bathroom 3482284 1920

Why Won’t My Toilet Flush Properly? 5 Reasons, 5 Fixes

Why Won’t My Toilet Flush Properly?

October 19, 2018

bathroom 3482284 1920
When toilets don’t flush properly, not only is it hard to keep your toilet clean, but you’ll end up wasting a lot of water with multiple flushes. If you don’t have enough water in your toilet tank, you won’t have enough to produce a proper flush. Luckily, you may not have to replace your toilet. There are several things to check to make sure you have the proper water level in your tank.
1. Check the water stop valve

The stop valve works like a faucet — simply turn it clockwise to shut off water and counterclockwise to turn it on. It should be right near your toilet. Make sure it is all the way open. If the handle is too difficult to turn, try wearing a work glove or using a pair of slip-joint pliers. If it’s too hard to move, don’t force it. Contact a plumber.

2. Check the lift chain

The lift chain inside your toilet tank lifts the flapper to allow water to rush into your toilet bowl. If there’s too much slack or stretch, it could become tangled and interfere with the flapper being able to fully close. It could also keep the flapper from rising and staying open long enough for water in the tank to flow into the toilet bowl.

Chain problems can cause flush problems. Lift off the top to your toilet tank. There should only be about .5 inch of slack. You can adjust the chain by moving the chain link up or down.

3. Check the flapper
The flapper is the rubber seal at the bottom of your toilet tank. If your flapper is old or damaged, it may not be able to create the proper seal. This causes water in the tank to leak out. As a result, there may not be enough water to produce a proper flush. You may be able to fix the seal by cleaning the flush valve seat with an abrasive sponge, but if not, you probably need to replace the flapper. Follow all the manufacturer instructions when replacing the flapper. Turn off the water supply to your toilet before removing the old flapper and installing the new one.
4. Check the ball float

You need enough water in the tank to make your toilet flush properly. There should be a water line mark on the inside of the tank. If there is no water line mark, aim for about 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube.

To attain the proper water level in your tank, you need to make sure the float ball (aka ballcock) is at the proper level. You can change the height of the ball float by loosening or tightening the vertical adjuster screw (it may also be a wingnut) at the top of the fill valve assembly. The higher the float ball, the higher the water level.

Tighten the screw to lower the ball, loosen it to raise it. Do NOT try to bend the arm of the ballcock to fix the water level. Flush the toilet and adjust the adjuster screw as necessary so the water level is perfect. (To adjust the water level in a water intake assembly with float cylinders, squeeze the clip on the metal rod and slide it up or down for the proper water level).

5. Clogged rim jets/holes

The last potential fix for a toilet that doesn’t flush properly all the way is cleaning the rim jets/holes in your toilet bowl. Rim jets are the openings in your toilet bowl where water flows and starts the flush cycle. When rim jets are clogged, usually by mineral deposits, your toilet may not flush all the way.

You can check if your rim jets are clogged by holding a small mirror under the rim of the toilet bowl. Try using toilet bowl cleaner to clean clogged rim jets. If your rim jets are severely clogged, you may need to use a piece of wire to clean out each hole by pushing in and out.

If you have a lot of mineral deposits around your plumbing fixtures, it’s probably time to speak with a professional plumber about water softening solutions.

We hope these tips help you have your toilet flush properly, but when it’s time to repair or replace your toilet, speak with experts at Fix-It 24/7.

Schedule your plumbing maintenance service in Denver today, or better yet, sign up for our home maintenance plan — the Fix-It Green Club.

When Your House Is in Trouble, Call the Green Bubble!

(303) 214-0277

Service You Can Count On

logo 5
logo 4
logo 3
logo 2 1
logo 1


How can we help you today?

  HVAC   Plumbing Electrical

Areas We Service

  • Arvada, CO
  • Aurora, CO
  • Boulder, CO
  • Brighton, CO
  • Broomfield, CO
  • Castle Pines, CO
  • Castle Rock, CO
  • Centennial, CO
  • Cherry Hills Village, CO
  • Commerce City, CO
  • Dacono, CO
  • Denver, CO
  • Erie, CO
  • Firestone, CO
  • Franktown, CO
  • Frederick, CO
  • Golden, CO
  • Greenwood Village, CO
  • Henderson, CO
  • Highlands Ranch, CO
  • Ken Caryl, CO
  • Lafayette, CO
  • Lakewood, CO
  • Littleton, CO
  • Longmont, CO
  • Northglenn, CO
  • Parker, CO
  • Thornton, CO

Get Scheduled Today

Get Scheduled Today

Call 303-214-0277

Your Local Home Service Experts