How to Fix A Toilet That Won’t Flush Yourself [Top 6 Reasons & Solutions]
A toilet that doesn't flush properly is inconvenient, but it happens all the time. Don't worry, in the vast majority of cases, we can solve this problem ourselves. In this guide, we provide you with 6 reasons why your toilet won't flush as well as 6 basic DIY solutions to help you fix a toilet that won't flush easily and quickly.
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Learn How A Toilet Works before Fixing A Toilet That Won't Flush
Before fixing a toilet that won't flush, learn how a toilet works first. Then you can better understand how to repair the toilet. You can remove the lid from your tank and see what happens when flushing the toilet. Here's how the toilet works:
Step 1: When you push the handle or press the button to flush the toilet, the beaded metal chain lifts the flapper, which covers the flush valve seat.
Step 2: Water in the tank flows through the flush valve seat into the toilet bowl.
Step 3: The water from the tank forces the wastewater in the toilet bowl into the main drain.
Step 4: The flapper valve closes once the tank is empty. Then water runs through the fill valve to refill the tank.
Step 5: The float mechanism on the fill valve turns off the flow of water when the tank is full.
Top 6 Reasons & Solutions to Fix A Toilet That Doesn't Flush
After understanding how the toilet works, you can diagnose for yourself why your toilet won't flush. If you want to fix a toilet that won't flush properly, check whether there is a problem in the following 6 places and fix it according to the corresponding solution.
1. The Lift Beaded Metal Chain is Broken or Disconnected
Reason: The lift chain that connects the flapper to the flush handle on the outside of the toilet can occasionally become too flimsy or stretched, making it impossible for the handle to raise the flapper high enough to fill the valve when flushing.
Solution: How to fix a toilet that won't drain? You only need to adjust the length of the chain to shorten it or replace the chain with a new one.
Tips: Shut off the water supply to the toilet and empty the tank before removing the chain. Remember to turn on the water supply after adjusting or replacing the chain.
2. The Flapper Is Bent or Worn out
Reason: The rubber flapper is used to release water when the toilet flushes and close the flush tube hole afterward. Then there is a proper amount of water that flows into the tank and remains here. Your toilet won't flush if the flapper on your toilet is bent or worn out that can't seal the flush tube hole.
Solution: Replace a new flapper if you find it is too warped or bent to fix a toilet that doesn't flush well. It is an inexpensive item and can be purchased from a hardware store. Turn off the water supply and empty the tank before replacing the old flapper with a new one. Then try flushing the toilet again to ensure the toilet can flush properly.
3. The Tank Has Low Water Level
Reason: A common cause of toilets won't flush properly is not enough water in the tank. A successful flush depends on enough force from the water flowing into the toilet bowl. If the water is not enough, the toilet may only partially flush. The water level in the toilet tank should be almost one inch below the top of the overflow tube. If the water in the tank is not enough, it will prevent the toilet from flushing.
Solution: Check the water valve. If it is off, turn it on and watch the water level in the tank to ensure that the toilet fills the water properly. If the water level is still too low, buy a new fill valve and replace the old one.
4. The Inlet Holes are Clogged
Reason: When you flush the toilet, you can find some water coming from the orifices located all around the top rim of the bowl. The orifices can be clogged by the water's mineral deposits over time. If you notice the water coming from the inlet holes is small, you have to unclog the inlet holes.
Solution: Open the fill valve and pour some hot vinegar. Don't flush the toilet for a few hours until the vinegar dissolves the mineral. Flush the toilet to see if the water flow coming through the orifices is normal. If the water flow is still small, try to use a wire hanger to remove the mineral from the inlet holes.
5. Clogged Toilet
Reason: A clogged toilet is one of the common reasons that won't flush properly. Using too much toilet paper or attempting to flush other debris down the toilet may clog the toilet and you might get an incomplete flush. Sometimes, you may even find some water returning through the drain after the flush.
Solution: To fix a toilet that won't flush completely, use a toilet plunger to plunge your toilet for 10 to 15 seconds. After plunging, try flushing the toilet again. Repeat the plunging 2 or 3 times if necessary. If you still have the problem after 3 plunging attempts, it's time to try to unclog the toilet without a plunger. Add a large bucket with hot water and pour it into the toilet bowl. Let the hot water stay for several minutes, then flush it. If that doesn't work, you should consider snaking the toilet or getting professional help.
6. The Overflow Tube is Cracked
Reason: If the above solutions can't fix the non-flushing toilet, check the overflow tube. If it is cracked, the water will flow into it and prevent the tank from filling, then the toilet can't flush.
Solution: Replace the overflow tube with a new one. You can buy it in the hardware store or online.
The Bottom Line
Above are the top 6 solutions about how to fix a toilet that won't flush by yourself. We hope this guide will help you solve the problem quickly and easily when it occurs.