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How can I prevent a toilet from clogging?
Alex from Danbury, CT
Double the fiber you eat, and cut the fat. Veggies do wonders for making sure the toilet never clogs. Also, never flush the toilet paper until you're sure it's flushing right.
Don't put any paper down the toilet unless you have to. That goes for tissues, baby wipes, etc. Here are some more tips:
The most serious type of toilet clogging is due to lime (calcium) buildup in the drain, or the water injection hole in the bowl. Some are so serious that many plumbers will just remove the old toilet and install a new one. For any serious type of clog there is a much less expensive way rather than a plumber, removal of the toilet, a wire, or other such remedies.
Get a suction transfer pump (purchase from Harbor Freight for $9. Woks to pump out, transfer gas, oil, diesel, etc as well) and bought a couple of bottles of Works gel toilet cleaner. It states it works on rust, lime, scale, etc. (It does) I shut off the water to the toilet, pump out the top tank, then the bowl completely. Then pour in two bottles of the Works (Thick or Gel) Toilet Bowl Cleaner. Use a plunger to gently plunge down some of the cleaner to force it to the drain by displacing the water that has remained in the internal toilet trap. Don't try to plunge it open as normal. Just enough of a gentle pressure to get some of the cleaner down to the blocked drain. Let it sit over night at the least. Better if you can let it sit that way for overnight, plus all the next day.
Then pour in a gallon of water and try plunging it completely open. When open turn
on the water, and flush again several times.
For a very heavily blocked toilet drain you can use this same method over the
course of several days to get it cleared well. This is best if you have another
toilet you can use in the meantime. With the Works Thick Toilet Bowl
Cleaner only costing just over a dollar for a 28 oz bottle, this method is cheap,
effective, and saves removal of the toilet, or using a wire. (or calling a plumber.)
Cider Vinegar will also work, but takes much longer than Works.
To add to my previous post on how to clear a lime (calcium) blocked drain in a toilet, you can use the same method as for clearing the block. (As mentioned in my previous post.) Since it takes anywhere from a couple of months to a year to cause a total blockage, some preventative maintenance every other month will help to prevent these deposits from becoming a total blockage.
Instead of pumping out all of the water, and shutting the water to the toilet off completely you can just add a couple of bottles into the toilet on a day, or night when you won't be using the toilet for several hours. Toilets are designed so that you can't overfill the bowl so when you have too much in the bowl it will just allow the extra to seep-drain. By pouring in two bottles of the Works Thick cleaner it will seep down to the drain opening through the toilet internal trap, and then remain there long enough to keep the build-up from becoming a clog.
It depends upon how much lime you have in your water as to how often you would need to do this. For heavy amounts of lime/calcium in your water I would do it every month. For places that would take over a year to build into a full clog I would
suggest it done once every two to three months. With the current price at a local
Wal-Mart store being only $1.22 for a 28 oz bottle, two bottles once every couple of months or so would be a cheap preventative measure. Besides, using this product just now and then to clean the ring inside the bowl is also a help. If you do this often enough you might be able to get by not using the two bottle, overnight method more than about once a year.
If you have a lot of lime/calcium in your water it would be wise to invest in a water
softener for your home. That would remove all the minerals from the water itself.
I flushed 3 cigarette butts! Silly I know and it will never happen again.
I'm just wondering, if I had blocked the toilet with it. How long would it take for it to "block"? Would I know about it by the end of the day or in a few hours or in a week?
If I keep flushing the toilet will it make them get through the system and out into the sewage with the rest of the street?
I am very worried about my actions. I do not want my toilet to block and pay for it.
I don't think that cigarette butts will block your toilet. And if they were going to, I am pretty sure that they would have done so immediately. Repeatedly flushing the toilet will only waste water.