Will a Blocked Toilet Unblock Itself?

Blocked Toilet blog image of toilet roll stacks

A blocked toilet is never a pleasant thing to deal with. The toilet doesn’t flush properly, leaving waste and water in the bowl for a long time. Sometimes the water levels rise which could cause your toilet to overflow. 

In extreme cases, your blockage could cause the outside sewers to overflow or water to gurgle through your sink or shower plughole when the toilet is flushed. These are all signs of a blocked toilet, the question is whether or not it will unblock itself.

You’ll be pleased to know that a standard blockage, caused by flushing inappropriate materials or too much toilet roll, will unblock itself eventually. Although, bear in mind that the problem will continue until you’ve had your drains jetted or rodded to remove any leftover obstructions.

Why is my Toilet Blocked?

Blocked drains or toilets are often caused by the same things – cracked or damaged pipes, improper care or overgrown tree roots. Maintain Drains have been servicing domestic and commercial drainage systems in Dorset for over 15 years. We’ve unblocked drains, maintained septic systems and unblocked toilets hundreds of times, but we’re always faced with a new challenge when it comes to finding out why your toilet is blocked.

Usually, we can get to your blocked toilet and tackle the problem quickly. It depends on whether you’re dealing with a drainage issue such as collapsed pipes or a simple waste blockage.

Drainage Issue

When your toilet gets blocked, you don’t immediately assume there is a problem with your drainage system or pipework. Cracked, collapsed or damaged pipes could be the cause of your blocked toilet as these issues all slow the drainage system down. 

Another common problem in Poole and Dorset is tree root ingress. When tree roots start growing into drains it can seriously damage the existing pipework and reduce the flow of water and sewage. Your local drainage company should be able to remove the roots with their drain jetting equipment and repair any cracks with pitch fibre pipe relining.

We’ve also been to call-outs about rats living in drains and entering homes via the toilet’s U-bend. Not a pleasant thought, but something worth considering if you’re regularly dealing with a blocked toilet. To find out if rats are living in your drainage system, look for early warning signs such as dropping or chewing marks.

While these are some of the severe problems that could be causing your blocked toilet, it’s much more likely that you’re facing a smaller domestic blockage.

Flushing the Wrong Things

Most of the time, toilets get blocked because people flush the wrong things down the toilet. The pipes that connect your system to the public sewer are only so big. Flushing things that don’t degrade can block the pipes causing the toilet to overflow.

If you’re not sure what can and can’t be flushed down the toilet, it should make it clear on the packaging. As a general rule of thumb, if it’s not toilet paper then don’t flush it. Here are some of the most common things that get flushed when they shouldn’t:

  • Baby wipes
  • Tampons
  • Cotton pads
  • Condoms
  • Nappies
  • Cat litter
  • Hair
  • Paper towels

None of these items are degradable. If you flush them and they block the pipes then you’ll be facing a blocked toilet.

It’s not just the fact that these items don’t break down in water that causes the problem. Flushing one baby wipe is unlikely to block your toilet, however, if you and everyone on your street flush a baby wipe then when they reach the main sewer we’ll be dealing with a much bigger problem…

And the same can be said for toilet paper.

What Happens if You Flush Too Much Toilet Paper?

Despite being on our ‘safe to flush’ list, toilet paper could be the cause of your blocked toilet. While it does break down in water, the process doesn’t happen instantly. Your toilet might be blocked because there is too much toilet paper in the system to break down effectively.

If you suspect that you’ve flushed too much toilet paper and that is what is causing the blockage, drain rodding or jetting should solve the problem. As toilet paper is specifically designed to break down in water, you may notice the blockage fixes itself. 

We’d still recommend getting your local drainage expert out to ensure the blockage is completely gone, otherwise, this will be a persisting problem. Simply jetting your pipes could remove any toilet paper residue so you’ll never have to worry about your blocked toilet again.

If you want Maintain Drains to come and take a look at your blocked toilet, identify what is causing the blockage and stop the problem from coming back, give us a call on 01202 300 040.


What should I do if I have a blocked toilet drain?

If you find yourself with a blocked toilet drain, start by using a plunger to try and dislodge the blockage. Make sure to use a good seal around the plunger for effective pressure. If plunging doesn’t work, you might consider a toilet auger, which can reach deeper into the drain.

How can I fix a blocked toilet that won’t clear with a plunger?

If a plunger doesn’t clear your blocked toilet, the next step is to use a toilet auger or a plumber’s snake. These tools can help you reach blockages that are further along in the pipes.

My toilet is blocked with tissue; how can I clear it?

Toilets blocked with excessive tissue often require a careful approach to avoid worsening the blockage. Start by using a plunger gently to try to push the tissue through. Avoid flushing repeatedly as this can cause the toilet to overflow.

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