8 Reasons Your Toilet Isn’t Flushing

21 Mar

There are few things as frustrating and aggravating as when your toilet won’t flush. It’s something that many of us have experienced at some point. For a moment, you might even panic. Is it going to overflow? How expensive will the repairs be?

Before you get too stressed, though, keep in mind that a clogged toilet is a common problem, and it doesn’t mean you’ll be spending a lot on repairs. Let’s look at the typical reasons your toilet won’t flush.

Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush

It’s important to figure out what the issue is when your toilet won’t flush. Don’t let the problem get worse. After you’ve contacted a professional plumber, try and determine what the underlying issue might be while you wait for them to arrive. Here are some of the most common reasons your toilet gets clogged:

1. Too much toilet paper

While toilet paper is meant to be flushed, it can cause a clog if too much accumulates. To prevent this problem, flush often or discard toilet paper into the waste bin. It’s also crucial to avoid flushing anything other than toilet paper and human waste.

You can also consider buying lighter toilet paper so that it does not clog up your pipes as easily. If you’ve been using thicker toilet paper, switch to one with less ply. Fixing a clog caused by too much toilet paper will usually require plumbing tools, such as the plunger or the auger.

2. Mineral deposits

Some homes have hard water, which can cause mineral deposits to build up. This can cause blockages and prevent your toilet from flushing correctly. The only way to clear this is to shut your water off and let it drain. Try flushing away any remaining water. Then, use white vinegar in the fill valve to clean away the mineral deposits. Let the mixture do its work for a few hours, and try to flush the toilet again. If it doesn’t work, contact a plumber who can come in and try to scrape away the deposit buildup.

If hard water and mineral deposits are a recurring issue, consider buying a water softener to alleviate the problem.

3. Partial pipe clog

Paper and waste can also cause partial clogs in your pipes, which slow down the flow of your toilet. If you notice this, it’s best to immediately take care of the problem. The longer you wait, the bigger the pipe clog will grow until you aren’t able to flush any water.

To fix it, use a plunger and push the water out of your toilet bowl. Then, flush and repeat the process a few times. If this does not get your toilet flowing at full capacity again, try pouring hot water down the bowl to clear away the clog. Should this fail to get things back in working order, you’ll need to call a plumber and have them snake the drain.

4. Tank water level too low

Sometimes, the problem is not in your pipes, but rather your toilet tank. Have a look at the tank and see how it is affected by the flushing process. If it does not fill up all the way, your problem may be that the tank water is too low for a full flush.

What is causing the tank water to be low may have to do with the valve. Examine it to see if it is turned on and the water is able to get into the tank. If that does not fix the issue, consider whether the float prevents the tank from filling up fully.

5. Flapper damage

The flapper is the piece of the toilet that allows the water to run down in the tank. After it finishes flushing, the flapper should close, thus allowing water to fill up in the tank again. If the flapper has become worn or damaged, it won’t be able to do this, causing troubles with flushing your toilet. Replacing the flapper is usually a simple job. You’ll just need to be sure you get the right size replacement for your tank.

6. Broken lift chain

The lift chain is the part of the toilet that pulls the flapper open when you flush the handle. The flapper won’t move when the chain is broken, preventing your toilet from fully flushing. The easiest way to fix this problem is to get a new lift chain. Be sure to find one with the right amount of chain for your toilet.

7. Damaged overflow tube

An overflow tube that is cracked allows water inside of it instead of filling up the tank. You’ll know this is the problem if you cannot flush the toilet at all. Unfortunately, the only fix is a replacement of the overflow tube. However, it’s less hassle and cost than you would expect. Once you get it replaced, your toilet should start working correctly again.

8. Drain line issue

Sometimes, all the parts of your toilet are in good working order, but it still won’t flush. It could be the problem lies further down your drain line. These are the pipes that take sewage out of your home. If it is a drain line issue, you’ll notice a problem in all your toilets and drains around your home.

It’s best to let a plumber investigate the drain. They’ll have the right tools and experience to know whether you’re dealing with a clog on the line, or if there is a broken or cracked pipe causing trouble.

There are many other reasons why your toilet may not flush. It might take some time, but once you determine the cause, you’ll be able to fix it.

Not sure if you have the time or knowledge to tackle toilet troubles? At Brothers Plumbing, we fix all kinds of toilet issues and even have emergency service available around the clock.

For more information about fixing a toilet that won’t flush or to speak with professional plumbers in Mimico, call Brothers Plumbing at 1-800-742-8471 or contact us here.

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