When we flush the toilet, we expect everything to go down the drain and everything to work correctly. Yet, there are times when the toilet will not flush correctly, or it requires multiple flushes to clear the bowl. Before you start troubleshooting why your toilet will not flush correctly, it is important to understand essential toilet plumbing parts and components that allow a toilet to work.
On the back of the toilet is a tank that holds water until you flush it. Inside the tank are several separate parts and components that work together when you pull the handle or push the button on the exterior of the tank.
Whether you have a water-saving flush mechanism or a conventional flush mechanism will determine what parts are inside the tank. With a water-saving flush mechanism, when you pull the handle or push the button, it is connected to a cable that raises the flapper and allows water to flow into the toilet bowl.
As water flows into the toilet bowl, it forces the water in the bowl down the drain and through the drain trap, where it then moves into the home’s main sewer line and flows out of the home. Next, the flapper closes, and water refills the tank until the float mechanism is raised and shuts off the water.
With a conventional flush mechanism, the mechanics are the same, except that there is a chain connected to the handle that lifts when you pull the handle to open the flapper. There is also an overflow tube the flapper connects to, which prevents the tank from overflowing.
The toilet bowl holds water and waste until you flush it. The toilet bowl is secured to the floor or wall with bolts. At the end of the drain trap pipe that connects to the sewer line, there is a wax ring that prevents leaks at the base of the toilet.
When the toilet doesn’t flush correctly, it could be caused by one or more of the following reasons:
1. The cable or chain connecting the flapper is broken.
Since the flapper cannot be raised to allow water into the bowl, the toilet won’t flush.
2. There is no water in the tank.
If there is a leak around the flapper that allows water to constantly drain into the bowl, there will be insufficient water to create the necessary pressure to flush the toilet.
3. There is a clog in the drain trap or sewer line.
If you used too much toilet paper or tried to flush things you shouldn’t, like diapers, sanitary napkins, paper towels, etc., it could create a clog and prevent the toilet from flushing.
4. The overflow tube is broken or is cracked.
If the overflow tube is damaged where water can drain down it, then there will not be enough water in the tank to flush the toilet.
5. The water to the toilet is turned off.
If the water got shut off, then the tank cannot refill after you flush the toilet, so it will not flush correctly the next time. Check to see that the water is turned on at the shut-off valve under the toilet tank.
6. The wax ring needs replacing.
If you flush the toilet and the water flows from under the toilet bowl and onto the floor, this is a good sign the wax ring needs to be replaced.
Once you figure out why your toilet won’t flush, or if you need help, remember MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning is here to help. Call our expert bathroom plumbers for toilet repair services at 281-994-6698 today! We service the greater Houston, Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, Spring, and The Woodlands areas.