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Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about their toilets, but now that everyone is sheltering in place the toilet is getting a bit more attention. With the toilet paper shortage, people are thinking about their toileting habits a bit more than they used too. Generally only a plumber in Arlington, TX is concerned about the health of a toilet, but with nowhere to go people are suddenly very aware of their toilet health. If you only have one toilet in your home, you may be a bit more concerned about your toilet situation.
While we can’t help you find toilet paper if you are getting low, we can help you keep your toilet healthy. Your goal should be to avoid calling a plumber during this delicate time, and it is possible if you take some proactive steps. Here are some general tips that require little work but can have huge results. Changing your routine slightly and making sure you clean your toilet and keep it in good shape is all that is necessary to avoid needing a plumber in Arlington, TX. Your toilet has the potential to impact your entire household, so it’s worth taking a minute to learn how to keep it healthy.
Only TP Goes Down the Toilet
The number one way that you can prevent an emergency call to the plumber is by only flushing toilet paper down the toilet. In fact, that is one rule that you should have for everyone in your house because it is the golden rule when it comes to proper toilet usage. Whether there is a crisis or not, you should never flush anything but toilet paper down the toilet.
Almost everyone at some point in their lives thinks it is okay to flush something else small down the toilet at one point. It’s a lot easier to toss something in the toilet then dispose of it elsewhere, but it is this type of action and thought process that will lead to a late-night call to the plumber in Arlington, TX.
The truth is that nothing else besides toilet paper is toilet-friendly, no matter what packaging may say or how badly you want it to be. A lot of companies market flushable wipes, but all these wet wipes do is clog up the drains in your plumbing system leading to a clog that requires a plumber. If you have a septic tank flushable wipes can be even more trouble that leads to the installation of a new septic system. The bottom line is don’t ever flush anything but toilet paper.
Toilet paper is made to break down and dissolve in water. No other paper substance is made in the same manner. It can safely dissolve and pass through your plumbing system. Let it work its magic, and don’t add anything else to the mix.
What If I Run Out of Toilet Paper?
Unfortunately, toilet paper seems to be the magical grocery item of the decade, and hoarding has left supplies short in some states. There is a good chance that the toilet paper aisle is bare at your grocery store, which can leave you in a bit of a panic. Running out of toilet paper while you are sheltering at home can be terrorizing, but there are plenty of alternatives you can use to wipe yourself thoroughly. Just DON’T flush any of them.
Old rags, napkins, tissues that are folded over, paper towel squares, wet wipes, or even yesterday’s newspaper are all paper materials that you can use to clean up after using the bathroom. Depending on how you feel about the current state of affairs, it may be even satisfying to wipe up with some of the current news. Just because you can’t flush these paper items doesn’t mean you can’t use them to clean up.
Just refrain from flushing them when you are done. Instead, consider placing a trash can with liners near the toilet that can be used exclusively for waste papers. Make sure to empty the trash can after use or at least twice a day and you can continue to stay clean without clogging your toilet.
Alternative tissues are great for cleaning after using the restroom, but they are not great for your toilet. No matter how soft or thin a piece of tissue or paper seems, any plumber will tell you it could block your pipes. You may get away with it at first, but eventually, if you continue to flush you will end up with a flooded bathroom and a panicked household. You don’t want to be on the phone with an emergency plumber while your youngest child is hopping on one foot telling you how badly they need to use the restroom.
Skip the shortcut and properly dispose of all alternative toilet paper tissues that you decide to use. The goal is to stay clean and keep your toilet clean as well.
Clean the Toilet Bowl
Speaking of which, it may be a good idea to increase your toilet cleaning activity to keep your toilet in fine working condition and keep the plumber away in Arlington, TX. Most people only clean their bathrooms when they have guests coming over to their home which usually results in weekly or semi-weekly cleaning. With the shelter in-home order in place, it is easy to forget your cleaning tasks and let things get away from you a bit.
While your toilet may not need cleaning weekly if you don’t have guests coming over, cleaning the toilet bowl regularly can prevent clogs from occurring. You should make it a point to clean every part of your toilet to improve its function and for sanitary reasons. While cleaning, make sure you focus on the bowl and jet nozzles because this is what can help you prevent toilet issues in the future.
A simple task like cleaning the jet nozzles on your toilet can be enough to keep your toilet in tip-top condition and a plumber at bay. The jet nozzles can get clogged over time because of unavoidable exposure to sediment, minerals, bacteria, and rust. If your jet nozzles become blocked or eventually clogged the toilet flush will weaken which will make it easier for clogs to form in the pipes since the water is not forcefully being expelled downwards.
The best way to prevent this is with regular cleaning. Start with the toilet bowl cleaner and apply it along the ridge formed at the top of your toilet bowl circularly. The goal is to let the cleaner run down the sides of the toilet bowl so that all angles of the bowl are coated. Then grab a toilet cleaning brush and push it up into the ridge and start brushing. You want to make sure you work the brush up and down in a uniform fashion working your way around the entire bowl.
Depending on how dirty your toilet bowl is you may need to reapply cleaner and hit some areas more than once. Sometimes it is helpful to flush your toilet and then start again so you can clearly see if you hit all of the areas of your toilet bowl. Take extra care to hit the area where your jet nozzles are and make sure that they are clear of debris.
Increase the Flushing Ability of Your Toilet
While this may sound odd, it is pretty easy to increase the way your toilet flushes. The stronger the flush the more force will be expressed against tissue paper, wastes, and sediment preventing it from becoming trapped in the plumbing. The result is a reduced chance of clogs that will require you to call a local plumber in Arlington, TX. To start, clean up your toilet following the instructions mentioned above.
Once your toilet is clean if the flush still feels weaker than it should you can check for existing clogs that might be impairing the flush without your knowledge. To do this add a gallon of water to your toilet and then flush if. If the toilet can clear the water without an issue then you know things are fine. If you notice the water is struggling to get down and some does not, then there is a good chance you have a partial clog. Grab your plunger and try to work it out. To dispel the rest of the water, move the refill float temporarily so that more water can enter the toilet when you are done flushing.
At this point, if you still feel like your toilet is not flushing as well as it should, you should take the lid off the tank and try to adjust the flapper. The role of the flapper in your toilet is to control the length of open space between the toilet tank and toilet bowl during a flush. The longer the space stays open the longer the flush. By lengthening the chain that connects to the toilet handle you can lengthen the amount of time that the flapper remains open. Just be careful because if you break anything in the set up that could mean a trip to the store or a call to your plumber. Also, be careful not to create any slack in the flapper or you can weaken the strength of the flush which will be counterproductive.
Find a Problem? Contact a Plumber Sooner Than Later
We know that no one wants to invite someone into their home if they can help it, but the quicker you contact a plumber for help, but if you notice any problems it is in your best interest to call an Arlington, TX plumber now instead of waiting for later. Not only will you be in the same position of requiring a plumber, but you will probably end up paying more because small issues can turn into major problems overnight.
While cleaning your toilet and checking its flush pay close attention to the way your toilet is performing. Does the flush seam off to you? Do you notice the toilet running for a long period of time after you flush it? Or is the flush very short and hardly effective in cleaning the toilet bowl? Take a minute to study your toilet and see if you can rock it back and forth which can indicate that the sealant in the base is slowly wearing out. Do you see any leaks?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then it is a good idea to call a plumber to come out and look at your toilet. Preventing a major issue from occurring should be your top priority during the shelter at home order. Since you cannot go anywhere, you need to make sure that your home stays in proper working order. You would be surprised at how quickly a small repair can turn into something expensive, and the last thing you want to do is walk into your bathroom in the morning and find it flooded with toilet water.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth – Arlington, TX is considered an essential business, and our plumbers are here for you during this difficult time. If you experience an issue with your toilet or your plumbing, in general, give us a call promptly and we will come to check it out for you. Our team takes all necessary safety precautions to keep your family safe, and we will get to the bottom of your problem as quickly as possible so you can rest assured your home remains a functional place to shelter in place. From toilets to drains to sewage issues, Benjamin Franklin is here for you.