Toilet clogs are normal, and most of them are easy to unclog with a plunger. However, if you have ever woken up to a clogged toilet at night or do not have a plunger, you have probably google searched, will a toilet eventually unclog itself?
A clogged toilet may or not unclog itself. Minor and easily biodegradable materials like tissue or feces dissolve with time, while hard clogs like toys or large clumps of hair cannot dissolve.
Therefore, whether or not the toilet will unclog itself depends on:
- The type of clog
- The size of the clog
- Elapsed time after the clogging
- The type of your toilet
Unclogging the toilet is not easy or pleasant, but you must unclog it. When deciding whether to wait for it to unclog, unclog on your own or call a plumber, you must consider the points above. Read on for a detailed discussion:
1. Type Of The Clog
Your pursuit of waiting for the toilet to unclog itself will only be successful if and only the clogs are biodegradable and organic. This includes materials like tissue paper and human feces.
These materials will eventually unclog because they dissolve and break apart after sitting in the toilet water after some time.
If your toilet is clogged by non-biodegradable materials like diapers, metal, wet wipes, paper towels, plastic, or tampons, it will remain clogged as long as you do not take action.
Some flushable feminine products like wet wipes, tampons, or diapers can last in the drain for up to six months. Therefore, they can easily build up in the drain and cause a blockage.
It is better to stay safe by not flushing such items even if they are indicated as flushable.
2. Size Of The Clog
The size of the clog is another determinant as to whether a toilet will unclog itself or not. For example, small pieces of soap can easily break and dissolve. However, a large chunk of soap will take longer to dissolve.
When it comes to the size of a clog, the material does not matter at times. For instance, soap is biodegradable, but waiting for a large piece of soap clogging your toilet to dissolve on its own will take a lot of time. In this case, use a plunger to fix your toilet.
Also, sometimes the size does not matter but the material. You will be surprised when small items like pegs or a toothbrush block your toilet. Sometimes the issue is not the size but that such materials should never be flushed down the toilet.
3. Type Of Your Toilet
Different brands sell toilets, and they come with different features. Regarding clogging, it is not about how the toilet looks from the outside but the design of the trap way.
Toilets with large trap ways like promise no or less clogs. On the other hand, toilets with small trap ways struggle to pass water, and therefore it is hard for them to unclog themselves.
However, just because you have a toilet with a large toilet way does not give you the liberty to flush anything down the drain.
4. Elapsed Time
If a toilet was to unclog itself, it should take less than one hour. Therefore, if you have been waiting for the toilet to flush normally for more than an hour, it is time to take action.
In such a scenario, it is better to call a plumber or use a plunger to do it yourself because waiting longer will mean overflows, and then you will have to mop dirty toilet water.
4 Reasons For Toilet Clogging
Toilets clog all the time, which can be blamed on human error or the design of the toilet. Let us look at the major causes of toilet clogging in detail:
1. Human Error
The number one reason toilets clog is that people flush things that should never be flushed. If you never want to experience a clogged toilet, stick to flushing, feces, urine, and toilet paper.
The toilet is made to flush the three items above because they are biodegradable. They naturally dissolve in water and do not block or damage the drainage pipes.
It is unfortunate that people still flush non-flushable items and hence the cause of frequent toilet clogging. Some of the items that should never be flushed include feminine toilet products, baby diapers, clothes, dead animals, pieces of wood, plastic items, paint, and glass, to mention a few.
Some of these items might be small in size hence the assumption that they will be flushed down the drain. However, they accumulate on the drainage pipes and result in clogging and blockage after some time.
2. Poor Toilet Design
Low flush toilets are designed to save water, a noble cause. However, because of their low flow, they cannot push anything down the drain.
The remnants on the drain accumulate over time and eventually block the toilet. With this kind of toilet, you will always be dealing with blockages. Replace the toilet with modern high-flow toilets to redeem yourself from that stress.
3. Issues With The Toilet Trap
Toilets use a P trap that allows for flushing, blocking sewage smell, and retains necessary water in the toilet bowl after flushing. However, sometimes the p trap leads to clogging issues.
If you flush non-flushable materials, they will be stuck on the trap. Sometimes the tissue gets trapped, blocking water movement.
4. Sewer Line Problems
The drainage pipes from different houses are always interconnected to a large sewer pipe. This means that sometimes you will suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence. If the main sewer line is clogged because of waste from several pipes serving it, you will experience clogged issues as a result.
There is nothing you can do about the blockage in such an instance other than report the issues to the waste management office in your local.
How To Unclog A Toilet
Now that your toilet is clogged, you can choose to wait for it to unclog, call a plumber or unclog it by yourself. If you have decided to take matters into your own hands, you can use a plunger or other DIY tricks to get your toilet back to work.
1. Use A Plunger
Using a plunger to unclog your toilet is the surest way out there. However, it would help if you used the right plunger to unclog. If you are not aware, there are different types of plungers: sink plunger, tub plunger, and toilet plungers.
To successfully unclog your toilet, use a toilet plunger. It is designed with a rubber sleeve that extends below the rubber sleeve and creates a seal for maximum suction.
You can get a power plunger (View on Amazon) that can remove anything from the toilet drainage pipes for better results.
When using a plunger, ensure to apply enough force for both downstrokes and upstrokes. If the process is not successful after several strokes, it is time to use another tool.
2. Toilet Auger
A toilet auger is designed to navigate the turns of the toilet trap without damaging the bowl. Depending on the clog inside the toilet, push the auger down the bowl and break the clog or hook it and pull it outside.
3. Hot Water
If you are sure that a biodegradable material blocks the toilet, you can fasten the dissolving process by pouring hot water into your toilet. Ensure that you use hot water and not boiling water to avoid damaging the toilet base. Hot water from the shower or sink will work as well.
4. Add Liquid Soap
Like hot water and drain enzymes, liquid soap helps break down the clog. Also, it lubricates the materials, making it easy for them to slide down easily when flushed. For the best results with soap, wait for about thirty minutes to flush the toilet.
5. Enzyme Drain Cleaners
Enzyme cleaners like Bio-Clean Drain Septic (View on Amazon) can also be used to break down toilet clogs. However, ensure that toilet cleaners will not harm the plastic drainage pipes in your toilet. If you are in a house with metal pipes, you can comfortably use any drain cleaner because the drain enzymes cannot harm metal pipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why Does My Toilet Keep On Clogging?
The common reasons why your toilet is clogged all the time is because you are always dumping non-flushable items in the toilet, you are using a low flow toilet, or the sewer line is clogged. Depending on the cause of clogging, you can unclog the toilet on your own or call a plumber.
2. Is It Bad To Let A Clogged Toilet Sit?
Depending on the type of clog in your toilet, you can give it some time to see if it will unclog itself. However, waiting longer than you should result in overflows, bacteria growth, bad smells, and the clog will get worse.
Therefore, if the toilet has not unclogged itself between thirty minutes to one hour, use a plunger to unclog or contact a professional plumber.
3. Can I Unclog A Toilet Without A Plunger?
A plunger is the best and sure tool to unclog a toilet, but if you do not have one, you can use alternative tools like a toilet auger, a drain snake, or a toilet brush. Also, you can apply DIY tricks like pouring hot water, soap, and enzyme drain cleaners in the toilet to help with breaking down the clog material.
4. Will Toilet Paper Dissolve In A Clogged Toilet?
Toilet paper is biodegradable. Therefore it will dissolve in the toilet water. Toilet papers are among the three items meant to be flushed down the toilet. Therefore, if your toilet is clogged by tissue paper, give it some time to dissolve and flush it away.
In Conclusion, Will A Toilet Eventually Unclog Itself?
So far, it is clear that a toilet can unclog itself, but it depends on the type and size of the clog materials. Biodegradable materials like human waste and tissue will dissolve and break down after some time in the toilet.
However, clogs made of plastic, metal, or cloth will never break down, and hence your toilet will remain clogged as long as the material is trapped inside.