Everyone has experienced the trouble a non-flushing toilet can create, and it always seems to occur at the worst possible moment! The most likely culprit is a clog, which can be relieved with ample plunging. A clog is usually caused by user error (so to speak), but if plunging doesn’t solve your problem, you may have a hardware malfunction such as:
A Water Valve Issue
If the water valve to your toilet was turned off or is not working properly, it could mean that the water level in your toilet is too low. This can cause a clog because there is not enough water to move waste out of the bowl. The water in the tank needs to be just about level with the Water Line – an actual line or colored mark on the inside wall of the tank. Try turning the valve back on (if it was off) and flushing the toilet. The water should return to a normal level, but if not you may need to fix or replace the valve.
A Lift Chain Issue
The lift chain attaches the flapper to the flushing handle. If this chain is loose or has too much slack in it, pushing on the handle will not activate the flapper and flush the toilet. You’ll be able to feel the lack of tension in the toilet flushing handle. To fix the problem, tighten the chain so that there is enough tension to activate the flapper when you push the handle down.
A Flapper Issue
Speaking of the flapper, this can be a common issue. The rubber flapper is located inside the toilet tank, and is designed to discharge and stop the flow of water when the toilet is flushed, regulating the water level inside the tank. Examine the flapper and if it appears damaged or warped, a replacement is probably needed.
Flappers are inexpensive parts and easy to replace. Simply turn off the water to your toilet, flush, and switch the old flapper with the new once the water has drained.
If the toilet flushes but drains slowly or not at all out of the bowl, you may have dirt or mineral deposits causing a water blockage. These deposits can build up under the rim of the toilet bowl and block the flow of water. The best method for removing the buildup involves dipping a wire brush in vinegar and scrubbing under the rim.
These are the most common reasons that a toilet will not flush, and we hope that this information fixes the issue. However, if these troubleshooting tips don’t resolve the issue, give A to Z Statewide Plumbing a call and let our experienced plumbers tackle the job!