Somehow, it always happens at the worst time. You pull the lever to flush the toilet and it makes a feeble gurgle but then…nothing happens. The toilet won’t flush.
Depending on the situation, you may feel like you don’t want to leave the bathroom until the problem is solved (don’t worry, we’ve all been there). But unless you know what to look for, there may be nothing you can do beyond repeatedly pushing the lever in hopes that you’ll suddenly be spared by a reassuring flush.
That is, until now. We’ve put together a guide to the most common causes behind why the toilet isn’t flushing, and how you can fix it yourself.
Top 4 Reasons Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush
1. It’s clogged.
The simplest explanation is usually correct. Maybe you used too much toilet paper or tried to flush something down the toilet that you shouldn’t, such as sanitary napkins. In any case, the damage is done and it’s clogged.
You may be able to cure the clog yourself by using a plunger to push the waste through or to create suction that dislodges the blockage. If this doesn’t work, the clog may be deeper in the pipe, in which case we’re sorry to say that you’re going to have to call a plumber for help. You can still pull a “wasn’t me” shrug to any witnesses if that makes you feel better, though. And don’t forget to print out this coupon and present it to your Bonfe technician to receive $65 dollars off any plumbing repair.
2. The tank water level is low.
After you check for clogs, take the lid off the tank and check the water level. The water level in your toilet tank should always come to one inch below the top of the tank’s overflow tube. If the water level is lower than that, check the water supply valve.
The water supply valve allows water to fill the toilet tank. When it’s turned off, the tank will be unable to refill after a flush. If the valve is shut off, turn it back on and watch the water level to see if it refills. Then flush the toilet to make sure it resumes flushing normally.
3. The flapper is damaged.
Inside your toilet tank is a rubber flapper that is designed to release water when the toilet flushes and then stop the flow of water once the water level has reached its mark. If this flapper becomes bent or warped, it may be unable to properly seal the flush hole.
Check inside your tank to determine if your flapper is damaged. If that’s the case, you can buy a replacement flapper at your local hardware store and install it yourself. Just make sure you turn off the water supply and drain the tank before doing so or else you’ll have a flood and a clogged toilet on your hands.
4. The lift chain is broken.
If it’s not the flapper itself, it might be the lift chain, which connects the flapper to the flushing handle so that the flapper lifts open when the lever is pressed down. A lift chain with too much slack will not have enough tension to lift the flapper.
This is an easy fix. Just adjust the length of the chain until it’s short enough to open the flapper when you press down on the flushing handle.
Did you work your way down this list and your toilet is still clogged? We’re sorry to hear it. Give us a call and we’ll be there shortly to save you from clogged toilet purgatory.