“My toilet not flushing properly” maybe the most common issue when you call the plumber. It’s really the most frustrating for many homeowners that the toilet will not flush properly. If this is the case or the toilet is slow to drain or drains continuously after flushing, there may be several causes. An improper flush, however, does not always mean you need a new toilet or an expensive call to the plumber. Often homeowners can fix the problem with a few adjustments inside the tank.
Why is my toilet not flushing properly? The reasons are various and here we give you some symptoms and advice to fix.
Doesn’t Flush at All
If the flush lever doesn’t work at all, there may be one of two problems with your toilet. If the tank is empty, the toilet will not flush. The tank is filled with water from the supply line running into your toilet tank. The valve for this is usually on the wall behind the toilet bowl. Make sure the valve is open, and then check inside the tank to make sure the float is not stuck or obstructed.
The second issue may be that the chain connecting the flush lever to the flapper is broken or too loose. This prevents the flapper from opening and closing, and this prevents the toilet from flushing. Check the chain or wire that connects the lever to the flapper. If it is a chain, remove some links to tighten it, or replace it if the chain is too tight. If the lever is connected with a wire, loosen the screw on the lever arm and adjust the length of the wire.
Bowl Does not Empty
While sometimes a bowl that doesn’t empty indicates a blockage in the drain, this isn’t always the problem. If you have plunged or snaked the toilet and the water in the bowl still will not drain, your water pressure may be too low or the chain connecting the flapper to the flush lever may be too long. Adjust the chain length to correct the problem, but if water pressure is the issue, you may have to contact a plumber to inspect your lines.
Slow or Weak Flush
Sometimes toilets will flush, but the water drains slowly or it does not drain everything from the bowl. This is often caused by dirt and mineral deposits blocking the flow of water under the rim of the toilet bowl. Scrubbing under the rim with a stiff wire brush and some white vinegar will typically remove this buildup and correct the problem. You can also use a straightened wire coat hanger to loosen debris in these holes. A partial blockage in the drain may also cause a slow or weak flush. Plunging the toilet is usually enough to loosen the material causing the clog and allow the water to drain freely.
If your toilet runs continuously after flushing, a leak may be causing the problem. When the water enters the tank, if the flapper isn’t properly positioned over the drain, water will leak into the toilet, causing it to run. Make sure the float arm is lifting and lowering properly and that there are no obstructions preventing the flapper from dropping into place to seal the opening in the bottom of the tank. If the flapper is damaged, it must be replaced. Flappers are available at most hardware stores either by themselves or as part of a kit that includes the flapper, float arm and float ball.