A toilet that flushes twice can be a pretty annoying problem. Additionally, it will significantly increase your monthly water bills as well as have a negative impact on the environment. On the other hand, the issue is very easy to fix and takes less than an hour.
How Does a Toilet Work?
Before we dive into the details, let’s see how a toilet actually works. Most homes today have gravity-fed toilets, which are made of two basic parts: the tank and the bowl. The hole in the bowl collects the waste and, using the siphon, leads the waste to the home’s pipes. The siphon creates a vacuum when the water is released, which moves the waste further. When you flush the toilet, the flapper lifts and lets the water flow at high pressure from the tank to the bowl. Also, there is a special fill valve in the water tank that determines the amount of water that the tank will hold. If any of these parts stop working, it will cause an issue, such as a double flush.
What Might be the Problem?
There are two possible things that might cause your toilet to flush twice. First, if you have an adjustable flapper, check if it’s adjusted correctly. If it’s not adjustable, it might happen that you have an incorrect flapper installed. Make sure that the chain of the flapper has minimal slack and goes up and down as far as possible.
How to Fix an Adjustable Flapper
Basically, you need to adjust the flapper so that it flushes less water. If your flapper is cone-style, you should turn the dial so that it opens larger holes. That way, it will close quickly after flushing, which would solve the problem.
Before you start doing any maintenance around the toilet, always turn off the main supply line to the unit. It’s usually close to the toilet and has a valve that you need to rotate counterclockwise. Then, empty the tank completely by simply letting it flush once.
If you bought a new flapper, install it by attaching the ears around the valve. It might differ depending on the model, but it’s usually more or less similar. Korky flapper is an excellent choice, so be sure to check it out.
Then, attach the chain of the flapper to the flush lever, making sure that it’s going up and down as far as possible with minimal slack. Note that if there is too much slack, or if the chain is too tight, it might not have optimal performance.
Finally, turn on the water supply valve and wait until the tank fills up. Pull the lever to perform the flush and check if everything is working properly.
What if My Flapper is Not Adjustable?
If your flapper is not adjustable, you may have the incorrect flapper installed. Don’t worry, it’s a pretty simple issue – all you need to do is to install a new flapper. Go to the nearby home-improvement store and ask for a new flapper. You will notice various models, but make sure to search for the model that matches your toilet brand or find one that is universal. Also, you can’t go wrong by getting one that is as heavy as possible.
Is There Excess Water in the Tank?
Having too much water in your tank can also cause the toilet to flush twice. This can happen during the flush where the tank will fill up quickly and extra water will continue to flow. It might be solved by getting a heavier flapper, but still, it’s not an ideal solution. So, why do you have too much water in your tank?
Usually the fill valve is not set correctly. This is the part of the toilet that controls how much water stays in the tank. It’s very easy to adjust to the right amount of water.
Your toilet valve can either have a float arm or a float cup. In the first case, adjust the screw on the top of the fill valve to lower the arm. If you can’t find the screw, your fill valve may be too old. In that situation, you might want to replace it with a new model.
If you have a valve with a float cup, you should slide the clip down, which would lower the water level in your tank. Some models have adjustment rods instead of clips, but you can adjust them simply by rotating.
A toilet that flushes twice is not only frustrating, but it will also waste your money. If you are still not sure if you can do it properly, it’s better to call a plumber. Luckily, the problem is very simple to fix if you follow our instructions.