply shorten the chain!

After you shorten the chain, try flushing the toilet. If it is still not flushing, rinse and repeat until normal water levels are restored.

The Trap is Tricky

A trap is a u-shaped pipe that keeps sewage smells out of your home. Water remains in this part of the pipe and performs as a waste barrier. If a stench is emanating from a bathroom or permeating throughout your home, don’t use it!

It is no surprise that a u-shaped pipe encounters numerous clogs, as the bent-shape is inherently susceptible to blockages; hence, its name—“trap”.

How to Escape This Trap: In order to remove a clog in the trap, you will need to call a professional plumber. A normal plunger will not resolve this type of obstruction, as the clog is too far down your piping.

Aged-Out Pipes

If multiple drains are simultaneously rebelling, your pipes are antique. Backflow (which I discussed with you all in my last blog) is also a good indicator that your pipes are old, and will need replacing.

How to Handle Old Pipes: This is another “call a professional plumber ASAP” moment. Your pipes likely need replacing.


I hope you all feel more prepared to handle a toilet clog calamity!

Until next time,

CJ the Plumber

We will fix your toilet troubles right, right away today. Call Winters® Home Services at, 617-221-5899, for professional plumbing today.