6 Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush and How to Fix It

19 July 2021


The worst feeling in the world is going to flush your toilet and discovering that the water won’t drain. Questions you may have about your toilet problems include:

  • Is there a chance it’ll overflow?
  • Why is it that my toilet swirls but won’t flush?
  • Why does my toilet flush but waste comes back?
  • My toilet won’t flush all the way but it’s not clogged, why is this?
  • My toilet flushes slowly and incompletely, why is that?
  • Why is it that my toilet won’t flush and it’s not clogged?
  • Why is my toilet not flushing strongly?
  • Why will my toilet not flush but water rises? 

A toilet that won’t flush is a very common problem that is usually pretty simple to fix. In this article we explore the most common causes of toilet clogs to help you resolve the issue as soon as possible. 

Top 6 reasons why your toilet won’t flush

Before doing anything, make sure you switch off the water supply to your toilet without cutting off the mains, which is simple to do if you have a high-pressure isolation valve installed. To isolate your toilet, just turn the valve’s screw a quarter turn with a flat-headed screwdriver to turn it off. Remember to turn the valve back on after you’ve finished your work.

1. Your Toilet Is Clogged

In many cases, the issue isn’t with the toilet. The problem is actually a clog inside the toilet. Toilets are only intended to manage specific waste types and quantities. It’s simple for them to become clogged with things like sanitary products, a toy your child dropped in the bowl, or a lot of toilet paper. 

You may have a clog if there’s stuff in the bowl that won’t go down. Small blockages that are close to the surface can be removed by hand. You might be able to get things moving again by plunging it or poking it with a toilet brush. 

Use a toilet plunger or toilet auger to push waste through and allow the toilet to flush, or produce suction with the plunger to help dislodge paper waste that is obstructing the flushing motion and allow it to go down the pipe.

If you have a lot of clogs, you might want to try using a thinner toilet paper, especially if you or other members of your household use a lot of toilet paper in one sitting.

How to unclog a toilet 


2. Problem With Your Toilet Handle

Does the lever on your toilet go down but nothing happens when you try to flush it? This is usually good news because it’s one of the most straightforward problems to resolve. When you press the handle and don’t hear or see any water move, it usually means your toilet handle is detached. 

The flushing handle is connected to a little arm and chain that lifts the flapper inside the toilet tank. The toilet flapper rises when you press the handle, and water is thrown into the bowl. Disconnecting the handle from the flapper might be caused by minor issues such as a broken chain link or a loosened screw. Reconnecting a few basic parts is all it takes to fix it. 


3. Flapper or Fill Valve Problem

Does your toilet flush normally at first, but then refuses to stop running? This flush problem may make flushing the toilet difficult in the future. A running toilet can also be a problem because it wastes a lot of water.

The underlying cause of this is usually a bent or fractured flapper seal. It’s possible that you’ll need to replace it, which is quite a simple and quick fix. Another issue is hard water build up inside your fill valve, which might prevent it from properly shutting off. It’s possible to flush the fill valve yourself after watching a few instructions, but you might want to seek assistance from a plumber just to be safe. 

Flappers are affordable and may be obtained at any home improvement or hardware store. Turn off the water and drain the tank before replacing the old flapper with a new one, and then flush the toilet again to make sure the problem has been rectified.


4. The Water Level in the Tank Is Too Low

The toilet won’t flush if there isn’t enough water in the tank because it won’t be able to drop enough water into the bowl. Look in the rear of the toilet tank to see if this is the issue. The water level in your overflow tube should be about one inch below the top. In many circumstances, this is a simple problem to solve. 

It’s sometimes as simple as twisting the flush valve. If the water intake valve on your toilet has been bumped, it may not be getting enough water to flush. In other circumstances, the float ball may have been set incorrectly, causing it to sink too low. 

If the water valve was turned off, turn it on and watch the water level in the tank to make sure it refills to the proper level before flushing the toilet to make sure it works properly again. However, in certain circumstances, the root reason may be water pressure issues, pipe breaks, or other issues that necessitate the assistance of a plumber.


5. The Lift Chain Isn’t Working

The lift chain that connects the flapper to the flushing handle on the outside of the toilet can become too slack, preventing the handle from raising the flapper and flushing the toilet. To address this problem, just shorten the chain so that it can give enough pull to lift the flap off of the flush tube and let water flow when the handle is pulled.


6. Toilet Bowl Doesn’t Refill

When your toilet is working properly, the height of the internal p-trap outlet determines the water level in the toilet bowl. When the water level in the toilet bowl rises too high, it means the toilet is clogged. If the water level in the bowl falls too low, there are four main causes:

Fill tube that has been damaged

A fill tube is a flexible plastic line that returns water to the toilet tank after it has been flushed. The tube attaches to the overflow tube but due to wear and tear, it may unclip from it over time. If this occurs, the tank will quickly fill with water, causing the valve to shut off the water supply before it has a chance to fill.

Toilet bowl with a crack

Toilet bowl cracks are uncommon, but they do happen. It’s quite likely that you have a cracked bowl if you notice water on the floor and you know it’s not because someone missed his target. The water levels in the toilet bowl will be lower than usual if the bowl is fractured. 

Allowing water to seep onto the floor can cause major structural damage, in addition to increasing water bills. Because toilet bowls are composed of porcelain and cannot be repaired, you may need to replace the entire unit, which require the services of a plumber.

Vent has a problem

A sewer vent line, which travels through the walls of your bathroom and onto your house’s roof, is an essential part of the plumbing system. A free flow of air in the vent aids in the regulation of pressure in the plumbing system. This aids in the smooth flow of water through the pipes. Low water levels in the toilet bowl could be caused by a problem with the vent line. 

Fill valve that has been damaged

The fill valve is the part that ensures that your toilet’s water tank is refilled with water after each flush. When your fill valve wears out or becomes misaligned, it can create a variety of issues, including lowering the water level in your toilet bowl.

Why is my toilet leaking at the base? 

How do you fix a toilet that won’t flush?

There are a variety of reasons why a toilet won’t flush. Some of these issues are simple to resolve on your own, while others will require the assistance of a qualified plumber. If an issue happens, you can phone our 24-hour emergency line and an expert technician will be dispatched to assist you.

Whether you need to unclog a toilet or a shower drain, or if you require extensive plumbing repair for a construction or renovation project, Plomberie Pro-Drain can help. Our team of experts has the resources, equipment, personnel, and, most importantly, the expertise to ensure that all of your installations are stable, clean, and in compliance with all applicable standards and laws. Work can be done quickly so that your installations last as long as possible.

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For all of your plumbing needs, including residential, commercial, and industrial, feel free to contact us.

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