What Do I Do If My Toilet Won’t Flush?

What Do I Do If My Toilet Won’t Flush?

An average person visits the toilet 2,500 times in a given year as per the World Toilet Organization (WTO). Hard to believe, right? Let’s put it another way, and this will be far more digestible – an average person uses the toilet 6-8 times daily. It makes sense now, doesn’t it? The only problem is that these visits to the toilet can quickly become miserable when the toilet doesn’t flush.


You can either let the non-functional flush embarrass you, or you can try to fix it yourself. Since the former isn’t a viable solution, here’s a dive into how you can fix your flush when it doesn’t work. As we go along each of the solutions though, we’d first understand the possible reason behind the problem and then explore its solution.

Here we go:

Fix the flush’s lift chain it doesn’t work

It is pretty common to come across this issue, and the easiest way to recognize it is by opening the lid and noting the lift chain. Remember to turn off the water supply. The lift chain attached to the flushing handle can become slack, which makes it hard for the handle to raise the flapper needed to flush the toilet.

Once you identify that the problem is with the lift chain, you can adjust the length of the chain and shorten it. By doing so, the chain can pull the flapper off over the flush tube and allow water to flow when you pull the handle.

Make sure that the water in the tank is not up to the mark

Sometimes the problem is just as simple as the water level not being sufficient in the tank. Keep in mind that the water marker in a toilet tank should be about one inch below the top of the overflow tube in the tank. If the water level is low, check the valve as your solution.

It is common for the water valve to be accidentally turned off. Calling Residential Plumbers for such a matter would be a waste of time and money. So, it is best that you reset the value and wait for the water levels to refill to the required level. Flush to ensure that the toilet is working properly.

Clean or repair the broken flush handle

Everything has an expiry date, and your toilet flush handle is not excluded from this observation. Over time, the flush handle can become loose. Moreover, the flush handle can fail at connecting with the flapper valve and life chain.

To rectify the problem, you will have to tighten the mounting nut, which connects the flush handle to the toilet. Other than that, the handle may become tight or clogged with debris and limescale. If you identify this problem, you should clean it properly.

Change the overflow tube if it is cracked

Another reason behind a broken flush is a cracked overflow tube. If you notice the overflow tube is cracked, you only have the solution of replacing it. Water flows into the cracked overflow tube, which stops the tank from filling.

As mentioned above, if the tank does not fill, the toilet won’t flush. Hence, you will need to replace the overflow tube, which will restore your toilet’s functioning.

Unblock a clogged toilet

This is another common reason for a flush that doesn’t work. Typical reasons for a clogged toilet include using too much toilet paper or trying to flush something other than toilet paper down the toilet, which blocks the pipe and makes flushing, ‘mission impossible.’ An example here is trying to flush sanitary napkins, which can easily clog the toilet.

A good solution here is using a toilet auger or plunger to push waste through the lining. Alternatively, try a plunger to create suction, which will assist in dislodging paper water blockage and move it down the pipe.

If too many clogs make your life miserable, consider a thinner toilet paper type. This will also be a good decision if you or your family members use a lot of toilet paper in one sitting.

Replace the flapper if it is warped or bent

The rubber flapper as part of your flush system is designed to release water when you flush. It then closes the water intake hole so that an adequate water level is available in the tank. If this rubber flapper deteriorates, bents, warps, or the seal is damaged, you will have to replace it.

To begin with, remove the tank’s lid to have a good look at the rubber flapper and see if it is damaged. If it is, get a flapper. These aren’t very costly, and you can get them from any home improvement store. Your next steps include turning off the water, draining the tank, and replacing the old flapper with the new one. Flush once things are set to see if the problem is adequately resolved.

Wrap up

Fixing your toilet flush shouldn’t be so hard if you put in some time. Identify the problem and take the needed steps accordingly.

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