The Best Ways To Tackle An Edmonton Toilet Clog

A clogged toilet in an Edmonton home in need of unclog service.

We have all experienced the unpleasant event of a clogged toilet in Edmonton. Often, your plunger helps serve wonders to make that issue go away, but what does it mean if it keeps coming back? Or what do you do when you’ve reached the point where your plunger no longer does its job? Your toilet is closely connected to your sewer line; recurring backups could be related to major drain line or sewer line problems.

When you first notice slow draining caused by a clogged toilet, you might apply a home remedy that involves baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water. However, this will not eliminate any underlying issues, if any. Even if this trick eliminates odors, the problem will persist and worsen over time until you have a severely clogged toilet. Edmonton homeowners must remember that plumbing fixtures are connected to the drain lines, ultimately sending wastewater down to the sewer line to prevent disease and infection. That plumbing system is more vulnerable than you think, and a clogged toilet could have many causes, from trapped hair to tree root intrusion or a burst pipe to a main line clog.

Toilet clog causes also vary from one type of toilet to the other. Whether you have one with fast suction or a low-flow toilet, there are particular causes you need to be aware of. Your local Edmonton plumber has the gear and expertise to find those causes for you—and deal with them. Our uniformed experts always arrive on time and are licensed and insured, making Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton the most trusted plumbing company in town.

What Causes a Toilet Clog in Edmonton?

Diagnosing the root cause of a clog with your toilet could take time. You might have an old plumbing system or an old toilet, or it may simply be a blockage in your drain pipe. When did you last have a plumbing diagnosis and inspection or drain cleaning? Preventative maintenance helps you stay on top of your plumbing system’s health so that you will always be one step ahead before telltale signs even appear. Of course, you should also keep an eye out for all the common causes of a clogged toilet and avoid them, such as:

Flushing Non-Flushable Items

We all know that the texture of paper towels, facial tissues (i.e., Kleenex), and wet wipes aren't suitable for flushing, but it just seems so convenient to some people to flush those items. Unfortunately, they aren't designed to break down like toilet paper and could cause serious clogged toilet problems over time. It might also be convenient for some people who come out of the shower to empty the strainer full of hair in the toilet. The problem is that string-like items like hair or dental floss easily get caught in the drainage pipe and never dissolve. Other non-flushable items include baby wipes (even flushable wipes), Q-tips, feminine hygiene products, and anything that would go into the garbage.

Blocked Trap

Sometimes, waste gets caught in the toilet trap, causing a partial toilet clog, which might not be noticeable until you experience a fully clogged toilet. If you notice changes in how your toilet is flushing, you may want to quickly plunge it out and confirm that the trap is clean.

Low-Flow Models

In the 1990s, technicians designed the first water-conserving low-flow models to help homeowners save water. However, the downside of these models is that the reduced water volume and pressure used for flushing are weak, making it more difficult to clear the waste in the drain and p-trap. This frequently leads to clogged toilets. Modern versions have enhanced qualities that work more efficiently than first-generation models. If you want to continue using low-flow models, we recommend upgrading to a newer model to avoid a clogged toilet.

Old Plumbing

Once an old plumbing system in Edmonton is close to reaching the end of its service life, the overall drainage system won’t be as efficient as it once was, especially if there are signs of rust and corrosion in old cast iron drains. Damaged pipes like that are some of the main triggers for clogged toilets. If you have older pipes in your Edmonton home, we recommend hiring a local plumber to inspect them; otherwise, it could lead to serious problems in the future that are more difficult to deal with than a toilet clog.

Potential Sewer Line Damage

The more serious causes that are responsible for clogged toilets are related to a main drain clog or damage. This won’t just show in the form of a clogged toilet; property owners might have to witness other plumbing fixtures failing to drain wastewater—or experiencing a sewage backup—because of sewer damage. Some common causes of sewer damage include:

  • Tree roots puncturing lines underground
  • Cracked, corroded or burst pipes
  • Sagging soil, home settling
  • Clogs from foreign objects

If you suspect you have sewer trouble, your local Edmonton plumber will use a sewer camera to diagnose the exact root cause of the problem and offer you the fastest and most cost-effective solution.

Other Signs You Have a Clogged Toilet

We understand that some initial causes of a clogged toilet are hard to see, but others are more common and obvious. The sooner you act upon those telltale signs, the safer it will be for your family and home.

  • Slow draining after flushing
  • The toilet bowl is close to overflowing
  • Gurgles during flushing
  • Sewer gas smell
  • Returning clogs

How To Deal With a Clogged Toilet

There are many different methods available for dealing with a clogged toilet. Edmonton property owners are encouraged to try out environmentally friendly methods at home before turning to any chemical drain cleaners that are highly corrosive and could damage your plumbing system over time. So put on your rubber gloves, and let’s get started!

1. Use a Toilet Plunger

This should be every homeowner’s first step, as it usually brings the fastest results. Place a plunger over your clogged toilet drain and start by pushing down gently to force air out and avoid splashing water. Next, plunge repeatedly with force until you notice that you’ve loosened some debris. That should get the water to flush. If your efforts are in vain, there is one more household item you should try out.

2. Use a Toilet Auger

A toilet clog can be more persistent than we think. A toilet auger is specifically used for unclogging toilets. If you own a standard plumbing snake, it may not be effective for clearing a clogged toilet, and it may damage the porcelain. Drain snakes are more suited for unclogging kitchen sinks. On the other hand, toilet augers have a special J-curve in their neck and a protective coating to make them more suited for this kind of job.

Use the handle to extend the metal cable into the toilet until you feel resistance. It’s okay to use a little controlled force to break through that blockage by moving the handle back and forth and twisting the cable lightly, but try not to scrape the pipe’s walls. Keep steering the handle until you have broken through the blockage that is causing your clogged toilet.

3. White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Warm Water

Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain* followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let them work their magic for 2-5 minutes before you pour a gallon of warm water to wash it all down. Be careful not to use water that is too hot, as you may crack your porcelain. When the vinegar's acidity breaks down the baking soda, it creates a reaction that dissolves stains, loosens up sticky substances, and eliminates odors.

*Note: You might have to manually remove some water first to ensure you’ll have enough space for the baking soda and vinegar to be effective, followed by a hot water flush.

4. Hot Water And Dish Soap

Try pouring a cup of dish soap around the toilet bowl, followed by a gallon of warm water, and see if it loosens up the clog within 20 minutes. If it does, your clogged toilet should be safe to flush. If not, and it starts to overflow, turn off the water valve and try another method. We recommend using a plunger or auger if you haven't already—or calling a local plumber for help.

Tips for Preventing a Toilet Clog in Edmonton

Clogs aren’t good for our plumbing fixtures and could lead to breaks and leaks if not careful. The best way to prevent toilet clogs is by not flushing unsuitable items. Then, you will be one step closer to maintaining a healthy plumbing system.

Keep Up With Household Remedies

Whether warm water, salt water, or baking soda and white vinegar, you can use these methods to clean sink drains and toilets to remove soap residue and other substances before they become nasty sludge or create blockages. If you do use drain cleaners on your clogged toilet, choose an enzyme-based brand rather than a chemical-based one.

Drain Cleaning Services

Your sewer line and secondary drain lines are responsible for removing solid and liquid waste from your home. Over time, debris and other dirt create blockages that affect those pipes' overall functionality, starting with either a slow-draining kitchen sink or a clogged toilet. Homes with recurring toilet backups and sewer gas smells might be facing signs of clogged drains that could lead to serious problems when neglected. The best way to keep your drains spotless is to schedule a routine drain cleaning service with your local professional plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton. We specialize in thorough cleaning using a HydroScrub® Jetting device that blasts away stubborn blockages in your pipes. This is the best way to prevent the worst-case scenario that includes sewer backups, which would be indicative of a toilet clog.

If you haven’t previously had drain cleaning services with us, our plumber will do a plumbing diagnosis and inspection of your pipes to ensure they are in good shape and can handle the effects of our device. While already in-house, our professional plumbers are happy to inspect other fixtures that might be of concern to you too.

Our local plumber recommends having your household drains cleaned every year or two. Some homeowners can get away with slightly longer periods of time between cleaning if they take the necessary precautions to keep their drains healthy.

Will a Toilet Clog Dissolve On Its Own?

After a little while, the water might start to drain through whatever gap is available in the blockage, but it doesn’t mean the clog is gone. If the water level is high and doesn’t go down, try using an auger to see if you can break through that blockage and free your clogged toilet.

Does a Toilet Clog Mean I Have a Sewer Line Problem?

We will need to thoroughly inspect your overall plumbing system first to see whether the sewer line is the culprit. To do so, we will use our plumbing video camera inspection and access your sewer line via the cleanout. Typically, it’s just a drain line clog that we can fix with a professional auger or drain cleaning. However once we have located the initial toilet clog, our plumbers will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and recommend preventative solutions.

Should You Flush a Clogged Toilet?

Not if your clogged toilet is close to overflowing. If the water has reached the top, it's worth waiting a little longer to see if some might drain so that you can use a plunger. Otherwise, you can use your auger immediately as it requires less forceful movement than the plunger.

Is a Toilet Clog a Plumbing Emergency?

If your clogged toilet is not overflowing, you will have time to inspect it thoroughly. Therefore, it’s not an emergency plumbing situation (yet!). If you haven’t noticed any clogged plumbing fixtures anywhere else in the house, such as your bathroom sink or shower drain, it might just be that one particular drainage pipe. Our Edmonton plumber recommends tackling the clogged toilet with our how-to guide above. But if it persists, you should call our experts for a thorough drain line inspection and professional unclogging service.

Need a Qualified Edmonton Plumber To Fix a Clogged Toilet?

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton is here to help. Whether you need clogged toilet repair or installation, drain cleaning, or help with learning about Edmonton winter plumbing problems, you can count on our team of local experts for reliable, guaranteed workmanship and excellent customer service. We proudly serve many communities in Edmonton, from Sherwood Park to Aspen Gardens and beyond.

Give us a call and schedule an appointment or chat with our friendly customer service reps about any plumbing concerns you may have, including what to do about your clogged toilet.