What to Do When Your Toilet Won’t Flush

Did you know the toilet is flushed more times during the super bowl halftime show than any other time of the year? We can imagine that may be one of the worst times to deal with a toilet that won’t flush.

Whether you’re in your own home or visiting a friend, everyone dreads hearing “the toilet won’t flush.” A broken toilet can be a cause for immediate panic in most cases.

However, learning how to fix a broken toilet is a relatively simple process. In this post, we will explore the steps to take if your toilet won’t flush.

Diagnose The Problem

The first step in addressing your plumbing issue is to diagnose the problem. The cause of your plumbing issues will determine how you solve it. When dealing with a toilet that won’t flush the most common types of problems involve clogs or issues within the tank.

Clog or No Clog

One of the most common reasons a toilet won’t flush is a clog. In some cases, clogs are visible to the naked eye; in other cases, a clog may form beyond the bowl or more rooted in the pipe system.

If your toilet won’t flush due to a clog, the best way to address it is to remove the source of the clog. Toilet clogs can occur due to excess toilet paper, extensive waste, or flushing objects that do not disintegrate.

1) Plunge: Most households have a plunger next to their toilet. A plunger is an ideal tool to use to clear minor to moderate toilet clogs.

To ensure a good seal make sure there is enough water covering the bottom of the plunger. Once the plunger is in the proper place, start plunging until the clog is clear.

If the plunger doesn’t remove the clog, you may be able to remove the clog with a snaking tool.

2) Snake: A plumbing snake is a spring coil that is inserted into the toilet bowl to remove clogs. You gently feed the snake down the toilet bowl until it reaches the clog. Once it reaches the clog, you gently pull the snake out of the toilet bowl until the clog is released.

Check the tank

If you have determined the issue isn’t within the bowl, your best bet is to check the tank. These are the most common problems that occur when your toilet won’t flush.

1) The water level is too low: In most cases, the toilet’s water level should be about an inch below the top of the tank’s overflow mark.

If the water level is too low, you may want to check the water valve. If the water valve is off, turn it on and check to see if the water level returns to an appropriate height.

2) The flapper is warped: Check to see if the rubber flapper is damaged, warped, or bent. If this is the case, you will need to replace the flapper.

Before you replace the flapper, turn off the water and drain the tank. Once you replace the flapper, make sure it works by flushing the toilet.

3) The lift chain is broken: The lift chain connects the flapper to the flushing handle. If the chain is too loose, it will inhibit you from flushing the toilet.

To address this problem, you will need to adjust the lift chain to shorten it enough to enable proper flushing.

Don’t worry if you can’t repair your toilet. According to My Darlinghurst Plumber, there is no plumbing issue too big or too small for a professional plumber to handle. When in doubt, contact a professional.

Toilet Won’t Flush? When to Call a Plumber

Most toilet issues are simple and can be addressed without the help of a plumber.

However, If you’ve tried addressing your toilet issues on your own with no success, you may want to contact your local plumber to determine why your toilet won’t flush.

To learn about some of the latest smart plumbing technologies homeowners are adopting, check out this article.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.