Toilet paper is manufactured to break and dissolve easily in water. However, if used in excess it forms a mass that is hard to flush and ends up clogging the toilet drain. So, why do I have toilet paper coming out of the outside drain?
Overflowing toilet paper from the outside drain is an indication of a blocked sewer pipe. When the sewer pipe is blocked, toilet paper floats. With the addition of water from the sink or shower, the tissues rise further and eventually overflows through the drain outside your house.
If the sewer blockage is inside your house or an area between your house and the septic tank, the overflow will happen through one of the traps outside the house.
On the other hand, if the blockage occurs along the main sewer pipe connecting different houses, the overflow will happen at the first house before the blockage. In this case, there will be a massive toilet paper overflow because the drain is serving many houses.
Irrespective of the scenario you are in, contact a plumber immediately you spot a toilet paper overflow from outside drains.
Why Toilet Paper Clogs A Sewer Line
As strange as it might sound, toilet paper can clog your toilet because some brands do not flush easily or if you flush too much of it.
If you cannot still understand how toilet paper can clog your toilet, below are a few reasons why toilet paper clogs toilets:
1. Flushing Too Much Toilet Paper At Once
It is true that toilet paper easily dissolves in water, but your pipes can only hold a certain amount and a block past that. Therefore, it is important to use just enough amount of tissue. If you have children in the house, teach them the right amounts of tissue paper to use.
2. Wrong Toilet Paper Brand
There are different types of toilet paper brands and some are difficult to dissolve than others. Many people go for the thick and soft brands, but this type is hard to dissolve and especially if used in large quantities.
What’s more, stay away from any toilet paper brand that contains lotion, because the grease will stick on the pipes causing a blockage.
The ideal type of toilet paper should easily break down into small pieces when immersed in water.
3. Drain Pipes With A Rough Interior
The interiors of pipes made from cast iron or concrete are mostly rough and end up snagging the toilet paper as it passes. Over time, the tissue paper collects in the pipes and causes a blockage.
4. Low Flush Toilets
Low flush toilets are designed to save water but work against the users because they block easily. Since they operate at low water pressure, there is a build-up of waste and tissue after every flush.
If you are using this type of toilet, make extra flushes from time to prevent waste build-up. Also, you might want to use a plumbing snake from time to time to get rid of any build-ups.
5. Narrow Drain Pipes
A plumbing system with narrow pipes clogs faster because the waste does not flow easily. If you just moved into the new house, and you are experiencing frequent blockages and overflows, contact a plumber for diagnosis and replacement.
There is no amount of prevention you will take to prevent blockages caused by narrow pipes. However, before the replacement is done, be mindful of the amount of tissue you are using and flush your toilet frequently to clear build-ups.
6. Flushable Wipes
For a long time, we have been encouraged not to flush wet wipes because they cause toilet blockage. However, recently, they came up with flushable wipes which were a relief to frequent wipe users.
Unfortunately, these flushable wipes are a major cause of toilet blockages because they are made of a thick material that does not dissolve in water. If your toilet has been operating smoothly until you introduced flushable wipes, it means that your plumbing system cannot handle the material, and it is safe to go back to using regular toilet paper or disposing of the used wet wipes in the bin.
How To Clear An Outside Drain Blocked With Toilet Paper
It is important to only use biodegradable tissue to prevent drain blockages. Stay away from very thick toilet paper brands and flushable wipes. Clearing tissue paper from an outside drain is not easy but yields success following the simple steps below:
- Harm yourself with a drainage rod and put on your boots and gloves
- Insert the drainage rod in the hole and twist it to loosen the toilet paper
- Ask someone indoors to keep on flushing the toilet because it helps to loosen the stubborn clogs
- Repeat the twisting and flushing until the clog clears out. Note that, this process might be complicated and for success, you must take the patience pill.
Also, you can always contact a professional plumber to get the unclogging done as you concentrate on other things you are good at.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How To Deal With An Overflowing Outside Drain
An overflowing outside drain is an indicator that there is a blocked spot between the outside drain and the interior plumbing. Also, the external drainage might be blocked from debris and mud.
In such a scenario it is advisable to contact a plumber immediately. In the world of DIY, you might be willing to take out the clog on your own, but there is just too much you can do without professional plumbing tools.
2. Can I Use Unblocker Chemicals To Unclog The Outside Drain?
Yes, you can use unblocker chemicals to unclog the outside drain as long as they are indicated septic tank safe. Such chemicals help to break down the tissue paper and small particles, but they are not effective for heavy debris.
For instance, caustic soda is proven to break down clogs into small particles for easy flushing. The goal is to use a chemical unblocker that eats away or shrinks the clogs.
3. Can I Unblock A Sewage Drain On My Own?
Unblocking a sewage drain is very complex and requires professional tools and skills. Also, it is important to have the right plumbing gear, including gloves, respiratory mask, and high boots to protect yourself from exposure to raw sewage.
Unblocking the sewage drain is a sensitive job and should only be left for professionals. With the right tools and skills, a professional plumber will identify the blockage point and unclog it safely.
Note that, feeding the system with unblocker chemicals might make the situation worse, so seek professional help immediately.
In Conclusion, What To Do With Toilet Paper Coming Out Of Outside Drain?
As already stated, toilet paper coming out of the outside drain is a confirmation that your drain is clogged and the only solution is to have the system unclogged. Unblocking the outside system can be a simple or complicated task depending on the materials causing the clog. With that said, access the situation and contact a plumber or DIY using a drainage rod.
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