Your toilet is one of the most frequently used plumbing fixtures in your home, and when it fails to flush properly, it can be a major inconvenience. Toilets may have difficulty flushing for a variety of reasons, and some of them can be hard to pinpoint without the help of a plumbing professional. If your toilet is struggling to flush, here are some common reasons this may be the case.

Disconnected Lever

Not all toilets feature a lever flush system, but if yours does, it may have gotten detached from the flapper. The lever is almost always attached to the flapper by a loose chain. Unfortunately, if this chain becomes unhooked from the flapper or detached from the lever, nothing will occur if you press the lever. If you notice your chain is completely damaged or detached, you may want to hire a plumbing professional to help you replace it.


If your toilet struggles to flush, there may be a clog in the drain. Clogs often occur when a person uses too much toilet paper or attempts to flush an object that is not flushable. Even flushable wipes can cause an issue because they do not break down, and this is why so many plumbers recommend against flushing them. The toilet paper or object then creates a blockage in the drain line that stops anything from being flushed. Many people can unclog a toilet simply using a plunger. This usually works on basic clogs, but if a plunger does not work, the clog may be more serious. If your toilet doesn’t respond to typical unclogging methods, you should contact a plumber who can use specialized tools to remove the clog.

Not Enough Water in the Tank

If there isn’t enough water in your toilet tank, it will struggle to flush. This is because it won’t be able to dump enough water into the bowl. Ideally, the water in your toilet tank should be roughly one inch below the top of its overflow tube. Often, this problem is relatively easy to handle. In some cases, however, the primary cause of a low water level may be a pipe leak, a more complicated water pressure issue, or another problem that requires a professional diagnosis.

Clog in the Drain Line

Even if all components of your toilet function properly, it may still not flush. If this is the case, there may be a deeper problem with your plumbing. A drain line is responsible for moving the waste from your toilet to a septic or sewer system, and it can sometimes develop problems. If your drain line doesn’t function correctly, your toilet likely won’t flush, and you may notice all the drains in your house not working properly. For example, your shower, tub, and sink drains may back up with water or drain slowly.

Occasionally, a drain line will become clogged. A clog in the drain line will require the help of an experienced plumber. A leaking or broken drain line can also prevent your toilet from flushing. Roots from the trees in your yard can also extend into your drain line and compromise it.

Blocked Rim Jets

When you flush your toilet, water is transferred into the bowl through rim jets. These jets are located under the rim of the bowl, and it is easy to overlook them. Most people don’t pay much attention to their toilet rim jets, but they can become clogged by bacteria, mineral deposits, and other types of debris. When they are blocked, the flow of water can become reduced, and the strength of your flush will suffer.

Worn Out Flapper

Located at the bottom of your toilet tank, the toilet flapper is a rubber gasket that seals off the bowl from the tank so that water won’t leak out. When the toilet is flushed, a chain raises the flapper so that water drains out and the water in the bowl flushes. Over time, however, a flapper can wear out or become damaged. This can prevent it from sealing properly and cause some of the water to constantly leak out of the tank. If you are constantly losing water, there may not be enough to fill the bowl if you flush it, and your toilet will run even if it is not in use.

Replacing a damaged or worn-out flapper can also save you money. A leaky flapper can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, causing your water bill to skyrocket. A plumbing professional can examine your toilet and determine if your flapper is functioning properly.

Damaged Overflow Tube

Your toilet overflow tube is a plastic tub inside the toilet tank connected directly to the bowl. It is responsible for refilling the bowl after each flush and preventing the tank from overflowing. When your toilet flushes, the flapper will close, and the tank will refill. The water will begin to rise to the top of the overflow tube and flow into it to refill the bowl. If the overflow tube is damaged in any way, water will constantly leak into the bowl. This can prevent the toilet from flushing since it won’t have enough water for a full flush. It can even cause your toilet to overflow when you flush it.

Low Water Pressure

If your home doesn’t have adequate water pressure, your toilet will have a challenging time flushing. When the water pressure is too low, the toilet may shut off before it has the chance to completely refill. Low water pressure will typically impact all the toilets in the home. All toilets have a water pressure rating, and if the water pressure in your home is too low, there will be issues with flushing. If your home is having water pressure issues, you will need to contact a plumber to inspect your plumbing system and find out the root cause.

Closed Inlet Valve

Your toilet needs enough water to flush, which is why it fills with water after you use it. If you flush your toilet, but nothing happens, its inlet valve may be closed. This can occur when the valve gets nudged out of place or you forget to close it. If you turn on the valve and the toilet still doesn’t refill, the water may be turned off at the main source.

Floater Problem

The float, as its name suggests, usually floats on top of the water in the toilet tank. Once the water reaches a specific level, the float will tell the fill valve to close. This prevents the tank from continuing to fill. If the float is damaged, set too low, or obstructed, the tank may not fill completely, resulting in a weak flush.

Contact Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric Today

Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric serves the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and we specialize in plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. We take pride in helping our customers address their issues in a timely and affordable manner. Contact Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric today to learn more about our bathroom services!

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