3 Common Reasons Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush Properly

26th March 2020

Trade News

At Plumbmaster, we’re dedicated to helping you with all plumbing problems within your home. The most common room in the house for plumbing issues is the bathroom, and more often than not, it is the toilet that is causing problems. There are a number of reasons for toilets causing problems, but today we are going to look at 3 common reasons your toilet won’t flush.

Low Level of Water

The primary cause for this issue is typically a low level of water in the tank. It is the water in your toilet that causes the flushing motion. When water rapidly enters the bowl from the tank, it causes a suction; this is how pouring a bucket of water into the bowl can force a flush. Without enough water entering the bowl you’ll find there will be only a partial suction – or there may be no movement at all.

Most toilets have a mark in the toilet tank to indicate how much water it should store, the water level should rise to this mark after every flush. If the water is not rising to this mark you will have to adjust it. While all toilets differ, the majority will have a float that looks like a round ball connected directly to the fill valve. To raise the water level, all you have to do is simply manually bend the float arm up. If you have an intake assembly, look for a metal clip on the assembly itself. Move this clip up to adjust the water level.

Problem with Flapper or Lift Chain

Another common reason your toilet won’t flush properly is often a problem with the flapper or lift chain. The flapper is the rubber cup-shaped object at the bottom of the toilet tank. The lift chain is attached to the top of the flapper and a long metal arm – this arm being the toilet handle. Each time you flush it causes the metal arm to rise, bringing with it the chain and lifting the flapper. Lifting the flapper allows the tank’s water to enter the bowl, thus causing the suction required to empty. If there is an issue with the chain, it could mean your flapper isn’t rising and allowing enough water to enter the bowl. Alternatively, if the flapper is damaged, this could mean water is leaking into the bowl constantly. Both of these issues will inevitably cause your toilet to stop flushing correctly.

For a damaged chain or flapper, the easiest solution is simply replacing the chain and putting in place a new flapper. Simply turn off the water supply and flush the toilet so it removes all the water in the tank and you can access the damaged flapper and chain. These can then be easily removed and replaced with new ones. Make sure to test the flush a few times to ensure the flapper is snug and the chain is sitting correctly before you turn your water supply on again.

Toilet is Clogged

A third, final, and perhaps most obvious reason why you are having problems flushing the toilet is that the toilet is clogged. Waste and debris can build up in toilet pipes over time, slowing the water flow down. When the water does not have the strength to properly flow through the pipes, you will notice an incomplete flush – or some water may even return through the drain.

The go-to solution for this problem is to reach for the plunger. This should do the trick in two or three plunges, if not you will have to try a different technique. Try turning the water supply off, flushing the toilet and then adding hot (not boiling) water to the bowl. Let it sit before flushing again. If neither of these techniques work, we recommend giving us a call so one of our professionals can have a look.

This goes for any of your plumbing problems: when in doubt, call the professionals. Here at Plumbmaster we know a thing or two about plumbing, and our experts are always on hand to answer any queries you may have, or to offer hands-on help. So, give us a call or visit your local Plumbmaster store and we’ll be happy to help.