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How to fix a toilet that wont flush

The day you can’t flush the toilet or have no water supply is like a sore in the eye. Nothing could be worse than to see a clogged toilet. However, with a simple plumbing knowledge, this should be an easy job. If you don’t want to be the handyman for this job, you can always hire a professional to do it. Licensed plumbers are experienced;therefore,they charge high, on hourly basis.

The Simple know-how

If you are doing the fixing job yourself, then you should know how a toilet functions and the parts of it. A toilet basically consists of two components: the bowl and the tank. The tank contains the flush, the re-filling mechanism and water. The hole visible in the bowl is attached to a siphon;the siphon tube is curved upwards and then goes down. Once the bowl is filled with gallons of water, the water flows to the upward curve of the tube and flushes away the contents of the bowl.

How the flush mechanism works:

The action is driven by three things: gravity, water pressure and the person who is flushing. The big elevated tank at the back remains filled with it approx. 2 gallons of water.When you activate the handle, the chain inside the tank gets pulled which lifts the flapper, water rushes down in the bowl and with a swirling motion and flushes the bowl content away.

Detect the Problem

The worst part of using a toilet is the non-functioning of flush. Don’t worry; it does not need replacing with a new toilet or getting expensive repairs. These days’ homeowners are smart enough to carry out initial DIY fixes. Actually, plumbing may sound quite heavy but the science is pretty straightforward.

Firstly,you need to figure out the reasons of a non-functional flush. The problem might be due to the flush mechanism or the drainage system.

1. Try pressing the flush handle. If wash out is not happening, it’s a problem with the mechanism.

2. If the flush is happening on pressing the handle but bowl contents are not washing out, there is a drainage issue.

Now your flush might not work at all or be very poor, either of it is frustrating. The fixing can be done easily once you discover the underlying problem. Read on for the reasons that might lead to a non-functional flush.

1. Clogged toilet can hinder flush

Too much of anything is bad and toilet paper proves this. Do not flush too many toilet papers because it can cause the pipe to clog and the flushing gets impossible. It’s not a great idea to flush sanitary napkins either.

Solution: You must use a toilet auger or a plunger to drive away the waste and make flushing easy. Suction is also used to pull out the waste that was blocking the flush. It’s better to use toilet paper that is thinner in texture and to limit the usage.

2. Low water level in the tank

Sometimes low water level in the tank causes non-functional flush.

Solution: Ensure the water level is minimum 1 inch beneath the overflow tube of the tank. Check the valve if water level is low and if the valve is off, please turn it on. Flush the toilet once the water level is optimum.

3. Lift Chain

If there is a lift chain, check for excessive stretch and if it is so, the flapper will not rise and won’t increase its length to gather sufficient water in the bowl. Thus, there will not be a full flush.

Solution: Remove the chain and re-hook to the hole that is located near the flush lever.

4. Wared or bent flapper

If your toilet is not flushing, inspect the rubber flapper which is mainly intended to control the flush mechanism. If no water comes in the bowl after pushing the handle, it’s because the flapper is not rightly seated.

Solution: Simply re-seat the flapper and the tank will fill up. If the flapper is not in good condition and have sealed the hole of the flush tube, replace it. Turn off the tank while changing to a new one and flush again to check whether it’s working fine.

Now that you have known the reasons, keep a regular check and do some cleaning tasks.

Toilet Bowl not emptying

This is another issue and it’s due to blocked drainage but sometimes the problem is really complex. If you have plunged the toilet and still the bowl water does not drain, it might be due to low pressure of the water or the connecting chain is excessively long. Adjust the length of the chain that connects the flapper to the lever and try again. Sometimes the problem is intense, you might have to call a pro plumber.

Very weak flush

It’s not necessary that the flush will stop working overnight but a weak flush indicates that anytime it might give up. Excessively slow flushing is caused due to deposition of minerals and dirt which blocks the flow of water beneath the rim. Do some good scrubbing using a wire brush and white vinegar below the rim and this removes the partial blockage. Check the flush system after cleaning.

Incessant flushing

We are speaking about the flush not working but non-stop flushing is a very big problem too as it leads to excessive water loss. In this case, you must ensure the float arm and the ball is working smoothly without any obstructions.

Dysfunctional Fill valve

Sometimes the tank is not filling due to fill-valve failure, it needs replacement. If you do not hear the sound of running water on pressing the handle, the ball cock is responsible. You should not over-tighten the fill-valve nut while attaching to the tank or the tank might suddenly crack. If you do it yourself, chances are that you might bring a flood in the bathroom.It’s best to contact a plumbing expert.

Cleaning to unclog

Simple yet effective cleaning is also important if the flushing mechanism has stopped. You can use drain cleaner or muriatic acid, let it settle for a few minutes, use a brush and pour a gallon of hot water. If the water goes down, it means the flush is working again. If the mechanism still does not work, call a local plumbing agency.

How to fix a toilet that wont flush

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