5 Reasons your toilet keeps clogging (and their solutions)

Clogged toilet
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Why does my toilet keep getting clogged? This is the 5th time in a week, that I’ve had to unclogged this annoying thing. Or maybe it’s time I switch to an 18th century pit latrin!

No matter what is running through your mind right now, one thing is sure: you need to know the cause of your troubles.

Knowing the cause of the blockage will not unclog the toilet right now. But it will help to prevent a reoccurrence.

Here are 5 reasons your toilet keeps clogging

  1. Someone is flushing the wrong thing down the toilet.
  2. Clogged water jet
  3. Wornout flapper
  4. Old piping
  5. Trapped object in the toilet trap

Someone is flushing the wrong thing down the toilet

Many people will have experienced a clogging at least once in their lifetime. So there’s no reason to panic. But if it keeps occuring, especially after a recent successful unclogging, then it’s time to bell the cat.

How to resolve this

This is human error, as such you want to follow diplomacy when resolving this. Sometimes all that might be required of you is to call all members of the house, discuss the issue with them, agree on what should not be flused down the toilet, and following up with enforcing the discussion.

If there are children in the home, then ensure the toilet flap always stay low. Chilren can throw items down the toilet when they see the flap open.

Toilet wipes are difficult to dissolve, and are a regular cause of blockage.

Toilet paper can dissolve in water, but when used in large amount, they can clog your toilet. If you fear that the right amount is being used and you keep getting blockages, then you should consider using single ply instead of their double ply counterparts.

Even if the cause is not verified, ensure all is in agreement to only flush human waste and minimal water down the toilet.

Clogged water jet

Every toilet bowl has some inbuilt water jet beneath the flap from which water from the tank come out to flush the toilet. If this flap is blocked, then the water pressure flushing the toilet will be reduced. Low pressue water are not enough to flush the toilet, hence you might keep getting blockages every now and then.

In some part of the water, there is limited water and those that are used for laundry will contain particles that clogs the jet hole overtim.

Also due to water hardness, mineral deposits might gather on this openings and clog them over time.

If this is the case, you should consider using flat mouth screwdrivers to pry open the vents, one hole at a time.

You should also consider replacing the toilet bowl if you deem that unclogging the vent will be impractical.

Wornout flapper

Flappers determine how much water flushes down the bowl. A wrong flapper for the toilet will not flush the right amount of water down down the toilet bowl. 

If the toilet flapper once worked fine, but now it isn’t flushing enough water, then you’re dealing with an old or wornout toilet.

How to resolve this

There is only one way to resolve this: 

  1. replace the flapper
  2. change the wc sink

Old piping

Many old houses used iron pipes to supply the building with water. But these pipes are prone to aging, rust, bristles etc.

These tend to send water with reduced pressure into the house, or that are contaminated with sediments that end up clogging the toilet vents and jets.

Whichever the reason, the end result is a toilet that doesn’t flush properly and creates a clog or blockage.

Newer houses that are fitted with pvc pipes are not prone to the rust and bristles of the cast iron pipes. But when the housed settle in due to gravity and movement of the earths crust, you might end up with a misaligned plumbing system.

This inturn can affect water pressure into the house. 

How to resolve this

Except you’re a plumbing or have plumbing knowledge, there is little you can do here. All you need is to call a plumber.

Trapped objects in the toilet trap

If you keep getting repeated blockages in the toilet, you should consider checking for objects stuck in your toilet trap.

One way to do so is to check the trap with a toilet snake. Insert the trap into the drain, do a quick push and check if you can feel some obstacles intermitently. If the obstructions still allows your drain to pass through, then you’re likely dealing with an object in your trap.

The most likely explanation is that the stuck object still allows fecal matter to pass through, but when the size gets bigger, it gets stuck.

This is selective obstruction. In this case, you should consider calling a plumber.

How to resolve this

  1. Call a plumber. 
  2. He’ll disconnect the toilet from its base, and attempt to shake out the obstacle.
  3. If the obstacle doesn’t get out, then he might suggest breaking the porcelein bowl.


Repeated clogging should not be left unattended. As discussed in the last point above. Failure to remove a stuck object will only result to more objects or items getting stuck. And create a worse blockage.

Knowing the reason behind a clogged toilet, is the first step to resolving. So don’t rush this process. Take your time and identify why you keep getting a blockage.

Don’t leave it to chance. While some clog can not be avoided, the vast number of toilet clogging is caused by misuse of the toilet and malhandling of sanitary items.

So do a quick step by step run of the points mentioned above. If you’re able to figure it out, determine whether you can resolve the issue yourself or whether it is better to call a plumber.

Remember, resolving a clog toilet does not guarantee that there’ll be no reoccurence. Unless you find the cause you’ll keep visiting the local plumbing office.

For detailed discussion on how to unclog a blocked toilet, even without a plunger, see this article.

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