One of the big mysteries in life is why a toilet won’t flush. Because when it happens the response from everyone in the house goes something like this: “I don’t know.” “It wasn’t me.” “I didn’t do anything.” “It must have been my older/younger brother/sister. In fact, I’m sure he/she did it.” Does that sound similar to what happens in your Waterford, MI home? Let’s examine some of the common reasons a toilet won’t flush and how you might be able to avoid calling in a plumber.
The Toilet is Clogged
Problem: In nearly all cases this is a case of someone using too much toilet paper or trying to flush anything except toilet paper. Remember, things like paper towels, sanitary napkins, diapers, and sanitary wipes are not meant to be flushed.
Solution: Thankfully, most blockages can be forced through the plumbing by using the old reliable plunger. An auger can be used for more stubborn clogs. If it happens consistently, try switching to a thinner type of toilet tissue.
Low Water Level in Toilet Tank
Problem: Without the proper amount of water, the flush will not be forceful enough to push the waste into the plumbing system. When the tank fills, the water level should be about one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
Solution: First make sure the water valve is open and allowing water to flow into the tank. Make sure the float is set to the proper level and isn’t shutting off the water flow too soon. If there is a problem, it costs just a few bucks to replace the flow valve and float assembly and most people can do it easily without calling a plumber.
The Flapper is a Flop
Problem: The rubber flapper at the bottom of the toilet tank releases water into the toilet bowl to start the flush and then closes so the tank refills to the proper level. If it’s worn, warped, or damaged it may keep the tank from flushing correctly.
Solution: This is one of the easiest plumbing fixes in the entire house. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and drain the tank by flushing. You should be able to easily remove the old flapper and install a new one that costs just a few dollars.
Lift Chain Adjustment
Problem: This is one of those little things that can be easily ignored. A chain connects the flush handle to the flapper. If the chain has too much slack it may not open the flapper far enough for a proper flush.
Solution: The chain is easily adjustable so it can be shortened to remove the slack. Usually this can be done just using your fingers, but needle-nose pliers may come in handy to open the links in the chain. Just measure the chain to make sure the flapper opens completely when the flush handle is pulled.
Kotz is Always Here to Help
While these simple fixes can cure most toilet flushing problems in your Waterford, MI home, they can be caused by more serious plumbing issues. Don’t be afraid to call Kotz Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing for help from one of our professional plumbers. For more great information like this, be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.