There is nothing more frustrating than a non-flushing toilet. Not only can it be a frustrating and annoying situation, but it can also create havoc in your household, especially if you only have access to one bathroom. There could be a number of different reasons why your toilet isn’t flushing, some of which you can easily repair yourself and some that may require the experience of a professional plumber. Here are three of the most common reasons why a toilet doesn’t flush and how you can fix the problem.
Toilet is Clogged
A clogged toilet can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common reason is due to the contents that are inside of the toilet or the pipe. For instance, if there is an excessive amount of toilet tissue it makes it difficult for the water and contents to be forced out of the bowl. In this situation, try to clear it by pouring a bucket of water into the toilet; the excess water may force the clog to drain. Another problem may be that the water levels aren’t high enough to quickly flush. If the water level of the tank is set to low, the bowl may not receive enough water to flush the contents from the bowl. Simply check the level in the tank and manually adjust to allow more water to reach the bowl. If neither of these solves the problem, you should contact a plumber to inspect the plumbing system, which may have a clog deep in the pipes.
Problem with the Flapper
The flapper is a round disc made from plastic or metal that closes the hole in order for water to fill the tank and then is released when you flush to allow water from the tank into the bowl. If the flapper is damaged, broken, or bent it prevents it from making a tight seal, which will not allow the tank to fill with water, which may be why your toilet isn’t flushing. If the flapper is damaged, simply remove the old one and replace it with a new one. This is a fairly easy and inexpensive DIY project and a replacement flapper can be found at your local hardware store. Just remember to adjust the length of the chain to the appropriate length.
Inlet Holes are Blocked
The inlet holes are located under the rim of the toilet bowl. They are used to flush the toilet with water. The water from the inlet holes flush the water from the inside of the bowl, so if there is a blockage in the holes, there’s a chance you’ll lose a great deal of water which will prevent the stream of water from flowing around the toilet bowl. There are a few different reasons why the inlet holes may be blocked, such as from sediments that build up over time. In this situation, you should turn off the water to the toilet, flush the toilet to empty the water, and clean the inlet hole with a strong cleaner; in some cases, you may need to use an object, such as an awl to push the blockage out. Be careful that you don’t push too hard as it may cause more damage. If you aren’t comfortable doing this type of task, it’s best to contact a plumber to do the work for you as opposed to ignoring the problem, which will only worsen over time.
If the problem appears to be something other than the toilet itself, you should contact a local plumber to inspect the plumbing system for you. There are several reasons why your toilet isn’t flushing that may be related to the pipes and drainage system. For instance, overgrown tree roots can find their way into the pipes and eventually cause significant clogs throughout your home’s plumbing system, so the safest thing to do is contact your local plumber to inspect the system and make repairs that aren’t typical DIY plumbing projects.