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The A to Z List of Causes for Clogged Toilets

Over the years, our toilet plumbing professionals have encountered a wide range of clogged toilets. We thought it might fun to share some of the things we have encountered, some of which may seem a bit weird and unusual.

A: Automobile Fluids

You should never flush gasoline, antifreeze, brake fluid, or other such fluids down the toilet. While they do not necessarily cause clogs, they are dangerous and could cause your toilet and pipes to explode, crack, and break, creating a much bigger mess.

B: Baby Wipes

If you look at the small fine print on baby wipes’ packaging, it clearly states to not flush these down the toilet, as they can cause a clog.

C: Cotton Balls and Cotton Swabs

The cotton can get stuck and caught in different areas of the toilet’s drain pipes. Cotton will absorb water and continue to expand until there is a clog.

D: Disposable Diapers

This is another baby item that should never be flushed down the toilet. Disposable diapers are meant to absorb liquids, so, if one or more get stuck in the drain pipes, they can expand and eventually clog up the toilet.

baby disposable diapers and powder

E: Extensions

Those hair extensions you have worn for several weeks and which now need to be replaced should never get flushed down the toilet. Even if they are made from real human hair, it can clog up the toilet.

F: Food Scraps

You might be surprised by how many people flush food scraps down the toilet instead of putting them in the garbage or starting a composting pile. Various food products can even cause internal pipe damages, which could lead to leaky pipes.

G: Garbage

Some people get into the habit of emptying their bathroom wastebasket and flushing it down the toilet. Any type of garbage is not good for your pipes, not to mention, it can create problems if you have a septic tank.

H: Hot Grease

The moment you pour hot grease into the cold water in the toilet, it will start to congeal and solidify inside the pipes. Eventually, there can be so much grease on the interior of the pipes, it clogs up.

I: iPhone

If you accidentally drop your iPhone into the toilet, do not flush it—even if it is sitting in bodily waste. The phone can block drain pipes if it is tilted upright as it goes down the drain.

J: Jell-O Gelatin

Gelatin helps turn liquids semi-solid. If you flush Jell-O down the toilet, the gelatin can still cause the water in the drain pipes to start to thicken and create a clog.

K: Kitty Litter

No type of kitty litter should ever be flushed down the toilet. You should also not scoop the litter pan and put cat waste down the toilet, as litter will be stuck to it. Most kitty litters on the market today are clumping types, which means the moment they get wet, they turn solid.

L: Latex and Nitrile Condoms

These items are not intended to be flushed down the toilet. They can get stuck in the drain. Plus, it could be embarrassing to have your plumber find the cause of your clog was from latex and nitrile condoms.

M: Menstrual Products

Personal hygiene menstrual products, including sanitary napkins and tampons, weren’t designed to be flushed in the toilet. They absorb bodily fluids and will continue to absorb water and expand if you flush them.

N: Neon Tetra Fish

While these fish look great in your tank, you should avoid flushing them down the toilet when they die. Even though they might not seem that big, they can and do get caught on various parts of the plumbing. As they degrade, they not only smell bad but could cause a clog.

O: Oil

Any type of oil—whether it is olive oil, cooking oil, motor oil, or oil from a hot oil hair treatment—should not get flushed. Not only is it damaging to your pipes but also the environment.

P: Prescription Drugs

Aside from posing risks to reclaimed water sources, prescription drugs can be the cause of a clogged toilet. The drugs are made using various capsules, gelatin, and other such coatings and materials that could stick to the inside of pipes.

Q: Quills and Feathers

It might seem like a great idea to flush the quills and feathers of a chicken, duck, or another wild bird you caught and are getting ready to cook. However, quills and feathers can get stuck in the pipes and are difficult to remove.

R: Rubber Gloves

Rubber gloves are not meant to be flushed. Rubber is a flexible material, but if it covers and blocks the drain pipe, your toilet will become clogged.

rubber gloves for cleaning

S: Sponge Animal Toys

Those toys that expand when they get wet and which come in a capsule can clog up the toilet drain pipe. Once the capsule part gets wet, the toys will start expanding inside the pipes and, before you know it, the toilet is overflowing into the home.

T: Toilet Paper

An excessive amount of toilet paper can lead to a clog. Generally, you should only use a small amount per flush. If you must use a lot, it is highly recommended to flush several times.

U: Underwear

Underwear and socks are common items that cause clogs in toilet drains. This problem commonly occurs in homes with children and teens.

V: Vegetable and Fruit Peelings

Any type of peelings from vegetables and fruit should not be flushed. If you have ever attempted to put potato peelings in a garbage disposal, you know they can quickly clog up the drain.

W: Wigs

When you grow tired of wearing the same wig, do not flush it. Just like extensions, the hair and materials the wig is made from can result in a backed-up toilet.

X: Xylophone

This popular kid’s toy sometimes ends up getting flushed by toddlers. They are fascinated at seeing the toy go down the drain, but they do not understand when it does not come back and the water overflows onto the bathroom floor.

Y: Yo-Yos

plumber using a plunger to unclog a toilet

Yo-yos are another kid’s toy that gets flushed down the toilet. Children often hold onto the end of the string to pull the yo-yo back up. Yet, that does not always work as well as they might have planned.

Z: ZhuZhu Pets

Little kids might want to give these popular animal toys a “bath” in the toilet. Then they decide to rinse off it off by flushing, and there goes their ZhuZhu Pet!

Toilet plumbing is not designed to handle everything, even though it might seem like it can. In fact, certain foreign objects can not only cause a toilet clog but potentially break your pipes.

When to Call in a Toilet Plumbing Professional

You may be able to remove your average type of toilet clogs on your own using a plunger. However, you should avoid using chemical-based drain cleaners and clog removers. Most of these products are not effective at completely removing the clog. Many contain corrosive chemicals that could cause damage to your drain pipes.

It is time to call in your local toilet plumbing professional for help if one or more of the following continues to occur:

  • The clog keeps reoccurring.
  • You are not able to remove the clog with a plunger.
  • There is waste or sewage overflowing into the bathroom.
  • The toilet is gurgling.
  • There is water that is spilling over the sides of the toilet.
  • You hear water running and the toilet tank is not refilling.
  • You notice the water is not shutting off after flushing the toilet.

Please feel free to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing location in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Temple, or Austin Metro to schedule toilet plumbing clog removal services today! Our plumbers are also available for emergency plumbing service calls 24/7!

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