Does your toilet have a weak flush? When it doesn’t empty its contents completely, you’re left with a gross, annoying, and wasteful situation. It may be frustrating, but luckily, the problem is usually easy to fix. To determine the right solution, you must first pinpoint why your toilet won’t flush.
The Water Level is Set Too Low
This problem limits how much water flows into the toilet bowl, preventing it from flushing all the way. To check if the water level is low, look inside the tank. The water should sit about one inch below the overflow tube. Raising the level is as simple as turning the float screw clockwise to raise the float a few inches. This allows more water to fill the tank after each flush, boosting your flushing power next time.
The Lift Chain has Too Much Slack
A small rubber flapper holds water in the toilet tank until you flush. Then, a chain lifts it open so water can rush into the bowl. If the chain has too much slack, the flapper won’t open all the way, and the toilet will flush feebly. To fix this, unhook the chain from the lift arm and re-hook it to a link that gives the chain about one-half inch of slack when the flapper is closed. Try flushing the toilet again to see if that solves the problem.
The Toilet is Clogged
If an obstruction is blocking the drainpipe, water will flow sluggishly from the tank to the bowl. Depending on where the clog is located and how stubborn it is, a plunger and a little elbow grease may be all you need. Otherwise, a plumber can help get things flowing again.
The Inlet Holes are Blocked
When water exits the toilet tank, it flows into the bowl through inlet holes around the rim. If mineral buildup blocks these holes, it may prevent the toilet from flushing. Unblock the holes with one of these strategies:
- Scrub the underside of the toilet rim with a brush and bowl cleaner designed to remove mineral deposits.
- Insert a thin wire into the inlet holes to clear out sediment.
- Heat about 10 ounces of white vinegar to 120 degrees and pour it down the overflow tube. Let it sit for at least an hour without flushing, and then clear the holes with a piece of wire.
The Drain Pipe is Poorly Designed
If your toilet has always flushed sluggishly, your plumbing could be to blame. Your best bet is to hire a plumber to assess the system and redesign the drainpipe if needed.
If you’ve tried everything and your toilet still only flushes halfheartedly, it’s time to call a plumber. Parley’s PPM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has over 40 years of experience troubleshooting plumbing problems like this. If you live in Utah County, call us at 801-226-3033. If you’re a Salt Lake County resident, dial 801-229-2665. You can also contact us online to schedule a visit from one of our licensed plumbers.