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How To Fix A Toilet That Won't Flush

How To Fix A Toilet That Won't Flush

Did you just find out that your toilet has stopped flushing? Yes, it’s undoubtedly frustrating, but hold on, as there’s no need to panic just about yet!

Let us tell you that this is one of the most commonly occurring plumbing problems in all households. As such, there are several ways to get rid of it once and for all. All you would need is a bit of patience and some simple tools.

And that’s exactly what we’ll talk about in this guide. We have included all the possible situations that you might face and the corresponding remedy.

With all said and done, let’s dive in!

6 Methods To Fix Toilets That Aren’t Flushing

There are various reasons why the flushing mechanism of your toilet might not work. So, let’s look at each of them in greater detail.

Unblocking Toilet Using A Plunger

The Toilet May Be Clogged 

The most common reason why the flush mechanism of a toilet won’t work is because of a clog. You must be careful not to flush anything except toilet waste and paper, as insoluble items such as wipes can accumulate and block the sewer line.

If a portion of the line is partially clogged, it implies that your toilet may be flushing weakly. To confirm the presence of the same, pour about 1-gallon of cold water into the bowl. If you still find that the toilet isn’t flushing properly, your toilet is most probably partially clogged.

To resolve this issue, try to loosen the clog using a toilet auger or plunger. Here, you should note that the cup would help create a strong seal within the bowl.

Another method is to turn off the water in the toilet, initiate the flushing action, and finally pour hot water into the bowl. Wait for a few minutes for the water to sit in, and after that, flush it again.

If none of these methods work, a third way out is to snake the toilet. In case the toilet still doesn’t flush, it’s best to contact a professional plumbing service to fix the issue.

The Chain And Handle Might Not Work

Another reason for ceased flushing can be that the handle that initiates the flushing action has stopped working. But fixing such a problem will be relatively easier. The handle is connected with a short chain to a flapper or valve that stores water in the tank. This chain might be disconnected at one end, thereby causing the problem.

However, the chain may also have an improper length, so when the handle is depressed, it might not yank the flapper up, as per the general functioning. And the flapper not rising would mean the toilet won’t flush.

On the other hand, if the chain is shorter than required, the flapper wouldn’t seal, and as a result, the toilet would run even though it isn’t filled with water completely. If you face such problems, first lift the lid off the toilet tank, and check whether the chain is connected at both ends.

If it isn’t, make sure you clip them into place. But if that connection hasn’t been disrupted, the handle must be pulled to check whether the chain length is ideal for lifting the flapper open and closing it tightly.

Why The Flapper Isn’t Closing

As we have mentioned earlier, the flapper refers to a rubber valve fixed in the lower portion of the flush tank. Whenever you depress the handle to flush the toilet, it would be opened and closed to let the water run into the toilet bowl. Thus, the flapper is always in contact with water, and consequently, it might be bent or warped over time.

Graphic Of Inside A Toilet Cistern

In such situations, you need to examine the flapper properly. Check whether it seals tightly when closed, and also try to find out whether it has been damaged.

If you notice any such issues, stop the water supply at the corresponding supply valve, then drain the toilet tank and fix a replacement flapper. Complete the process by attaching the chain to the new flapper. Note that you can find flappers at any local hardware shops.

The Overflow Tube Might Be Damaged

Located near the tube for refilling, the overflow tube ensures that the water is directly emptied into the bowl at the time of flushing. Like the other parts of the toilet, the tubes are also not infallible.

As such, constant pressure on the toilet can cause it to crack or be damaged. If there’s indeed a crack on the tube, water would flow inside it and not past it, which implies the flushing mechanism would stop working.

It’s best to replace this tube to ensure that the proper functioning of the system is restored. If you are finding it difficult to fix this issue, you need to contact a plumbing service as soon as possible.

The Tank May Not Fill Up Entirely

When a toilet is flushed, the tank releases water into the toilet bowl. Releasing more water at high speed creates the suction needed for the flushing mechanism. But when the water in the tank is insufficient, it cannot create the required pressure to ensure a strong flushing action. Hence, the flushing action might be weaker or might not take place at all.

The first thing to do in such cases is to open the flush tank to find the filling line and the float. While the tank is open, depress the handle to initiate a flush and observe the water draining into the toilet bowl and filling back. If the tank stops filling before the fill limit is reached by the float, then there won’t be a full flushing action.

After this, the float must be adjusted by positioning it on an arm connecting it to the tube for refilling. You will then have to flush again to check whether the problem has been solved.

Toilet Jets May Be Clogged

The portion beneath the rim of the bowl has little holes referred to as toilet jets. On flushing the toilet, the water in the flush tank rushes through these openings to give rise to a swirling action. But they might be clogged due to corrosion or lime from the toilet cleaners.

To fix this problem, you must clean the clogged jets using a toothbrush, a small nail, or a small wire. Also, add some vinegar solution or watered bleach to ensure the cleaning is effective.

Follow this by placing a mirror beneath the rim to see whether the jets are still clogged and accordingly dig out the blockage again. Continue this until the blockages are restored.

Fixing Your Toilet

Photo Of Toilet And Plant

After you read through our guide, we’re sure you would be able to locate the particular problem and resolve it as we’ve suggested. But if the toilet still doesn’t start functioning, contact a plumbing service in your area immediately. After all, a dysfunctional flushing mechanism is a serious issue and needs to be looked into without any delay.

But before wrapping up, we would like to share a pro tip with you. Make sure you don’t use the toilet other than for determining the problem. This way, it will remain protected from more damage.

With that, we’ll take your leave for today. Till next time, take care!