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A clogged toilet is every homeowner’s nightmare. Watching the water rise in the bowl and realizing the main sewer line is probably clogged can be panic-inducing. Ironically, toilet paper is a major cause of clogged sewer lines. Fortunately, it’s often possible to unclog the toilet yourself, especially if the blockage is minor or located relatively close to the drain.

Why Toilet Paper Clogs Form in the Sewer Line

How can paper specifically designed to dissolve in water clog your sewer line? Here are some common causes:

  • You used too much toilet paper: You might not think twice as you pull a generous wad of paper from the roll, but using excessive amounts can lead to a main sewer line clog.
  • You used ultra-plush toilet paper with older plumbing: Thick, luxurious toilet paper may feel nice, but it can get caught in the pipes, especially if you have a subpar sewer system with existing problems.
  • A partial clog was underway: If the main sewer line is already somewhat clogged, adding too much toilet paper and solid waste only worsens the situation.

4 DIY Tips to Dislodge Toilet Paper Stuck in the Sewer Line

A toilet paper clog should be fairly easy to dissolve, even if it’s clogging the main sewer line. Here are four strategies to try before calling a plumber.

  1. Plunger

    The good old-fashioned plunger is your first line of defense when attempting to unclog a sewer line.

    • Use a flange plunger for the best seal.
    • Apply firm, quick thrusts.
    • Repeat until the water drains from the bowl, signaling that you have dislodged the clog.

  2. Hot Water and Dish Soap

    Sometimes, hot water and soap are all you need.

    • Remove as much water as possible from the bowl with an old cup.
    • Pour a generous amount of dish soap into the toilet bowl.
    • Follow with a bucket of hot water.
    • Allow it to sit for a while, then flush.

  3. Vinegar and Baking Soda

    The chemical reaction that occurs between vinegar and baking soda is a classic solution for unclogging drains.

    • Pour a cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl.
    • Follow with two cups of vinegar.
    • Wait for 20 minutes, then flush.

  4. Epsom Salt

    Epsom salt helps break down toilet paper stuck in the sewer line.

    • Pour one to two cups of Epsom salt into the toilet bowl.
    • Add warm (not boiling) water.
    • Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. Then flush.

    Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Can Unclog Your Sewer

    When DIY solutions aren’t enough, turn to the experts at Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We’ve been dedicated to customer satisfaction for over 40 years. This means we arrive on time and investigate your system thoroughly before diving into a solution. Plus, as a family-owned company, we treat your home and family with the same care as our own.

    For help unclogging your sewer, please contact us at 801-226-3033 if you live in Utah County, or call 801-229-2665 if you’re a Salt Lake County resident. You can also fill out our online contact form, and we’ll get back to you shortly.

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