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Dealing with family plumbing plug-ups

High Mark Plumbing
High Mark Plumbing
High Mark Plumbing

It never fails; little kids are fascinated with where the water in the toilet goes. Unfortunately, this curiosity is also the reason why hundreds and thousands of toilets have ended up being blocked and replaced. Whether it be a rubber ducky, a figurine, a doll, or a tub fish, none of them flow down the drain system very well. In fact, in most cases they don't flow at all.
Ideally, the plug is just an over-abundance of toilet paper. While annoying, these blockages work themselves out. The paper dissolves and in a few hours the line is working again and draining properly. If needed, a simple drain router can be run through the toilet to chew up the paper quickly and solve the problem if a plunger can't shake it loose first. Both can be bought at a local hardware store for little cost.

A foreign object, i.e. a toy, flushed down a system can get plugged in a number of locations, and unlike paper, it will stay stuck. First, they can fail to navigate the toilet basin itself. This unit follows a curved system to make sure water from the drain doesn't back up into the toilet easily. The pressure of the sitting water keeps both fumes and drain water down. Unfortunately, as soon as the toy goes into this curve, it gets stuck. Sometimes it can be easily retrieved by hand. Additional effort may instead require that the water flow is shut off and the toilet is removed from its anchor. Then the toy can be accessed from the underside of the basin and pulled out. It's a manual job but usually the work can be done in about an hour with the basin reinstalled.

"Plumbing tools for homeowners purchased at your local repair store are not the best quality or as powerful as the equipment that the professionals use." indicated Ryan Wood from High Mark Plumbing, a plumbing company located in Vancouver, BC. "When toys are lodged in the toilet, you are going to need only the strongest tools available to clear the obstruction out of the pipes. Using the incorrect tools can cause further damage then already exists."

If a person is not used to moving heavy weight, trying to manage a basin removal as a home job can probably end up being a bigger problem with a back injury. Toilet basins do have some hefty weight to them and are not the lightest things to move around. Since a back injury can cost far more in lost time, days off work, and medical bills, it's sometimes better to have hired help do the removal and re-installation work.

If the toy actually makes it into the sewer drain, there's a strong chance it will flow farther down. That in turn can mean that the toy gets stuck deep inside the drain line. This can happen with toys that expand when exposed to moisture. A good routing tool will solve the problem if the toy is malleable. The router should be able to tear it up and the smaller parts will then wash down. However, if the tool is not soft, a router won't necessarily solve the problem. Then a stronger router will be necessary. Both efforts should be managed by a professional plumber. A plumber will have the right tools and will recognize the situation for what it is instead of guessing.

Additionally, if the blockage is very far down the line, it is possible to use a camera system to find it and determine the proper router for the clearance. A homeowner or amateur attempt can do a lot more damage that good trying to guess where the stoppage is located.