Surprising Ways Clogged Toilet Hurts The Environment

What to do When Your Toilet is Clogged

Picture your worst nightmare coming true: a clogged and overflowing toilet! You’re not sure how it happened. Maybe it was the ultra-plush 2-ply toilet paper, or maybe it was the takeout from last night? You can’t be sure, but that doesn’t matter at the moment because all you can focus on is the torrent of water that’s rushing out of your toilet and onto your bathroom floor

There are few things in the world that cause more panic and disgust than a malfunctioning toilet. Unfortunately, it’s something that everyone will probably have to deal with at some point. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Menards® is here to help you slog through the chore of unclogging your toilet and prevent it from ever happening again. Don’t worry; you can thank us later (after you’ve washed your hands).

The first and most important thing to do is to STOP flushing. If the first flush doesn’t work, the second will only make things worse. Your biggest priority now is preventing your toilet from overflowing. If it is already starting to overflow, turn off the water valve, which should be located at the base of your toilet. If your toilet doesn’t have one, just cut off water to your bathroom or toilet if possible. If your toilet is simply clogged and not overflowing, you shouldn’t have to worry about turning off the water.

Take the lid off of the toilet and close the flapper (the little contraption that looks like a drain stopper attached to a chain) at the bottom of the tank. Now don’t chicken out, the water in there is clean.

If your toilet bowl is nearly overflowing with water or you’re worried about a mess, place newspapers, paper towels, or old towels on the floor, open a window, and find some rubber gloves. If you’re (un)fortunate enough to realize that the obstruction causing the clog is something that can’t be flushed (children’s toy, bathroom product, etc.), it’s time to fish that thing out of there.

 

Unique Ways to Clear a Clogged Toilet

Calling a plumbing contractor to clean up your blocked toilet is just one of the most convenient ways to solve the issue. Sadly most of the professional plumbers ask for up-wards of 100 dollars for the task. It might be rather unpleasant to spend that much of money in this time of economic crisis and job reduction.  However, the good news is there are some unique ways you can unclog that toilet yourself without having to call in an expensive plumber

Wire

Yet another simple, yet effective device that helps in unclogging toilets is the wire. This extensively available item can be utilized to get to inside the bowl and delete items like plastic bags, etc. that cannot flush down the drain. You do not need to purchase a wire from the market. Simply take any commonly utilized product like a hangar and straighten it to make a wire. A pliable rubber pipeline can be an excellent substitute for a wire and can easily be made use of to clean a clogged pipe line.

Boiling Water and Dish Cleaning Agent

If the boiling water alone is inadequate, perhaps a pot of steaming water and detergent should work. Pour about a 1/4 cup of your preferred green cleaning agent, and let it to lube the lodged object while you wait for the water to boil. Pour in the boiling water making certain not to spray on yourself and hope that it will work … or else you might need to get a little messy.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Adding a cup of baking soda as well as white vinegar and pouring down a sink drain has actually been known to unplug it, and could manage a toilet. This is of the toilet is not so loaded with water that the mix will end up too diluted when added in the bowl. If this is the case, then move right to the steaming water and dish detergent technique.

Tapping to Unclog Toilet

Giving your toilet a little tap is something you want to attempt first. It is fast and straightforward and all that is required is your shoe or your plunger’s wood handle. You will notice on the edge of your toilet, where you sit, and locate the bulge behind it that looks like a snake. This is the area you will want to tap with a soft object that is softer than the porcelain to ensure you do not break it. Your shoe’s rubber sole can be sufficient but if not utilize the plastic or wood handle of your plunger and begin tapping lightly on this snake bulge on the toilet. You will be impressed. If it does not function initially continue while utilizing the above steps as well and you should probably get it to work.

 

SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TOILET DECLOGGER

Let me tell you, I was one happy homeowner upon discovering this simple, cheap, and safe DIY Drano solution!  That’s because a plumber visit costs at least $150 and Drano and Liquid Plumbr scare the snot out of me.  Seriously, listen to the warnings from the Liquid Plumbr company itself about the dangers of its product

“…Never use Liquid-Plumr with other drain-cleaning products. The bleach contained in Liquid-Plumr can react with other chemicals, such as ammonia, to create toxic vapors. Also, use of a plunger can be dangerous, as the product can damage skin, eyes and mucus membranes on contact…Handling lye in any form can cause chemical burns and skin damage, and ingesting it can result in permanent injury or death.”

The best part, besides the fact that this all-natural DIY Drano actually works, is that it only requires two CHEAP ingredients out of my kitchen cabinets. Check out this DIY Drano recipe my 3-year-old could make and administer to said clogged toilet

ALL-NATURAL DIY DRANO RECIPE

1) Into a clogged toilet filled with standing water, dump 1 cup of baking soda.  Let it sink to the bottom.

2) If the toilet doesn’t have much water, add 1 gallon of boiling water to really get things moving.

3) Next, add 2 cups of vinegar slowly, so it won’t fizz over onto your floor.  Ickkk!

4) Let it sit for a couple of hours and see if the water has drained.  If it has not, let it sit overnight and then plunge, if needed, before flushing.

Tonight, I tossed in the DIY Drano and let it sit for a couple of hours.  When I returned, the standing water was gone and the toilet flushed right away!  However, the first time I used this all-natural DIY Drano recipe, I had to let the concoction sit overnight in the toilet.  After a good plunging, it began to work a little better.  I used the DIY Drano one more time, and after a few hours, the toilet was completely unclogged.

 

Ask A Plumber: The Best Way To Clean Your Drains

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Sometimes as you’re staring at a clogged drain or leaking pipe, you wish you had a plumber friend you could call to ask for some free advice. Then you could fix your plumbing problems without paying a dime (or at least not as much as a plumber may charge you to go out and diagnose or fix the problem).

Don’t use chemical drain cleaners

First thing first, Nelson does not recommend using any type of chemical drain cleaner on your pipes. If you have a clog, it’s better to try and remove it by plunging or snaking the drain.

According to ConsumerReports.org, most chemical drain cleaners are more trouble than they’re worth. Some react with aluminum and give off unhealthy gas, can solidify inside the pipes and can’t be removed, or mix with other household cleaners and cause the mixture to burst out of the drain. Crystal Chemical drain cleaners are extremely hazardous and can end up damaging your pipes, garbage disposal, and septic system. Liquid, foam and gel cleaners can also cause damage to pipes and usually aren’t as effective taking at least 30 minutes to eat through a clog.

Bathroom Sink and Tub Drains

According to Nelson, the number one cause of bathroom sink clogs is from toothpaste and long hair. If you have a clog in your bathroom sink or tub

 

things you should never flush down your toilet

Our home toilets are not trash cans made for dumping personal care and hygiene products. Here’s what you shouldn’t flush down the loo. There are only three things that you can flush down the toilet – urine, feces and toilet paper. In other words, human waste, or the three Ps: pee, poo, and paper.

The wastewater journey usually takes one of two directions. It either heads by way of a pipe to your community’s local sewer, or into a septic tank close to your home. Before it reaches your local treatment plant, wastewater goes through a screen of metal rods that filter larger objects and items that get into the sewers.

From there, it all goes to the settling tank where solids like sand and gravel that have been picked along the way settle to the bottom. These early treatment stations are also responsible for removing other “flushables.”

Did you know that 50 percent of the so-called non-dispersible material in wastewater is paper towels from public restrooms, followed by 25 percent of baby wipes, and then a mixture of condoms, cosmetic wipes, tampon applicators, and other items’? Finally, and after traveling through the primary sedimentation tanks, wastewater continues its cleaning process via aeration tanks, new settling tanks and, in some cases, tertiary treatment facilities where it is disinfected with chlorine and/or ultraviolet (UV) light.

In the end, and in the most advanced sewage treatment systems, we may get recycled water that can be used in agriculture or for human consumption. However, no sewage system is perfect. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 27 percent of the global population (around 1.9 billion people) use private sanitation facilities connected to sewers from which wastewater is treated.

Make A Good Toilet Installation To Make You Comfort

Tips for Choosing a New Toilet

Taking Measurements

The first step is to measure carefully to ensure that the toilet you purchase will fit in the same location as the old one. Measuring is done with the old toilet still in place. Start by measuring from the wall behind the toilet to the center of the bolts at the base of the toilet. If your existing toilet has four bolts, measure to the center of the back bolts. This measurement is known as the rough-in measurement. For a standard toilet, the rough-in measurement should be between 11 inches and 13 inches. Keep this measurement handy when you go to purchase the replacement toilet.

Researching Your Options

With measurements in hand, it’s time to consider what options are available for your new toilet—and there are quite a few. The first option is between one-piece and two-piece models. With one-piece toilets, the tank and bowl are all one integral unit. These toilets look very sleek and have a low-profile, but they are generally more costly than the typical two-piece toilets. Since two-piece toilets are more common, they are also more competitively priced.

Bowl Shape

When choosing a toilet, you can choose from those with bowls that are elongated, compact -elongated, or round-front. Elongated toilets offer deeper seating areas and will fit most residential applications. Compact-elongated toilets have a slightly shorter footprint and take up less space while still offering good comfort. Round-front toilets take up the least space and are a good choice where space is at a premium.

Toilet Trap

Toilets can have trap configurations that are exposed—where the integral trap in the fixture is visible from the side—or the trap configuration can be hidden by the design of the fixture so that the side view of the toilet offers a flat surface. This is really a matter of aesthetics. Visible-trap toilets are a good choice for classic-style bathrooms with pedestal sinks and free-standing tubs, while hidden-trap toilets may look better in more modern bathrooms.

 

Choosing a Toilet: Tips to Ensure You Get the Right Fit and Flush

Measure for fit

Your first step in choosing a toilet is to find your current toilet’s rough-in measurement so you can find a model that fits your bathroom. The rough-in measurement is the distance from the wall to the middle of the toilet flange, which lines up with the center of the hold-down bolts. For a toilet with two bolts on each side, measure to the center of the back bolt. If you’re measuring from the lowest part of the wall, take the thickness of the baseboard or molding into account. Ideally, measure directly from the wall.

Choose your design

When choosing a toilet, you’ll need to decide if you want a one-piece, two-piece or wall-mount design. Two-piece toilets are the most common. These plumbing fixtures have a separate bowl and tank you can buy together or separately. Because there are so many on the market, opting for a two-piece toilet gives you a greater chance of finding one with the features you want.

Decide on bowl type

Toilet bowls are available in two shapes: elongated and round. Elongated bowls are around 2 or 3 inches longer in the front than round bowls. Round bowls never surpass 28 inches, while elongated bowls can be as large as 31 inches. Despite the fact that they take up more space, elongated bowls offer some advantages. Some individuals, including the elderly and those with physical impairments, may find the bigger seat more comfortable because it supports the thighs like a chair. These bowls also retain less soiling and hold back odors better. For some, the streamlined oval shape is more visually appealing than the traditional round shape.

Decide on height

Standard toilets are around 15 inches from the seat to the floor. Although this height is comfortable for many, you may be better off choosing a toilet with a higher seat. Seats of 17 inches high are marketed as “comfort height” and are better suited for the elderly and those with physical impairments. In fact, this is the height the American Disabilities Act requires for public toilets.

Consider a dual-flush toilet

Toilets account for up to 30 percent of the water use in the average US home. If you’ve had bad experiences with water-conserving toilets, though, choosing a toilet designed to save water may not seem too appealing. Older models of water-saving toilets simply reduced the amount of water used, leaving you with no choice about how much too use. Newer models have changed that.

 

How to Buy a Toilet

Understand the mechanics behind a toilet. When you flush a standard toilet, the handle pulls up a chain, which raises a flush valve. This flush valve then releases at least two gallons (about 7.5 litres) of water from the tank into the bowl in about three seconds, which triggers the siphon to suck the contents of the bowl down the drain and into a sewer system or septic tank. However, contrary to popular belief, the tank is not the most important part of a toilet’s technology. In fact, you could detach the tank from the toilet and pour two gallons of water into the bucket by hand, and the toilet would still flush.

Consider a gravity-assisted toilet. This type is the most common type in North America. These toilets use the weight and height of the water in the tank to facilitate a flush. The tank then refills via a small gushing pipe (usually plastic) until a float shuts off the flow. If any water does happen to flow a little higher from gushing, hand-motion inside, or even an earthquake, a narrow overflow tube handles any overflow problems. So, as long as the toilet is functioning properly, no water should spill outside of the porcelain tank. This type is the staple toilet, simple, effective, and durable. The flushing sound for gravity assisted toilets also isn’t particularly loud and they are easy to repair. However, if you have a lot of people using your toilet (say, a large family) or are going to be putting a lot of wear on the toilet’s flush system, gravity-assisted toilets may not have enough power to flush consistently, after every use.

Consider a pressure-assisted toilet. Unlike gravity assisted, pressure-assisted toilets have an ‘active’ rather than a passive mechanism. This type adds pressure to the force of gravity by supplying more force than the traditional unit. Water displaces air inside a sealed cylindrical tank, usually made of metal or plastic, inside the larger ceramic tank, helping to generate a larger force. However, because the water in the tank is held under pressure, it flushes with greater force, resulting in a loud flushing sound. As well, a greater amount of pressure via your toilet can put stress on older pipes and plumbing in your home, which can lead to a leak or a busted pipe.

Consider a vacuum-assisted toilet. This type innovates on the standard gravity-assisted toilet by using a vacuum that draws the water with more force into the bowl using the rim holes in the upper toilet bowl. Vacuum-assisted toilets have a cleaner, quieter flush than other models, making them ideal for a bathroom near your bedroom, or by a quiet area of your home. However, unclogging this type of toilet requires some time and skill. To unplug the bowl, you have to take the lid off and put your hand over an opening in the tank for the plunging action to work. The vacuum-assisted toilet also costs about $100 more than a gravity toilet.

Consider a power-assisted toilet. This type uses an even greater force than vacuum-assisted toilets. In fact, power-assisted toilets are known as the only “toilets with horsepower”.[1] These toilets have a 0.2 horsepower motor in the tank to literally blast waste products down the drain, making them ideal if your bathroom has old pipes. Power-assisted toilets can also save the average family 2,000 gallons of water per year. However, these toilets have a pump that must be plugged into a power outlet, they are known for their incredibly loud flushing sound and they are currently the most expensive type of toilet on the market.

 

Tips on Finding the Best Toilet For Your Bathroom

Shape, Height and Style

Before you head out to buy a new toilet, one of the first things you need to do is measure your bathroom space, specifically where the toilet is going to go. The most important measurement to take is the rough-in – the distance between the wall and the floor drain. This is usually around 12 inches; perhaps 10 or 14 inches for older homes.

Gravity Feed vs. Pressure-Assisted

In terms of flush, most toilets fall into two basic categories: gravity feed and pressure assisted. Gravity feed toilets are still the most commonplace, but pressure assisted is worth considering, especially if you have a large family. So, what are the differences you may ask?

Low Flush and Water-Saving Toilets

It’s fair to say that the toilet is one of the most important items in your home – even if it’s not the most glamorous. Aesthetic considerations like colour and style are important but just as important is how well it functions, and how much water it uses. A good toilet should generate enough power to effectively clear the bowl with one flush, while also conserving water as much as possible.

Better, Faster, Stronger

Who says innovation doesn’t apply to the lavatory? As with everything else, there are always people at work to make the modern toilet perform better, last longer, and work harder. What’s more, you can also find elevated toilets that are approximately 2-4 inches taller, for those who struggle to get up and sit down.

Some Final Thoughts on Choosing a Toilet

Generally speaking, boring is better. If you opt for something quirky or unusual, you may start to wish you hadn’t further down the line. For example, say you opt for something ultra cool and custom – when you come to replace those parts some years later, you’re going to need to spend much more than if you’d opted for something mainstream. Likewise, a bright pink toilet might seem like a fun option now, but when you try to sell your house some years later, potential buyers may well find it offputting.

 

Toilets

How We Test Toilets

To develop our toilet ratings, Consumer Reports’ test engineers put the fixtures through a battery of tests involving waste removal, bowl cleaning, and drain-line clogs. We also measure how loud a toilet’s flushes are.

To test solid-waste removal, we dump marble-sized plastic beads, weighted sponges, and filled water bags into the bowl and measure how well each flush handles the simulated waste.

We use a combination of methods to assess how well a toilet gets the entire bowl clean. First, we use red paint to draw a rectangular shape in the bottom of a clean bowl. Our testers let the bowl fill up, then draw a line using a water-soluble pen around the bowl about an inch under the rim. Next, we flush. We then measure how much red paint and pen markings are left. The better a toilet cleans, the fewer markings are left. We repeat this test three times and calculate the average to arrive at a score. To gauge odor removal, we measure how much sewage water is left in the bowl after flushing.

We also look at how well a toilet moves waste from bowl to sewer and whether there’s enough force to make sure the waste doesn’t get stuck, especially if waste travels a long way to the sewer. In our noise tests, we measure with a decibel meter how loud a toilet is during flushing.