Toilet paper can cause clogged pipes that may even make your toilet overflow. Using too much toilet paper—or the wrong type of toilet paper—increases the risk of clogs. Additionally, the age and condition of your home plumbing can increase the risk of a toilet paper clog. Luckily, toilet paper is designed to break down in water. By using fast-dissolving toilet paper you reduce the probability that your toilet will become clogged.
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What Causes Toilet Paper Clogs?
The most common cause of toilet paper clogs is attempting to flush too much toilet paper at once. To prevent this, place no more than eight squares of paper into the toilet bowl before flushing. It’s better to flush multiple times to prevent a clog, rather than trying to flush too much toilet paper at once. Second, using thick, slow-dissolving toilet paper is more likely to cause clogs.
- Using too much toilet paper.
- Toilet paper that does not dissolve well.
- A low-flow toilet may be more likely to clog.
- Old or damaged plumbing.
- Flushing items other than toilet paper.
Low-flow toilets are more prone to clogging because they flush with less force. So, it is even more essential to use fast-dissolving toilet paper in these toilets. The age and conditions of your plumbing can also increase the likelihood of toilet clogs. Older pipes are more likely to be clogged with grease or have rough sides that snag toilet paper. Finally, flushing anything other than toilet paper (including tissues, flushable wipes, and paper towels) drastically increases the chances that you will clog your toilet.
How Do You Prevent Toilet Paper Clogs?
To prevent toilet paper clogs, choose a fast-dissolving toilet paper. To test toilet paper, tear one sheet off the roll. Then, place the sheet in a bowl of cold tap water. Wait one minute. Next, stir the water. If the toilet paper turns to shreds quickly, it will dissolve fast enough to prevent clogs. If the toilet paper turns into a wad instead of shredding, it is not dissolvable enough. One-ply toilet paper is usually more likely to break up easily, but how fast the paper dissolves differs from brand to brand.
How Much Toilet Paper Does it Take to Clog a Toilet?
Flushing more than eight squares of toilet paper at once risks clogging your toilet. This may not seem like much, but attempting to flush nine or 10 squares of toilet paper drastically increases the chance your toilet will clog. If you flush too much toilet paper, it can form a mass of paper in your plumbing. This can trap human waste and other objects in your sewer pipes, causing an even bigger clog.
Will Toilet Paper Unclog Itself?
In many cases, a toilet paper clog will unclog on its own. This is because most toilet paper is designed to break down in water. So, if your toilet seems clogged after the first flush attempt, do not flush again right away. Instead, wait 30 minutes, then try a second flush. In a lot of cases, this allows time for the clog to break down on its own.
How Do You Unblock a Toilet Full of Toilet Paper?
If you have a stubborn toilet paper clog, it’s time to use these methods to dissolve toilet paper in a sewer line. First, wait 30 minutes for the clog to start to break up on its own. Then, start by using a regular plunger to attempt to break up the clog. Insert the plunger at an angle and position the plunger cup over the drain at the bottom of the toilet bowl. Grip the handle of the plunger firmly with both hands and quickly plunge 10–15 times. Repeat this process 2–3 times. If the toilet begins to drain, you have cleared the clog.
- Wait 30 minutes for water to help dissolve the toilet paper.
- Plunge the toilet to attempt to force the clog through the sewer line.
- If the plunger fails, use this drain snake to snag and remove the toilet paper causing the clog.
- In the event that plungers and snakes don’t work, it’s time to dissolve the clog.
If the trusty plunger fails you, it’s time to remove the clog with a toilet auger, also known as a drain snake. Feed the snake into the drain hole and through the bends in the toilet pipe. Once you hit an object you cannot push the snake past, you have found the clog. Rotate the snake 3–5 times to snag the clog. Then, pull it from the drain. Remove the material the snake has snagged and throw the clog in the trash.
- Strong and sturdy construction for the toughest clogs.
- The vinyl guard protects the porcelain in your toilet.
- Features large ergonomically designed handles and a corrosion-resistant tube.
What Can You Pour Down Pipes to Dissolve Toilet Paper?
The best thing to pour down a clogged toilet is a chemical treatment designed to clear septic tank lines. These compounds break up tough clogs without damaging your plumbing or exposing you to dangerous chemicals. Pour the chemical into the clogged toilet, wait 30 minutes, and then flush. This will often clear stubborn clogs that are too deep for a standard toilet snake to reach.
- Use this septic tank treatment to destroy toilet paper clogs.
- After pouring the treatment into the toilet bowl, wait 30 minutes before flushing.
- Do not pour bleach, vinegar, or cleaning products into the toilet to attempt to destroy the clog.
Do not attempt to use household products to clear toilet clogs. You may be wondering whether or not bleach can dissolve toilet paper. Bleach won’t break down paper effectively. Plus, it can damage your plumbing. The same goes for many common cleaners. Instead of guessing which household cleaners might work, use a product designed to safely clean plumbing and septic systems.
Is it Better to Flush or Throw Away Toilet Paper?
If you live in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or Western Europe, it is best to flush toilet paper instead of throwing it in the garbage. The plumbing systems in these countries are almost always designed to handle toilet paper. In South Africa, parts of Europe, and Mexico, whether or not you can flush toilet paper depends on the plumbing system. In public restrooms, look for signs that instruct what to do with toilet paper.
- In the USA, UK, Japan, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand it is safe to flush toilet paper.
- In some regions of Europe, South Africa, and Mexico it is safe to flush toilet paper.
- It is rarely safe to flush toilet paper in Latin America, mainland Asia, and Africa.
- When it is not safe to flush toilet paper, dispose of paper in the trash.
In many parts of the world, the plumbing system is not designed to handle toilet paper. So, used toilet paper is thrown into the trash. This is common in many parts of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. When visiting or living abroad, check for information on local customs before flushing toilet paper. Flushing toilet paper in the wrong part of the world could cause a clog.
Can Too Much Toilet Paper Clog a Sewer Line?
Using too much toilet paper can clog your toilet drains or sewer line. Here are the facts:
- Attempting to flush more than eight squares of toilet paper at once increases the risk of a clog.
- Use fast-dissolving toilet paper to avoid clogs.
- Most one-ply toilet papers dissolve faster and help prevent clogs.
- Never flush anything other than toilet paper—flushable wipes and facial tissue cause major clogs.
- In many cases, water breaks up toilet paper clogs in about 30 minutes.
- Wait half an hour, then try to re-flush a toilet clogged with toilet paper.
- For stubborn clogs, use a plunger or toilet snake.
- Pour septic treatment chemicals into a toilet to destroy stubborn toilet paper clogs.
With these quick rules, you’ll easily be able to avoid and combat toilet paper clogs. More, thicker toilet paper increases the risk of clogs. So, use a quick-dissolving toilet paper to prevent repeated clogs.