Tips for avoiding a clogged toilet

In most homes I go into to do plumbing work, I typically find a plunger somewhere in the general vicinity of the toilet. Some keep their plungers hidden under sinks, some keep them right out in the open next to their toilets. The reason is simple: We all, at one point or another, expect to have clogged toilets, and when that happens we want to be prepared to fix the problem –preferably without having to call in and pay a plumber. Most people don’t think twice about having a plunger handy. But I’d like to ask you a simple question:

Does your car mechanic ride around in the back seat of your car with you?

Now, you may be wondering where in the world I’m going with this and why I’m even asking that question. The obvious answer is “No,” even though having car problems while on the road is arguably worse and more dangerous than having a clogged toilet. After all, no one wants to be stuck on the side of the road until the mechanic can come and fix the car, so why not take him along with you?

Obviously, this scenario is preposterous, but for the sake of example, consider this: We don’t take our mechanic with us everywhere because a) that would be really expensive and b) we don’t expect our car to break down. But having a plunger by the toilet indicates that we DO expect it to get clogged, and we want to be prepared. What if there were ways to prevent the toilet from ever clogging? Well, it’s possible, and that’s why I’m sharing this article with you.

Here are five tips and tricks for keeping your toilet clear and your plunger out of sight – forever:

#1 – Invest in a good quality toilet.

When I first started researching the best toilets several years ago, I discovered the Toto toilet. My family heard me sing its praises every night at dinner for who knows how long, and they started noticing places that used Toto toilets – like shopping centers, gas stations, and even the Atlanta airport. We changed out all the toilets in our house and experienced almost no clogs after the switch. I still recommend Toto toilets (made in Japan), but Americans have also created a great toilet that I now recommend first: The Kohler toilets. They are water-efficient and guarantee that you won’t need to keep your plunger next to your toilet anymore.

#2 – Don’t be afraid to flush more than once.

This is pretty self-explanatory, but if you think you’re going to be using a lot of paper, consider flushing twice. This initially uses a little bit more water, but saves water in the long run because you don’t have to flush multiple times trying to unclog the toilet.

#3 – Use toilet paper that disintegrates easily.

Consumer Reports has conducted experiments and tests to see which toilet papers flush the easiest. You can find those reports online or do your own research to see which paper you like the best.

#4 – Use toilet paper sparingly.

Try not to use a ton of toilet paper; when you consciously think about it, it’s easy to cut back and not use as much. You’ll find that you don’t need to use as much as you thought, either.

#5 – Be flush conscious.

Always be aware of what you are flushing down your toilet. If you are on a septic tank, you really have to watch what you flush and throw more stuff in the trash can. Never flush baby or cleaning wipes, or other materials that don’t easily disintegrate in water.

In conclusion, if you’re smart about what you flush down the toilet, it’s easy to get rid of the plunger AND not have to call a plumber every time you have a clogged toilet. Hopefully these tips will help you eliminate your need to keep a plunger handy, and you can use your toilet with the same confidence you drive your car – when taken care of, they both have fewer emergencies. Remember, when you’re plumb smart, there’s no such thing as an emergency.

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