Toilet Constantly Backed Up? What You Need To Know

…And Receive a Rebate From the City of Calgary in the Process!

Toilet in white bathroomIf you’ve been plunging far more often than it seems like you should be (and let’s be honest — if you ever need to plunge your toilet, that’s too often!), there are a few things that you should know. Unfortunately, if it’s plugging up often (and you don’t have a toy-flushing toddler to blame), chances are pretty good that you need to upgrade to a better toilet. The good news is that there are some actions you can take first to delay the upgrade, and that when you do take the plunge (a little potty pun for you), you’ll be armed with the knowledge to buy a model that will flush smoothly, time after time, for years to come.

Try This First

The back-ups may be due to a narrow or rough, unglazed passageway (more difficult for waste to pass through smoothly than a wider, fully glazed passageway), too little water in the tank, or mineral build-up on the front jet that helps flush waste away. If the passageway is the issue, you can plunge and use a toilet snake as needed (though these can be difficult to handle — if you have trouble, this is something we can do for you), but in order to eliminate the issue you will need to buy a new toilet.

Sometimes, all you need is a little more water in the tank, to increase the pressure when you flush. This is a simple adjustment — just open the tank and adjust the fill valve so that the tank will fill to the highest point your toilet allows. This is a great first plan of attack, and if it fixes the issue, you can enjoy smoother flushes! The downside to this is, of course, that you will be using more water.

If your toilet features a jet in front to help push the water and waste down when you flush, check this jet for mineral build-up, a very common issue here in Calgary with our hard water. A water softener could help with this problem, so if you were already considering installing one, this will be an added benefit.

Replacing Your Toilet For Smooth Flushing

Often, the problem of a toilet that doesn’t flush well, needs to be fixed often, or leaks, simply means that you need to replace the toilet. If you have had your toilet for five years or so and have dealt with issues like this, it’s time to start thinking about installing something that works!

Luckily, installing a toilet is a quick and easy task, so the cost is generally the price of the toilet you choose plus an hour of labour. Look for a Watersense rated model that is higher quality (don’t go for the cheapest option at the hardware store) and fully glazed with a wide passageway.

Claim Your Rebate!

If you are replacing an older toilet with a flush volume of 13L or more, and you install a Watersense rated toilet in its place before August 15, 2016, you qualify for a $50 rebate from the City of Calgary. It’s easy to apply — simply visit the City’s website ( with your receipt from us in hand, and they will mail you a check! Don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this deal — call us to learn more about your options for a toilet that actually functions perfectly!

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George Pinel
George Pinel

These blog posts are brought to you from George Pinel & the Instant Plumbing team.

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