Toilet Not Flushing? Here’s What You Can Do

There can be incidents when your toilet is not flushing, and you cannot wait for a plumber. So, you should know how to solve some toilet flushing problems to avoid awkward bathroom moments. 

A toilet flush may not work for several reasons. It can be a simple issue like water not getting into the tank or serious problems like toilet clogging. Fortunately, most of the problems can be solved with little plumbing knowledge. 

In this article, I will tell you how to make your toilet flush again. First, you need to know how a toilet works and why it may not flush. 

How Does A Toilet Work?

If you want to fix the system, you must have a thorough idea of how the system works. Knowing a few plumbing skills can save a lot of your time and money. Since everyone frequently uses the toilet in a household, learning to fix some common problems can be convenient for you. 

Now, here is how a regular toilet works: 

  1. A toilet flush tank has a handle or switch. When you push the switch or handle, the connected chain lifts the flapper that covers the flush valve opening.
  2. The water in the tank flows through the opening of the flush valve and pours into the toilet.  
  3. The water is so forceful that it washes away the waste toilet trap into the main drainage pipe.
  4. When the tank has no more water, the flapper valve will shut. Then the tank gets filled with water through the fill valve or ballcock. 
  5. After the tank is full to its capacity, the floating system attached to the fill valve prevents excess water from entering the tank.

As you can see, the components of the water tank must work harmoniously for the toilet to function. Problems in any of the mechanisms will cause toilet flushing problems. 

Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush

There can be mainly two types of toilet flushing problems. Either the flush tank has a problem, or the toilet is clogged. So, you must identify the issue to take the necessary steps to fix it. 

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Here are some of the toilet flushing problems you should know:

  • The water in the tank is not enough to flush the toilet.
  • The handle of the water tank is not working properly.
  • The water cannot build up because of issues with the flapper
  • The toilet is clogged.
  • Mineral build-up under the toilet rim.
  • The problem is in the drain line. 

How To Fix Your Toilet Flush?

After responding to your natural call, you may find the toilet flush not working. It can be an awkward moment if you have many people in the house. A plumber may take hours to arrive, and you may need the toilet to work as soon as possible. 

If you have some idea about fixing the toilet, you can try working on the flushing problem without waiting for the plumber. Start by identifying the issues of the toilet and then fix them. 

The Water Tank Handle is Loose or Too Tight

You push down the flush tank handle, but no water comes from the tank. You can feel the tank is full of water. In that case, examine the handle or switch of the tank. Does the handle seem too loose when you push it down? The handle can also get stuck in the down position, which results in a constantly running water tank. 

If so, the handle must have got disconnected from the chain that lifts the flapper. You need to take off the lid of the water tank to check the loose handle. First, locate the nut that connects the handle with the tank.

You may have to clean the debris and build-ups around the nut to find it. Then check the nut. If it is too loose, use a wrench to tighten the nut. You most likely have to tighten the nut counterclockwise. Then check the handle to make sure it is working. 

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The handle may get stuck and does not want to come up. Like before, find the screw of the handle inside the tank and check its tightness. If it is too tight, loosen it up a bit by turning clockwise. As usual, see the handle is working before placing the flush lid back. 

Also, the handle can get disconnected from the chain, or the chain can break. You can fix the disconnected chain to see if the flush is working. If the chain or the handle breaks, you have to replace them.

Not Enough Water in the Tank

If the tank does not fill in with the proper amount of water, it will not be hard to flush away the waste. So, take off the lid of the water tank to check the water level. Adjust the float ball if you have to. 

Sometimes, a damaged float ball may give wrong signals to the fill valve. It may signal to the fill valve that the tank is already full of water. Also, check the water supply valve connected with the tank is fully turned open. 

Toilet Keeps Running 

You may have no issue with the handle, but the toilet keeps running. As a result, the water tank cannot hold in the water to flush properly. To fix that, look inside the tank. The chain might have got disconnected from the flapper valve. Or the flapper valve is damaged. Thus, the valve opening does not seal off once the tank is full.

Reattach the chain and fix the valve if you have the knowledge to do so. Otherwise, wait for a plumber to fix the flushing system. 

The Toilet Is Clogged

The tank may work perfectly, but the water may not pass through the toilet hole. Hence, the toilet bowl gets flooded. Your toilet can clog when the hole in the toilet bowl is blocked with things like toys, sanitary pads, or lots of toilet paper. 

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You can use your toilet cleaning brush to push down small blockages or use a plunger to unclog the bowl. Make sure to use a toilet plunger as they are made especially for unclogging toilets. It may take quite an effort to unclog serious blockings. 

Mineral Build-up under the Toilet Rim

Another reason your toilet may not flush properly is the lack of force of the water. It often happens when the water comes slowly from the rim of the toilet. 

When you press the handle, the flapper valve opens, and the water flows into the bowl through the holes under the rim. These holes can get clogged by years of build-ups and dirt. 

Thus, the water pours into the bowl slowly. The speed is not enough to wash the waste into the toilet hole. You have to clean the holes under the toilet bowl rimes so that the water can come out properly in full force.

Blockage in the Drain Line

Here comes the bad news. You may find no problem in the tank or anything in the hole of the toilet bowl. Still, the water in the bowl is stuck after and does not move. It means something has managed to go through the toilet hole but got stuck in the drainpipe. 

It is a serious problem that only professional plumbers can solve. They have devices to unclog the drain pipes. In extreme cases, they have to remove the toilet to reach the drain pipe.

So, toilet is not flushing? Do not stress yourself. Try these methods to solve the problem. It does not take much time to fix some issues by yourself. However, if things get out of control, call an expert plumber to fix your toilet.