There is no worse situation than going to flush the toilet and it won’t flush, leaving you in an awkward position of limbo trying to figure out what the root cause is. The most reassuring thought to keep in mind is that there are a few possible causes, and they can all be fixed by you without calling in for a plumber on standby!
The Possible Causes and Solutions:
This is the most common problem that stops toilets from flushing. Sometimes, the clog is deeper within the pipes leading up to your toilet bowl, leaving the clog to be hidden and go unnoticed. The best way to see if you have a hidden clog is to pour a gallon of water into your toilet bowl. If the water doesn’t flush away, your toilet is clogged.
The easiest solution is to grab a toilet plunger and get to work to loosen things. The most efficient plunger to use is one with a “cup” on the end to ensure that the seal between the plunger and bowl opening is secured for the movement to occur. If that doesn’t work, try snaking the toilet to drain and free whatever is farther up the line.
The Handle and Chain Disconnected
The handle and chain are located within the tank of your toilet, so you will need to remove the lid, carefully, to see what is going on inside. The handle connects to the flapper, which is the valve that holds the water in the tank, by a simple chain. The simple explanation is that the chain became disconnected during flushing at one point. If the chain isn’t disconnected, the chain might be too long or short, causing there to be a leak in the seal created by the flapper and handle.
If the chain is too short, there will be an opening allowing water to come out and not circulate properly. If the chain is too long, the flapper won’t be able to unseal, potentially causing flooding inside your toilet tank.
When looking at the chain, check to see that both sides are connected. If not, simply re-attach. If you suspect the chain is too long or short, check to see if the flapper can fully open and reseal when the toilet flushes. If not, you will need to get a chain that is longer or shorter, depending on your specific situation.
The Flapper Isn’t Closing
As mentioned above, the flapper is what keeps the water in the tank of your toilet. The flapper is a small rubber valve that creates a seal at the bottom of your toilet. Without this seal, the water cannot stay at a high level, also known as the “fill line”, and maintain the ability to flush. If your flapper isn’t closing, it might be because the chain attaching to it and the handle is too short or long; or the flapper itself is broken and needs to be replaced.
To replace a flapper, all you need to do is go and buy a new one from a hardware store; they are inexpensive as they are only made of rubber. Once purchased, turn off the flow of water to your toilet, drain the tank of any excess water, and then swap out the flappers. After that process is done, ensure the chain is reattached and turn the water back on!
The Overflow Tube Needs Repair
Overflow tubes in your toilet tank help empty the water directly into the water bowl when the toilet is flushed. But with the constant pressure from the toilet’s water, these tubes can crack easily. Once cracked, the water will rush into the tube instead of into the bowl. This causes the flow of water to stop, causing the halt in flushing.
The only way to fix this problem is to replace the tube in its entirety. Unless you are skilled in that kind of specific handiwork, it’s best to call a professional plumber in to see what part of the overflow tube isn’t working and if there is a specific part that can mend its problem.
The Toilet Jets Are Dirty
The toilet jets are those little holes located all across the underside of your toilet bowl’s rim. When the toilet is flushed, the water comes rushing through these to create the circular swirling action that takes the waste away. When these little jets are clogged with lime or corrosion of dirt, the water cannot effectively exit – thus hindering your toilet’s ability to flush at full power.
If your jets are clogged, get a small nail or wire toothbrush to work out any clogged debris and buildup within your jets. Use watered-down bleach and vinegar to help out in this process. Once all the debris is cleaned out of your jets, your toilet should be back in full working order and at full-flushing capacity!
Toilet Still Won’t Flush?
If your toilet’s troubles couldn’t be solved from one of the previously mentioned causes, it’s time to call for backup and schedule a plumber. The plumber can most likely diagnose the issue causing your toilet to not flush, as they are trained professionals that are skilled in this exact line of problem-solving. At Mr. Plumber, our technicians are accountable and can help you pinpoint the exact problem causing your worries. There is no task too large or too small for our team of plumbers to solve for you in a timely and friendly manner!
For more information on how to debug your toilets, contact Mr. Plumber Plumbing Co. to flush easily once more.