Why is my Toilet Not Flushing

Why Is My Toilet Not Flushing?

There’s nothing more nerve-racking than when your toilet won’t flush and, even worse—once it starts to overflow. There are many reasons why your toilet won’t flush. We will cover the reasons why your toilet isn’t flushing and how you can fix it. At Scott Hale, our plumbers are dedicated to providing expert knowledge and advice to ensure your home’s plumbing is running smoothly.  

7 Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush 

Clogged Toilet

If you’re trying to flush your toilet and nothing is going down, you may have a clogged toilet. This is the most common reason a toilet won’t flush. Clogged toilets can usually be remedied with a plunger and some elbow grease. Once you clear the clog, then your toilet should flush and work properly again. If a plunger doesn’t clear the clog, then you need to call a local plumber to bring the necessary tools to remove whatever is clogging your toilet. 

Clogs are super common and often happen due to using too much toilet paper or flushing sanitary products like wipes, feminine hygiene products, and condoms. To prevent clogs in the future, make sure you only flush toilet paper down your toilet and if you’re a parent of small children, you may want to put a child lock on your toilet to keep them from flushing toys or solid objects that can clog your toilet.

Outdated Low-Flow Toilets

An old toilet may not flush or work well because it doesn’t have the technology and function that modern toilets have now. Many older toilets installed around the 1990s were low-flow, meaning the water was low in the toilet. This style was designed to save water and money but unfortunately, low-flow toilets have more trouble flushing waste and lead to frequent clogs. 

The Flapper Is Broken

Inside the tank of your toilet is a mechanism called a “flapper” that assists in how well your toilet flushes. This rubber flapper is what controls how much water is released when flushing and then closes the water intake hole afterward. To check if this is the reason your toilet won’t flush, open the tank of your toilet and check to see if the flapper moves up and down when you flush the toilet. If the flapper isn’t moving properly, or there is visible damage, then you most likely need to replace the part. You don’t need to call a plumber right away to have a flapper replaced, it’s an easy fix that many homeowners feel comfortable doing after watching some DIY videos. However, if you’re not confident in your Bob the Builder qualities, then call a plumber who can replace the flapper in your toilet lickety-split.  

Low Water Levels

The water level in your toilet is also essential for proper flushing. Do you notice that the water level is lower than what it used to be? Sometimes, the flush valve in your toilet turns off, which causes little to no water to fill the toilet bowl when you flush. You’ll want to check the toilet’s overflow tube and make sure that water is about one inch below the top of it. If water isn’t filling in your tank or bowl, you’ll need to call a plumber to address the problem. It could be a simple fix, like turning on or readjusting the flush valve, or in some cases, it could be due to water pressure problems, pipe leaks, and structural damage to parts that make your toilet flush.  

The Handle and Chain Aren’t Connected

The weirdest thing a toilet can do is not flush because the handle fell off or is loose. This happens because the chain that attaches the handle to the flapper is broken. Without this chain, the handle of your toilet won’t work, and your toilet won’t flush. You can check for a broken chain by looking inside the tank. Try to flush the toilet to see if the chain moved the flapper. If it doesn’t move, something is wrong with the flapper and it needs to be replaced.

Inlet Holes Are Blocked or Dirty

A lesser-known cause for toilets not flushing is that the inlet holes are blocked. Inlet holes are tiny passageways that make it possible for water to flow from the tank into the bowl. When inlet holes aren’t regularly cleaned, they accumulate buildup, which then blocks the water flow needed to flush. 

Drain Line Problems

If you’ve checked your toilet and everything seems to be functioning perfectly, but your toilet still won’t flush, then there may be a problem with your drain line. Drain lines move waste after a flush to the sewer or septic tank. If the drain line is the problem as to why your toilet isn’t flushing, you may also notice your sinks, tubs, and showers aren’t draining properly either. Problems associated with a drain line will require professional plumbers to analyze and correct the issue at hand. 

How To Fix a Toilet That Won’t Flush

To fix a toilet that won’t flush, you can try these at-home tricks and tips before calling a plumber to assess and fix the situation. 

  • Use a plunger to clear out any clogs. If you’re experiencing frequent clogs, try using thinner or fast-dissolving toilet paper.
Plunging Toilet
  • If you notice the water valve is off, turn it on. Turn right to tighten. Turn left to loosen. 
Water Valve
  • Buy and replace the flapper in your toilet. Make sure you turn off the water and drain the tank before replacing it.
Toilet Flapper

These are a couple of ways you can troubleshoot and fix why your toilet isn’t flushing. If none of these worked for you, you may have issues with your drain line or you may need to have your toilet replaced, especially if it’s outdated. Calling a plumber is the best way to know why your toilet isn’t flushing, and they can also advise on the best way to fix it.

Toilet Still Not Flushing? Call the Plumbing Experts at Scott Hale

If you’ve tried all that you can do and your toilet still isn’t flushing, it’s time to call the plumbing experts at Scott Hale. With over 35 years of experience, our plumbers have seen it all and are prepared to tackle any toilet challenge your home has. When you’re looking for home services in Salt Lake City, make sure you choose the best contractors that will deliver quality work and superb customer service—choose Scott Hale. 

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