Undoubtedly, trying to figure out why your toilet isn’t flushing properly can be distressing. That’s why we’ve decided to highlight the eight most common causes of clogged toilets so that you can resolve the issue as soon as possible. Remember that safety is essential for all do-it-yourself home tasks. If you do not feel comfortable performing a task, it’s better to hire a certified plumber. The experts at Cal’s Plumbing in Tucson, AZ can fix your issues correctly and efficiently.
1. You Have a Broken Toilet Handle
Does your toilet handle move down yet nothing happens when you flush? If yes, then it’s probably broken. The flushing handle is attached inside the toilet tank to an arm and a chain that lifts the flapper. Each time you press the handle, the flapper rises and dumps water into the bowl. Small factors, such as a broken chain link or a loose nut, might disconnect the flapper from the handle, causing the flushing problem.
You can fix this problem by reconnecting a few essential components. For instance, if you’re dealing with a broken chain, you can purchase a new one at a home improvement store for a small price and reconnect it to the flapper. Home improvement stores also sell nuts and flappers. With new equipment, the repair should be easy, but you can always reach out to a professional plumber for assistance.
2. Your Intake Holes Are Obstructed
Each time you flush your toilet, water enters the bowl through the intake holes — commonly called rim jets — located beneath the bowl’s rim. Although these inlet holes are seemingly insignificant, they can cause plumbing issues when mineral deposits and other detritus clog them. An obstruction can impede the flow and weaken the flushing power.
You can clean your inlet holes by putting hot vinegar into your toilet’s overflow tube, waiting a few minutes, and then flushing to remove the vinegar from the inlet holes. Afterward, you can eliminate any visible debris from the inlet holes using a brush or small tool.
3. The Water Level in Your Tank Is Too Low
A toilet with insufficient water in its tank won’t flush properly because not enough water will be dumped into the bowl. So, examine your toilet tank to determine whether this is the issue. The water level should be approximately one inch below the overflow tube’s apex.
In many instances, this is relatively simple to manage; sometimes, it is as simple as turning the flush valve. In other instances, the float ball may have been wrongly adjusted, making it sink extremely low and falsely indicate that the tank is full.
In some cases, however, the underlying cause may be pipe leaks, water pressure issues, or other plumbing-related issues. Rather than speculate the cause, call a certified plumber and have them look into the matter.
4. You Have an Old-Fashioned Low-Flow Toilet
Since their primary launch in the 1990s, low-flow toilets have advanced significantly, which makes older versions slightly obsolete. If your toilet is an old-fashioned low-flow toilet, it may not generate a sufficient flush. If you want to conserve water without sacrificing adequate flushing power, it’s best if you upgrade your old toilet to a newer model.
5. Your Drain Pipe May Have Been Poorly Installed
If you’ve always experienced slow flushing issues, there is likely an issue with the installation or design of your toilet drains. It is worth noting that for wastewater to flow steadily down the toilet bowl, via the pipes, and into the main sewer line, a toilet drain should have a downward slope. The downward slope ensures a steady flow due to gravity.
If your toilet drains lack this downward slope, water will pool in the pipes and become essentially “stuck.” Therefore, when you flush the toilet, the water encounters the “stuck” water and stalls. It is for this reason that we recommend working with a certified plumber from the start. Poor installations can lead to various problems.
6. Your Toilet Has a Fill Valve or Flapper Problem
Do you experience a seemingly endless flush? A constantly running toilet is also problematic because it might waste a considerable amount of water. Typically, the underlying cause of this is a bent or damaged flapper seal. You may have to replace it, which is a simple and quick fix.
Another potential source is the accumulation of hard water inside your toilet’s fill valve, which might prevent it from closing correctly. After watching a few online lessons, you can learn to flush the fill valve yourself, but if you’re new to DIY, you may want to seek assistance from a plumber.
We often strongly advise against DIY because, in most cases, rather than solving the real issue, you might worsen the situation. Working with professionals such as Cal’s Plumbing can guarantee that the work is completed properly.
7. Your Toilet Is Blocked
In some circumstances, the issue is not the toilet itself; the problem is a clog or obstruction inside the toilet. Your toilet can easily clog with items, including sanitary products, toys your child threw in the bowl, or excessive toilet paper. There are quite a few signs indicating clogs, but the main sign is an overflowing toilet.
Fortunately, you can usually handle small obstructions yourself. You might get things in shape by plunging or using a toilet brush. Some people also recommend using hot water and soap to drain the clog. However, it’s best to call Cal’s Plumbing experts when the block is significant. We will use a toilet auger or specialized equipment to unclog it and give you important tips on clog prevention.
8. There’s a Drain Line Issue
Even if every aspect of your toilet is functioning correctly, it still might not flush properly. This may indicate that the problem is deeper within your plumbing system. The drain pipes that transport waste to your sewage or septic system are susceptible to various problems. If a faulty drain line is a reason for your toilet’s inability to flush, you may realize that all drains throughout the house are not functioning correctly. Water may back up into your showers, sinks, and bathtubs, or they may drain slowly.
Like your toilet, the drain line may also become obstructed. Call Cal’s Plumbing, and we will clear the clog with an extra-long auger if that’s the case. We might also determine whether the issue is caused by broken or leaking drain lines. Additionally, we’ll check for the presence of tree roots, which often grow into the drainage line, necessitating the replacement of the entire drain line segment.
When faced with a faulty toilet, it is natural to want to solve the problem immediately. Why brainstorm the probable cause when you can quickly call Cal’s Plumbing and have us take care of your issue. Our business has offered plumbing-related services, including installations, inspection, backflow prevention, re-piping, and water pressure regulations, in Tucson and surrounding areas for more than five decades. We also work on water heaters and provide water treatment services. Our experts will readily answer all your inquiries and provide viable recommendations and solutions. Call Cal’s Plumbing today for more information.