Why Your Toilet is Not Flushing Fully? If you’re like most people around the world, you may have experienced a moment of panic when you realize that your toilet is not flushing properly. You rush over to try and fix the problem, but it’s impossible to tell if the problem is in the main tank or at the lower lever.
In most cases, potential problems could prevent your toilet from flushing completely. Do you need a professional plumber service? Or can you DIY and solve the problem? Some of the issues that are making your toilet not flush fully include these. Read on!
Sometimes the lever you lift to flush the toilet will become hard to use. That is typically caused if the handle you pull on is bent out of shape. It might even be hard for it to stay down or up.
It could also be damaged from rust or put in backward by an inexperienced plumber. If this is your problem, then there isn’t anything that you can do about it since you can’t usually fix a lever from outside of the tank compartment.
The float is a small device that sits inside your toilet tank and regulates the water level as you flush. There are usually three floats, but it can be just one. Each float has a pin on one side and a groove on the other, so when the valve closes, it locks into place.
Loose floats will either leak into your tank or sit in the wrong position when seated in the tank – they may not be seated correctly at all times and will cause problems with the proper operation of the toilet bowl fill valve. You should check this feature every time you flush (or before going on vacation) during peak use to ensure they are in good working order.
If your toilet is leaking, the first thing to do is check your water level. You should have a full tank at all times – you can adjust how much water fills your tank by adjusting the float arm on top of your toilet with a small piece of wood or plastic (don’t use metal), but don’t go too high or you will have trouble flushing.
If your tank isn’t filled enough, there may not be enough pressure to hold the flapper valve that opens the tank for filling and closing it when it’s time for flushing.
Flanges are easy to replace and shouldn’t be too expensive, considering that if your toilet leaks from underneath, you’ll need to replace this part anyway. If you have to remove your toilet to make repairs on your flange and the floor below, you should put down a couple of sheets of heavy plastic to protect it before removing it.
This is not a rare problem as most toilets have better seals than that – the flush mechanism, float, and tank should seal together well enough to prevent leakage unless something goes very wrong. If you have any concerns about the fill valve or other flush system parts, your plumber may recommend replacing it or repairing it with new parts.
The fill valve operates similarly to your tank’s float – it’s a small device that sits inside your water tank and regulates the water level so that there is always enough pressure to keep the valves open when you’re ready for one. The threads usually cause a leak in the valve that screws onto the tank coming loose over time. You can also leak the bottom of your tank, where it screws into your toilet’s base.
Your toilet tank has a flapper valve that operates with your toilet’s fill tube to provide a seal against waste matter leaking back into the bowl through cracks in the seal or because it hasn’t been cleaned properly. This valve opens when you put something (usually tissue) into your toilet and keep it in place while filling your bowl with water.
The flapper is either inside or outside your toilet tank (you can see it when you lift the lid). The flapper is integrated into the fill tube, which is what you should clean by wiping it with a damp cloth when necessary.
The flapper seats itself as the tank fills – there are either four or five bumps around the circumference of the flapper that work like claws to hold the valve in place while it “clicks” into one of three positions:
The flapper may not be seating correctly if something doesn’t click into place when you put something in the toilet or if it moves or is bumped as water fills your toilet tank. This can happen occasionally and indicate a problem with the float that you should check first. Be careful when removing it – there are spring-loaded tips at each end of this little tube and a screw on one side for attaching it to your toilet’s fill tube.
You may not see this pipe, but it is located right below your toilet’s flapper. It allows any excess water flushed out of your toilet and into your sewage line. If there is any debris clogging up this pipe, you will need to snake the pipe to clear it out. That is a job that should be done by a professional.
To stop a toilet from overflowing, its tank must be full of water; when the tank gets dirty, it leaves less water for the bowl, meaning some of it will drain through holes and overflow into your tub or sink. The cleaner your tank gets, the more volume it can hold before overflow occurs again. If you have difficulty with a clogged toilet, scrub its interior with a brush and maybe even bleach if necessary!
If your toilet still has problems, you will need to have it removed and taken to a plumbing company or plumbing supply shop to remove and discard the toilet. Make sure that you check the toilet’s warranty before doing this.
Once the toilet has been removed, check the pipes behind it for any damage or leaks. You might need to have plumbers come out if you notice any problems with your pipes that are making the toilet not flush fully.