A toilet that won’t flush is a problem that no one needs, especially in their home. If your toilet isn’t flushing problem, it’s important to get it fixed right away – not only for the sake of hygiene, but because it’s a good idea to find out exactly what went wrong, and what repairs will keep it from happening again. To help out, here are a few of the most common reasons we see toilets refusing to flush, and what they mean.
Your Toilet Is Clogged
Not all toilet clogs are obvious. Some are more subtle, and some can even develop over time until you realize your toilet just isn’t flushing the way it should. All clogs tend to have the same causes – material is clogging the pipe further down your system and making it too hard for water and waste to pass through. Usually, a plunger can fix the issue. Sometimes an augur can help explore deeper pipe problems and remove blockages (while you can rent augurs or “drain snakes”; it’s easy for an inexperienced person to damage their pipes with one, so we suggest you leave this in the hands of a professional).
To prevent these clogs, follow a very, very simple rule: Never put anything in your toilet expect waste and toilet paper. Nope, nothing. Not even things that say they’re “flushable.” They aren’t, and your toilet – as well as your sewer system – will suffer for it.
The Lift Chain is Broken
The lift chain connects your toilet handle to the flapper valve that opens to flush the water in the tank into the toilet, removing waste and refilling it. If the lift chain breaks, the valve doesn’t work. This is usually easy to tell because the handle will be slack and won’t move properly.
Many newer toilets don’t use lift chains, but rather have plastic connectors that tend to be more durable. However, these connectors can still break or become unattached, which can cause similar problems. This means replacing a couple of components in your toilet, but nothing serious.
There’s No Water in Your Tank
If the toilet tank doesn’t have any water, it can’t flush properly. Look for the overflow valve or tube in your tank, and make sure the water level is within about an inch of this area. If not, you could be having problems. This can happen if the toilet’s water valve was accidentally turned off. If the water valve is still fully on, contact a plumber to get a better idea of what’s happening.
The Flapper Isn’t Working
That big flapper valve in your toilet, usually made of durable rubber, has a lot of important work to do. If it’s bent, cracked, warped or loose, your toilet may not be flushing correctly – or it may even be flushing too much! Fortunately, the flapper is a relatively easy component to replace if it’s too worn to do a proper job. Sometimes basic adjustments or cleaning can return a flapper to its original state.
Is your toilet still refusing to flush no matter what you try? Are you unsure how to make it better? Contact Amanda Plumbing today, and we’ll help you find the solution and get your toilet back to working order ASAP.