The relationship between clogged toilets and Corona Virus

We are all in this together. This seems to be the dominant theme throughout society as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect people in so many different ways and one of those are clogged toilets. This has not only affected us here in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties but   nationwide since the pandemic began.

Our current full house situations bring many of the same “joys” that come along with those holiday get togethers. For example, when the only toilet in the house gets clogged, someone’s getting blamed! In this case, it could be many factors and generally not one person.

Most households have a consistent water supply that gets discharged down the home’s drains. When the  piping and sewer lines experience an unusually high amount of volume and usage, they become sluggish and even completely clogged up. Think of it this way, toilets and drains are similar to our modern day internet systems. High usage equals slower service and inevitable backup, another of our current quarantine woes –but that’s a story for another day.

But another problem, as closely related to the pandemic is that people are cleaning more that they ever have and flushing everything from wipes, napkins, and paper towels down their toilets. Cleaning and sterilizing everything from door knobs, to counters and furniture has become a necessary obsession.  Unfortunately, without much thought, those items are going down the toilets and therein lies another problem.

 

So how do we troubleshoot if the problem is only a toilet or the sewer main?

For starters, if you  experience signs of a sewer blockage, such as unusual gurgling sounds in the toilet when no one is using it, something is definitely amiss. Another common issue is the presence of raw sewage in the bathroom fixtures on your lowest level (think shower and bathtub drains).

If you live in a multi-level or storied home, your second for bathroom is commonly located directly above the first-floor bathroom for the sake of plumbing system centralization. When the upstairs toilet is flushed, it may appear to flush normally, but the flow could stop if it runs into a sewer clog underground. This causes the gurgling sounds on the lower level toilet that was not used.

 

If your home is single story, then your toilets may be located back to back. Always check the opposite toilet, when experiencing a stoppage to see if it is flowing. If only one fixture is affected, you may be able to solve the problem with an at home plunger. If both toilets are stopped however, the problem may require more than basic at-home troubleshooting and that’s where we come in.

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