Preparing the Plumbing for Holiday Visitors
The holidays are some of the busiest times of the year. It’s a time to come together, celebrate, and indulge, which has many people preparing to welcome friends and family into their homes. All those visitors can really put a strain on bathroom plumbing, and nothing ruins a get-together like a clogged or broken toilet.
Keep reading for ways to unclog toilets or to see if it may be time to consider replacing the toilet before all those holiday guests arrive.
When Is It Time To Replace a Toilet?
With an average life-span of about 15 years, age is the first sign that it may be time to replace a toilet. Despite claims that suggest a toilet can last up to 50 years, older toilets are very inefficient, sometimes using up to 5 gallons of water per flush. With increased holiday traffic, that can drive the water bill through the roof.
Another sign it’s time to replace the toilet is if cracks are forming on the bowl or tank. Cracks in the bowl are usually incredibly easy to identify, and cracks in the tank often cause the toilet to leak, making puddles on the bathroom floor. It’s imperative to replace a cracked toilet as soon as possible to prevent water damage to the bathroom flooring. Damaged flooring can also cause the toilet to wobble, another sign it's time to call a plumber even if there is no visible damage to the toilet itself.
Lastly, the most obvious indication it’s time to replace the toilet is if it requires constant maintenance. Older toilets clog more easily than their modern counterparts, so it’s due for an upgrade if the plunger sees weekly use. Additionally, if the plumber comes around once a month or more, it should be apparent that the toilet needs replacing.
Avoiding Clogs Under Heavy Use
While every toilet will clog once in a while, there are quite a few ways to prevent it before it occurs and prepare it for heavier-than-usual use.
- Inspect the toilet: Take a good look at both the inside components and the toilet’s outer structure. Note any cracks, puddles, or damage and repair any worn or broken pieces.
- Only flush waste and toilet paper: Toilet paper will break down in the plumbing system, but other paper products won’t, and larger objects can block pipes, restricting water flow. Both can cause the toilet to clog and overflow.
- Have a plunger nearby: This is self-explanatory, but it’s essential to keep in mind. The plunger won’t do anyone any good if it's buried under the bathroom sink or in the hall closet.
- Keep the lid closed: Bathrooms can be small, cramped spaces, and it’s easy to knock things off the bathroom counter into the toilet accidentally. Prevent this by keeping the lid closed when the toilet isn’t being used.
How Can a Plumber Help Fix the Clog?
Most people already have a plunger and know how to use it. Every toilet gets clogged once in a while, and most clogs clear up with minimal effort, but sometimes it’s just too much for the homeowner. That’s when a plumber should get involved. Plumbers have specialized tools to fix clogs that can’t be handled by the average plunger. These include:
- Drain Augers
- Motorized Drain Augers
- High-Pressure Water Jetters
Drain augers- also called a plumber’s snake- are long, metal rods with a hook on one end and a rotating drum on the other. The plumber will insert the hooked end into the toilet, push it past the clog, and begin rotating the drum. This will break up whatever material is causing the clog.
If more power is needed, the plumber may need to make use of a motorized drain auger. These work on the same principles as the regular drain auger but uses a motor to provide more rotational force than the plumber can with their hands.
As a last resort, the plumber can use high-pressure water jetting to blast away any debris in the sewer line. This method (called hydrojetting) essentially power-washes the inside of the pipes, leaving them clean and clear.
About HomePro Plumbing
Founded by Minnesota-born Troy Gregory, HomePro Plumbing prides itself on bringing honesty, integrity, and excellence to every plumbing job. HomePro plumbing provides a host of plumbing services in Minneapolis, always with dedication and high-quality workmanship.