Toilet Stoppage


A stopped up or overflowing toilet is certainly inconvenient. Worse, an overflowing toilet can cause property damage or create an unsanitary environment. Sometimes toilets, when flushed, drain slowly. In either situation, it is important to determine the source of the problem.

Because all drains tie into the sewer, if backed up, other drains will cease to flow. Usually, the shower or tub are the first to show symptoms. If the clog exists within the toilet itself, a plunger will usually remedy the problem. However, stubborn clogs may require a closet auger.

When using a closet auger, care should be exercised to avoid breaking the toilet or scratching the porcelain. Most closet augers are fitted with a protective rubber sleeve at the point where the cable exits the housing.

Sewer clogs are best addressed with an Auger Machine.

Whatever the case, the problem needs to be resolved. Below are some tips to help isolate the problem.

Is the clog within the toilet only, or has the sewer stopped up?

To isolate the blockage, run water into the closet bath tub or shower drain. If, after a couple of minutes, the water ceases to drain, the clog is within the sewer line or building drain. Of course, if the water drains properly, the clog is most likely within the toilet.

My toilet flushes slowly – HELP!

A toilet will flush slowly for several reasons. Obviously, restrictions or partial stoppages within the drain system will cause such problems. However, poor water delivery within the toilet itself will lead to the same results. To determine the cause, perform the following procedure:

Pour water from a bucket into the toilet.


If the water drains properly, the problem is within the toilet.

This may be attributed to mineral deposits within the bowl jets. In severe cases, the throat of the toilet itself may have become heavily deposited. An improperly calibrated fill valve may also cause such problems.

When the bowl jets become clogged, they may be cleaned with a rigid piece of wire (a metal coat hanger often works well).

Should it be discovered that the throat of the toilet is heavily deposited with mineral, replacement of the toilet is often the most economical solution. However, it may be possible to have the toilet cleaned in an acid bath. This is dangerous and should be left to a professional. Because of the costs associated with such service, only in those rare situations where color match is of importance, is this a viable option.


If the water does not drain properly, the problem is within the drain.

Slow or sluggish drains are best addressed with an auger machine.

2009-08-16T00:00:00-07:00