How to Fix a Toilet That Refused to Flush

There are many little things that can go wrong in your day to make your mood turn. However there is seldom something which is both, infuriating as well as embarrassing as being stuck in the bathroom with a flushing toilet that won’t flush. Especially more so if you share the bathroom with other people. Even more so, when they know you used it last; you get the idea. Well, however devastating this situation might be, it is a commonplace problem and therefore, has commonplace solutions. The first and foremost of which is to find out exactly what is the problem. Yes we know the primary problem is ‘it won’t flush’, but we need to be certain of the cause behind it. Here are some of the reasons why it won’t flush and their solutions.

  1. It is clogged, plain and simple. In case your toilet is clogged, then you need to unclog it, using a plunger, or drain snake wire, or store bought or homemade drain cleanser. In worst case scenario, you may have to reach down the drain and pull out whatever solid object such as a toy; is creating the blockage. However, usually a plunger works fine and there is no need for such drastic measures. However it is advised to maintain precaution around the toilet and make sure you or the kids don’t send stuff down the toilet that doesn’t belong.
  2. There is not enough water in the tank. The toilet uses the water from the tank to flush into the bowl and if there is no or low level of water in the tank it won’t flush. Check that the valve that controls the water supply to the tank is turned on. There is an overflow tube in the tank and ideally the water level should reach one inch below that. If it is not so then that is what’s wrong with the flush. If the valve was turned off mistakenly; then turn it back on and make sure it fills up to the mark. Should work just fine after that.
  3. The flapper is broken. This is another, quite common occurrence. The flapper is a rubber device at the bottom of the toilet tank that controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. It also closes the tube when the water in the bowl is sufficient. Remove the tank lid and check the flapper, in case it is broken then you need to replace it. Fortunately it is quite an easy task and you won’t need to shell out for a plumber to get it repaired. However a step to step guide to do the same is not in the limits of this article.
  4. There might be an issue with the chain. As you might have guessed, when you pull the flush lever, a chain pulls on the flapper to release the water in the bowl. Sometimes the chain might get disconnected or loose. Open the tank and check the chain connecting the flush lever and flapper. If need be adjust the chain length or replace it in case it has been broken or damaged. Once you do that, the flush should work fine.

Apart from these reasons, there can be some others, not directly related to the tank or the bowl. In case the blockage is in the drain itself and not the toilet, the drain cleaner solution of unclogging should work fine. Also the low pressure of water in the bowl could be due to low water pressure in the main supply, in which case you should get it checked. In case none of these works or seem to be the cause, it is better to leave it to the professionals.

  • January 10, 2017
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