If your toilet is not flushing properly, it can be a huge inconvenience. Not only is it frustrating to have to deal with a running toilet, but it can also be messy and unpleasant for your home.
If you're wondering how to fix a toilet that won't flush, don't worry - this can be a fairly simple DIY job, especially once you know the common causes and how to remedy them.
Common Reasons Why Your Toilet Won't Flush
There are a few different reasons why your toilet may not be flushing properly. The most common? You have a clogged toilet.
Your Toilet Is Clogged
One of the most common reasons is that there is something blocking the toilet's drainage pipe. This can be anything from a small object that was accidentally flushed, using too much toilet paper, or tree roots that have grown into the pipe. Be sure to avoid putting items like paper towels or feminine hygiene products down the toilet to prevent clogs.
The Flapper Assembly Is Not Right
The toilet flapper assembly is the part of the toilet that controls how much water is released when you flush. If this assembly is not installed correctly, or if it is damaged, it can cause your toilet to not flush properly.
When you lift the toilet's tank lid, you'll see a chain that attaches to the toilet handle's flush lever. The piece of rubber you see at the other end of the chain is your flapper valve. This chain can sometimes become unconnected, which can cause the toilet to not flush. This is an easy fix: all you have to do is rehook the chain.
You want to make sure there is not too much slack in the lift chain; the slack should only be about half an inch. Simply unhook the chain and chook a link closer to the flapper valve if you have too much slack. This should help your toilet flush again.
There Is Not Enough Water in the Bowl
If there isn't enough water in the bowl, then there won't be enough to properly flush the waste away. Most toilets need to flush around 80% of your toilet's water supply, otherwise, you risk a partial flush.
This can be caused by a number of things, such as a leaky fill valve or a clogged vent stack. You should also check your overflow tube to ensure there are no cracks in it.
Your Toilet's Water Tank Needs to Be Checked
If your toilet's water tank is not filling up properly, then it can also cause your toilet to not flush properly. This is usually due to a problem with the float arm or the fill valve.
Your Toilet Rim Holes Are Clogged
The rim holes are the small holes around the edge of the toilet bowl. These little holes allow water to enter the bowl when you flush, and if they are clogged, it can cause your toilet to not flush properly.
Tips For Fixing a Toilet That Won't Flush Completely
There are a few things you can do to try and fix your toilet before calling a professional plumber. Now that you know some of the common reasons why your toilet won't flush, let's take a look at how to fix it, depending on what the problem involves, so you can make sure your toilet flushes again.
Tips for Fixing Toilet Clogs
If your toilet is clogged, the first thing you'll need to do is remove the blockage. This can usually be done with a toilet plunger or a plumber's snake. If you don't have a toilet auger, you can purchase or rent one from your local hardware store. If this doesn't work, you can also try a solution of vinegar and hot water and flushing it down.
When using a plunger, the key is to create suction. Put the plunger in the bowl and create a seal around the toilet drain. The toilet should have enough water to cover the cup of the plunger. If you have a low water level, you may need to add some from the sink before plunging.
If you're dealing with tree roots, you may need to call a professional who can inspect your pipes. Tree roots can grow into your main sewer line and crack the pipes.
Tips for Fixing a Damaged Flapper
If the flapper assembly is damaged, you'll need to replace it. This is a fairly simple job that you can do yourself, or you can call a professional plumber to do it for you.
Tips for Fixing a Toilet with Not Enough Water in the Bowl
If there isn't enough water in the bowl, then you'll need to add more. Check for leaks around the fill valve and make sure the vent stack is clear. If this doesn't solve the problem, then you may need to replace the fill valve entirely.
What to Look For In Your Toilet Water Tank
If your toilet's water tank is not filling up properly, then you'll need to check the float arm and fill valve beneath the toilet's tank lid. The fill valve is responsible for letting water into the tank, and the float arm controls how much water is released when you flush. If either of these are damaged or not working properly, then it can cause your toilet to not flush properly.
How to Fix Clogged Rim Holes
If your rim holes are clogged, you'll need to clean them out. This can usually be done with a toilet brush or a plumber's snake. You can also use a wire in the individual rim holes to try to clear them out and see which ones are blocked.
If this doesn't work, you can also try using a solution of vinegar and hot water. Adding vinegar to the toilet tank can help break down any mineral deposits that have built up in there that are causing the blockage.
When to Call a Professional Plumber
If you've tried all of these tips and your toilet still won't flush, then it's time to call a professional. They will be able to inspect your pipes and determine what the problem is while keeping things flowing smoothly.
At Express Sewer, we utilize trenchless technology to inspect your pipes without tearing up your yard in Sacramento County. We also use video to conduct sewer inspections to identify the cause of any issues as accurately and non-invasively as possible.
Our team of professional plumbers services Sacramento, Carmichael, Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, and surrounding areas in Sacramento County. Contact a licensed plumber from our team today for a free quote and a successful flush!