Why Won’t My Toilet Flush?
There are many reasons why the toilet won’t flush.
Sometimes it’s a simple fix, the chain connecting the flush lever to the flapper might be broken or loose, which prevents the flap from being lifted up high enough to let water in the tank so the toilet can flush.
In that case, the chain may just need to be shortened or replaced.
Also, the flapper itself may be worn or broken and need to be replaced.
Or, you may just need to see if the water valve was accidentally turned off, or if it’s too low.
Turning the valve all the way up may remedy the problem. Then again, if you’ve taken all these steps and your toilet still doesn’t flush, it could be a bigger issue.
That’s when it’s time to get help from a plumbing professional.
A toilet bowl that empties slowly, also known as a “slow” or “weak flush,” is often the result of the jet holes under the rim of the bowl becoming clogged with minerals such as calcium, lime, or rust-buildup.
Over time, these deposits restrict and block water from flowing into the toilet bowl, causing a weak flush.
Many times this problem can be easily fixed by using a wire coat hanger to gently poke each flush hole to clear out any debris. This will allow the water to drain freely again.
Why is My Toilet Running?
When your toilet continues to run long after flushing, that can be due to a variety of problems.
Water may be leaking through a poorly fitting or defective flapper or float apparatus that fails to seal the flush valve between the tank and bowl.
Or, water could be leaking into the overflow tube. A defective toilet fill valve, float arm, tank stopper or inlet valve might also be the problem.
After you’ve looked at everything noted here, if your toilet is still running continually, your best bet is to call a plumber.
A running toilet is not a problem to ignore, since you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water a day.
Why is My Toilet Clogged?
Excessive use of toilet paper, or attempting to flush anything down the toilet other than toilet tissue can clog pipes, which, after a flush, results in the dreaded overflow.
Flushing paper towels, wet wipes, diapers, sanitary napkins, and excess hair from a brush are all common culprits behind toilet blockages.
In homes with hard water, mineral deposits can build up, eventually making the toilet drain too narrow for solid waste to pass through.
If the clog is simply a blockage in the pipe below or immediately adjacent to the toilet, many blockages can be cleared using a plunger or toilet auger.
If that doesn’t work, pouring a pot of very hot (not boiling) water into the toilet will often dislodge the clog.
Chemical drain cleaners, on the other hand, are not always the best solution since they can damage pipes and cause them to deteriorate at a faster rate.
If you’ve used a plunger and perhaps hot water and your blockage still isn’t resolved, that indicates the clog is likely to extend far beyond the immediate area of your toilet, and may mean a blockage in your main sewer line.
In this situation, it’s best to consult with a drain-clearing professional. If you’re able to temporarily unclog your toilet, but new clogs reoccur on a regular basis, that’s also symptomatic of a serious underlying problem.
Why is My Toilet Leaking?
Another water-waster is a leaky toilet. A toilet may be leaking water in the tank or at the base.
If the leak is at the base, the wax ring (seal) between the bottom of the toilet and the closet flange (waste pipe) is broken, allowing water to seep out under the toilet whenever it’s flushed.
The toilet base probably isn’t totally attached to the floor, and may wobble when someone sits on it. If you’re a handyman, this is a relatively easy toilet repair; the wax ring has to be replaced, and the tee bolts that attach the toilet to the floor need to be tightened.
If you periodically hear a flushing sound coming from the tank when the toilet hasn’t been flushed, this is typically due to a very slow leak from the tank into the bowl.
This problem is usually caused by a bad flapper or flapper seat. The solution is to clean the flapper seat and replace it if it’s damaged or worn.