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Why Won’t My Toilet Flush Properly?

Why Won’t My Toilet Flush Properly?

September 28, 2018

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If your toilet isn’t flushing properly, won’t flush at all, or flushes constantly/intermittently, learn the most common causes and how to fix them. Luckily, finding the problem isn’t too difficult.

Consult this cutaway photo of a standard toilet to help with your troubleshooting and repairs:

Toilet Parts Diagram FIx It 300x236 1

Clogged Toilet

If water is backing up and nothing is able to flush down your toilet, you probably have a clog somewhere in the drain line. Wet wipes are often the culprit.

Wet wipes are made from thicker material that prevents rapid disintegration even when exposed to water.

Instead of getting broken down into smaller pieces and transported to the pumps right away, these body wipes simply get stuck in the pipes and accumulate in large groups. What makes the situation worse is that they’re not only blocking the wastewater but also trapping other substances that are supposed to flow smoothly down the pipes.

There are bathroom tissues or toilet papers that can be flushed down the drain but wipes are definitely not flushable, no matter what the package says. Wipes that should not be disposed of through the toilet include baby wipes, hard-surface wipes, body wipes and those that are used to remove makeup. All these won’t disintegrate easily like tissue paper. They’ll stick to the pipes and build up until they result in major blockages that will, in turn, disrupt the flow of wastewater and cause backups. 

So, don’t treat your toilet as a garbage can!

Keep a trashcan in the bathroom so you don’t ever throw anything in the toilet besides toilet paper. This includes diapers, feminine hygiene products, floss, hair, drugs, and wet wipes.

The only things that should get flushed down the toilet are toilet paper and human waste.

To avoid toilet clogs, only use the amount of toilet paper that you need. Let the toilet paper absorb the water before flushing it down.

Follow these steps for unclogging your toilet:

If your toilet is clogged, do NOT attempt to flush it again! This is how wastewater ends up all over the floor.

To plunge your toilet, we recommend using a flange plunger. Simply insert the plunger to create a seal over the drain hole. Then, pull the plunger handle back up sharply without breaking the seal. Push up and down a few times to dislodge the clog. Then, flush the toilet again.

If you can’t get the toilet flowing again, don’t hesitate to contact Fix-It 24/7.

Cracks and Leaks

Leaks and cracks are some of the most common reasons for toilet replacements. If there is water damage around the toilet, you could be causing significant damage to your floors, walls, and ceilings.

Contact a professional plumber if you notice any cracks or leaks in pipes or pipe connections. If, however, there is a crack in the toilet bowl or tank itself, a replacement probably makes more sense. Cracks larger than 1/16 of an inch warrant a replacement; however, hairline cracks can sometimes be fixed with plumbing epoxy.

Leaking Toilet

According to the EPA, “Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.” Many times, it’s due to a leaking or running toilet.

Never ignore a leaking toilet! Undetected and ignored toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water every day. That’s thousands of gallons of water down the drain every month (around 6,000 gallons).

Luckily, fixing a toilet leak is something that any dedicated homeowner can fix. All you need is the right tools and knowledge. This step-by-step toilet leak repair guide will help you diagnose any toilet leaks you may have and how to fix them.

Inadequate Flush

Nobody wants a weak or insufficient flush.

Here are some reasons why the flush just doesn’t feel right:

  • Loose handle or trip lever – Try tightening the setscrew on the handle or replacing the entire handle.
  • Flapper closes before tank empties – Adjust the chain and flapper guide rod. You can adjust the chain by removing it and rehooking it to a new chain link.
  • Flapper doesn’t create a proper seal – Clean the valve seat and replace the rubber flapper.
  • Leak between the bowl and tank – Tighten the tank bolts or replace the gasket. Be careful not to overtighten or you could crack the porcelain.
  • Clogged passages – Use a flange plunger or toilet auger to clear obstructions from the passages.

If you need with a toilet repair or replacement, contact Fix-It 24/7 for fast, reliable plumbing service.

Fix-It 24/7 Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric provides reputable plumbing services for Boulder and the entire Denver Metro Area, including drain repair, repiping, toilet replacements, leak detection, and much more! Call us now at (303) 214-0277 or schedule service online

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