Why doesn’t my toilet flush?- Possible causes with solutions

I know the washroom is an essential part of every modern family now. And many people love to decorate it with different styles and colors. But when you face any problem using the toilet in the morning, I know it annoys you very quickly. Sometimes you notice your flush didn’t work correctly, and some waste is left in the bowl, and it’s gross and disturbing. So you need to know some essential things about why you face this problem and how to solve this. You can contact a plumber, but sometimes there is some silly reason behind this issue. So if you call a plumber for this small work, it wastes money and time. In this article, you can learn why and how toilet flushing didn’t work for some time and how to solve the issue.

  1. Check the flush button or handle to see if it is working properly.
  2. Correct the tank’s water level by adjusting the fill valve screw and ball float positions.
  3. Unclog the toilet system using a plunger, auger, or natural cleaning solution if clogged.
  4. Adjust the flapper and chain that control the water flow to the toilet bowl.
  5. Reinstall toilet drainage pipes if they are too narrow to pass the solid waste.
  6. Clean the inlet and rim holes. If nothing works, call a professional plumber.

What is a toilet flush system?

First, talk about the flush system in the toilet. Before taking any step, I think you need to learn about the element to go with it quickly. I think you must get a piece of knowledge about how it works from the name. Yes, the flushing system means the toilet uses water force to clean the human waste from the bowl. And many types of flush systems are now widespread in the market, like single flush, dual flush, siphon flush, ballcock, etc. 

What to do when your toilet doesn’t flush correctly?

After using the toilet for a long time, a newly installed bathroom sometimes has some issues first. You need to know about this and the sole reason for this. Let’s check the reason why you end up with a defective flush system and how to solve this:

  • Low water level:  

Many people face this problem when installing a new toilet in the restroom. So if you notice that the toilet bowl didn’t clean after one flush, it must have a problem with the water level. Your toilet needs maximum water to clean up the whole bowl. And to succeed in this process, it needs a fixed amount of water. When your bowl doesn’t get those quantities, it can’t clean it, and you have a gross toilet. And the manufacturer also leaves a mark for the water amount in the tank. Sometimes some elements of the water tank also prevent filling up correctly. That time, you also face the same problem.low water level in toilet tank

How to solve it?

The solving process is also straightforward. Many people fix the water quantity manually. If the water level is too low, adjust the tank’s float. A large rubber ball is used as a float ball. This ball floats up when the water is in the tank. When it comes to the leading position, close the water flow on the tank automatically. So try to change the ball’s position and fix it a little higher than before. That allows some extra water into the tank, and you won’t face this type of problem in the future. 

On the other hand, if your tank has a floating cup ballcock in the place of a rubber float ball, then adjust the position of the screw at the top of the fill valve. I think that can quickly help you to solve the issue.

  • Clog toilet flange or drain:

A toilet clog is the most recognized nightmare for every homeowner. And if you have any major or minor clog in the flush system, it prevents water from totally flushing down to the toilet from the bowl. And this problem depends on how much the system is clogged.

Possible Solution:

First, find the clog of the system. Then try to unclog the system using a toilet plunger or auger. Don’t try it hard. Otherwise, you will end up with a broken toilet. If the problem still exists, call a plumber. How to Unclog a Toilet With a Flange Plunger

  • Problematic flapper:

When you want to flush the toilet, lift the chain attached to the flapper. And this allows water in the tank to the bowl with force. And this flapper is a small rubber that seals the water under the tank. So when the toilet is not flush, the flapper is also in seal mode to prevent water leakage from the tank. But it got old and damaged after using it for a long time, so it’s not working correctly. It decreases the water level, so the flush system doesn’t get enough water to clean the bowl. You again face a flushing issue. toilet leaking from flapper

How to fix it?

First, check the flapper. If it’s old, damaged, or cracked, replace this piece of rubber from the tank. After that, check if the length is too short. Then it needs to adjust, remove the chain, and reinstall further away from the flush. The chain must be about ½ inch of slack.

  • Narrow drain pipe:

If you face a slow flush problem from the start, the problem is related to your toilet drains installed. The drain system needs a downward slope in the wastewater to create flow. This flow forces the waste down to the toilet bowl through the pipe and, at last, the primary sewer system. If your drainage system has no slope, water is stuck in the line, and when you flush the waste, it mixes up with the stuck water.


There is no DIY option in this situation. Call the plumber to solve the issue if it needs to reinstall the system. It may cost you some money to fix this issue.

  • Blocked inlet hole:  

The toilet’s inlet is located just under the lip of the bathroom. When you use the flush, water pours from this hole. If this hole is clogged, you also get less water to clean the toilet bowl. And you know when you don’t get enough water, some waste is left in the bowl. You can quickly tell whether the holes are blocked if there is no water streaming from the side of the toilet bowl or if the water streams straight instead of diagonally.

What is the solution?

If you find the tank’s clogged hole, you can follow a home remedy to fix this toilet issue. You need to heat 10-12 ounces of white vinegar and pour the hot solution into the overflow tube using a funnel. Let’s rest for about an hour or overnight without using the toilet. Then use a small wrench or wire to clear the inlet holes. This can help you remove the small clog into the inlet hole. And this is a widespread case for everyone.

Some other reasons behind this weak flushing system:

  • Using too old toilet model

A toilet generally lasts 15 years to 20 years. If you purchase a high-quality toilet set from a renowned company, you may use it for about 50 years. But, if your toilet set’s lifetime is no more, but you still use it now, your toilet’s flushing system can be problematic easily.

  • Faulty water overflow tube

Float valves are generally located in the toilet cisterns. They are mainly reliable for faulty water overflow tubes. If the overflow tubes can not work, the toilet can not get sufficient water to flush and clean the entire bowl surface. It happens because some water leaks into the bowl constantly.

  • Damaged flush handle

You can repair a toilet flush handle if it is slightly damaged. But, if the damage is older, you must change the flush handle. Changing the flushing system would be better because you can enjoy problem-free flushing.

  • Problem with the flush button or lever

A toilet lever is not present in every toilet. The modern toilets include flush buttons. If the toilet lever is problematic or the flush button does not work, your toilet flushing system will stop working.

When do you need to call the professional?

If you try to solve the issue with this method but still face the same problem, I suggest you call the plumber to solve the issue. Don’t go hard with your toilet system; otherwise, it breaks down and costs you more. And if the problem is related to the drainage system, you must redesign the whole system. So before doing any exploration, keep this thing in your mind.

Bottom lines

Toilet flushing is the most important part of cleaning and preparing the toilet for the next use. So, if the toilet does not flush, it becomes inconvenient. But there are many ways to solve the problem. This article shows you some methods you can use to solve it. Otherwise, you have to call a plumber.

Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.

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