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Can Toilet Paper Block Drains?

Do you find that your toilet tends to get clogged quite often? Clogged toilets are a messy issue that many homeowners face at one point or another. To avoid clogging it, you likely avoid flushing down obvious items like trash, food, and feminine hygiene products. However, there is another item that could clog your toilet that you wouldn’t expect. Toilet paper. That’s right, toilet paper could be the culprit of your continuous clogging toilet. Not every toilet paper is the same. Some work great and dissolve properly to avoid clogging. Others, though, just don’t do the job they’re supposed to and get stuck as you flush the toilet.

A clogged toilet is a common issue that can get solved if you know what’s causing the clog.

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Can Toilet Paper Block a Drain?

You wouldn’t think it would, but toilet paper can block a drain. The quality of the toilet paper, flow of the toilet, and using too much can all contribute to blocking drains. The paper gets trapped, which prevents water from flushing through the pipes.

When it comes to toilet paper, there are three main points to consider that will help prevent it from clogging the drains:

  • Quality: the quality of the toilet paper matters. Cheap toilet paper may not break down in the water enough before flushing through the pipes.
  • Thickness: the thickness of the toilet paper and how much you use can also cause a blockage. Although it may seem like a good idea to get the three-ply, thick toilet paper, it could actually be causing an issue. Three-ply, just like poor quality toilet paper, may not break down enough to go through the pipes properly.
  • Dissolvability: when toilet paper dissolves in water, it should break down and suspend in the water. If you tried to pick it up, you would basically scoop out mush. If it doesn’t dissolve properly, it turns into a big clump that can block a drain.

Other Contributing Factors

Other factors can contribute to the toilet paper clogging pipes. To start, if you have a low flowing toilet, it may not have enough pressure to push the toilet paper through the pipes. If the toilet paper doesn’t dissolve properly, it could get stuck to the side of the pipes and slowly build up.

Rough pipes will catch toilet paper as it flows through. Newer pipes tend to be quite smooth. However, the more you use them, the more wear and tear happens on the pipes, resulting in them turning quite rough. Old, cast iron pipes at more susceptible to clogging.

Lastly, using too much toilet paper will clog a toilet. If you throw too much into the toilet and try to flush it down, there is only so much room in the pipe for the paper and water to flow through.

Prevent Clogged Drains

It’s relatively easy to prevent toilet paper from clogging up the pipes. To start, if you have children learning how to use the toilet, teach them what is an appropriate amount of toilet paper to use. However, expect to have a few clogged toilets throughout the process as they learn.

Take a look at the quality of toilet paper you buy. See how quickly it dissolves by doing a test yourself. Put a sheet of the paper in a jar of water. Sharply shake the jar a few times before setting it down. The toilet paper should already have broken into mush. If not, the paper is likely poor quality or too thick.

Another way to prevent clogs that is a bit more difficult is to inspect and test your pipes. You’ll want to hire a professional plumber to do this job as they will know what to look for. Plumbers Cape Town has the training to inspect and repair any pipes that are frequently clogging.

Keep Your Pipes Clean

Add toilet paper to the list of possible suspects of a clogged toilet. You may not have guessed it could happen, but toilet paper can wreak havoc on the bathroom pipes. Have a professional come and perform blocked drain cleaning to keep your pipes running smoothly and freely.

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