One of the most common plumbing problems homeowners tend to experience is the toilet not flushing properly. Sometimes it won’t flush at all, and other times it might not flush all the way, requiring you to flush the toilet twice to completely get rid of all waste and debris.
Whatever the reason, this plumbing problem is something that should be taken care of as soon as possible. That’s because your toilet is one of the most important fixtures in your home, and the toilet not flushing is more than just a manageable annoyance — it can actually be quite problematic, and you certainly don’t want a bigger plumbing problem to develop.
After all, if there is an issue with your toilet, it can throw the entire household into a panic. Even if the toilet works, but doesn’t work well, there may still be chaos. And while you can certainly attempt to fix the toilet yourself, the actual plumbing problem causing your toilet not to flush properly could be one of several things. Without a great amount of plumbing experience and knowledge of toilets, it can be difficult to pinpoint the problem on your own.
Many Utah homeowners rely on Black Diamond Experts for all their plumbing service and repair needs. The plumbing experts at Black Diamond have seen plenty of problems with a toilet not flushing, and possess the expertise and the equipment to properly fix your toilet. Here are some of the common reasons you might have a problem with your toilet.
Reasons for a Toilet Not Flushing Properly
Sometimes what might seem like a complicated plumbing problem can actually be an easy fix. Check the following if your toilet is not flushing, and you may be able to take of it yourself.
The Flapper or Lift Chain isn’t working like it should
When you flush your toilet, the rubber cup, called the flapper, is lifted above the drain inside the toilet tank, allowing the water to flush from the tank into the bowl, and down the toilet. The lift chain that is attached to the flapper. When you flush the toilet, the metal arm attached to the flush handle lifts the chain, which lifts the flapper. If either one of these two components isn’t working properly, it could be the cause of your toilet not flushing.
Sometimes the chain could become detached from the flapper, or there may simply be too much slack, which means the flapper won’t be raised high enough for the water to flush properly. The flapper could also be loose or damaged, which will cause a running toilet as water continuously leaks into the bowl. Left untreated, a weak flush will only be one of your plumbing problems.
To solve this issue, you may need to replace the flapper. You can purchase a new flapper assembly at a home goods store, and the product should come with instructions and details on how to properly remove the old flapper and install the new one. You can also turn off the water to the toilet and drain the tank, allowing you to remove the old flapper first so that you can take it with you to the store as a reference to help you find the right part.
The flapper should fit snugly over the drain, and the chain should lift it completely when the toilet is flushed. If you are still having a problem with the toilet not flushing properly, it could be because there is not enough water in the tank.
Not enough water in the tank
Your toilet is designed to properly flush waste and debris due to the suction that is created when you flush water from the tank into the bowl. If there isn’t enough water in the tank, the suction will be insufficient to properly flush everything the first time. This may be why you need to flush more than once, another common plumbing problem.
Check the water level inside your toilet tank. There is usually a mark on the inside of the tank indicating where the water level should be. Try flushing the toilet and wait for the water to rise again. See if it rises to the mark, or if it is below the mark. If it is more than an inch below the mark, the water level will need to be adjusted. This can usually be done by making an adjustment to the fill valve. If you aren’t sure how to do this, it is recommended that you contact a professional so that you don’t accidentally damage any of the parts inside your toilet tank.
If the water appears fine, then perhaps your toilet is clogged.
The toilet is clogged
A clogged toilet is a very common plumbing problem resulting in a toilet not flushing completely or at all. The clog could occur due to waste and debris building up within the pipes over time, causing water flow to slow down considerably, subsequently resulting in a weak flush.
The first thing to try is using a plunger on your toilet. More often than not, this is enough to loosen the clog and send water flowing through the pipes properly again. However, if you notice that the toilet tends to clog again every now and then, there may be debris in the pipes that can’t be removed through a simply plunging effort. If that’s the case, you’ll need to contact a professional plumber to handle clogs that could be deep within the pipes. Using specialized equipment and cameras, the plumber can locate and remove a clog efficiently, fixing your plumbing problem.