Can’t Flush This

A clogged toilet can be a huge inconvenience, and can be expensive if the homeowner is unable to clear the clog and is forced to hire a Boston plumber. The problem is especially common with modern toilets. Older models use larger amounts of water per flush, and therefore use more “mass” to push waste through the plumbing. Newer models, however, are designed to use water more efficiently. They use only as much water as is required for an average flush, but don’t stand up to large items as well. Owners must therefore use extra caution with them in order to ensure that all waste loads are within the toilet’s flushing capability. Avoiding putting certain items in a toilet can prevent many clogs.

Toilet paper is designed to dissolve and break up in water, preventing it from creating either a bundled up mass or a “net” in the plumbing. However, it is common for many people to use other materials in its place. Paper towels are the most common, but users should never flush these down a toilet, since they are designed to do the opposite of toilet paper: maintain durability when wet. They tend to bunch up and form tough masses that are larger than the diameter of the pipe.

Even toilet paper will fail to flush properly if used in large amounts and flushed all at once. It can ball up so that only the outside of the “ball” will dissolve in the water. It is best to use only a few sheets at a time between flushes to prevent a clogged toilet bowl.

Children’s toys are another common cause of backed-up toilets. Ever-curious children are often fascinated by toilets, and will place objects into them just to watch them as they flush down. However, most toys are awkwardly shaped, inflexible, and bigger than the pipe. An Boston plumber may have to be called to extract them. The best way to avoid this problem is to keep the toilet seat down when not in use and keep the bathroom door closed. Children should be monitored to make sure that they don’t play in the bathroom. An added benefit of this is that children will not be unnecessarily exposed to unsanitary conditions.

Simple tools such as a plunger and a plumbing snake can be used to fix many clogs when they do occur. Drain cleaners may be useful for clearing most types of waste, but will be ineffective on foreign objects such as toys. Following these simple guidelines and learning the proper use of common clog-busting tools can save most Boston homeowners from expensive plumber bills.

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