December 13, 2023

5 Common Toilet Flushing Issues and How to Fix Them

There’s no understating the importance of a well-functioning toilet in your home. It’s more than just a convenience; it’s a necessity. But what do you do when your toilet won’t flush the way it’s supposed to? There are a number of reasons your toilet may not be working properly but diagnosing them can be tricky for the inexperienced. In this blog, we’ll dive into some common toilet problems and offer advice on how to fix them.  Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just want to understand what’s going on before calling in the pros, this guide is for you. Of course, when you need your toilet working ASAP, don’t hesitate to call Applewood for fast plumbing service in Denver and Boulder.

1. Slow Flushing Toilet

Problem: A weak or slow flushing toilet is a common issue that can be caused by clogged jets or a low water level in the tank.

Solutions: First, check the water level in the tank; it should be about an inch below the overflow tube. Adjust the float if necessary so that it stops the tank refilling at the right mark. 

If the water level is fine, inspect the rim feed hose. This is the tube that adds water to the bowl as your tank refills. Make sure it’s connected properly and isn’t blocked so that your bowl starts with the correct amount of water in it.  

Your toilet’s jets, the small holes beneath the rim of your bowl, are what create the swirling flushing action. If they are blocked, water can’t flow down into the bowl as quickly. Clean them gently with a brush and vinegar to clear the openings of any scale or buildup. 

2. Toilet Not Flushing Completely

Problem: If your toilet isn’t flushing all the way, it could be due to the flapper not lifting fully or a clog in the drain.

Solution: Check the flapper; it should lift completely when you flush. If it’s not, adjust the chain length so that when you pull the handle, the chain lifts it all the way open. A chain with too much slack will only lift the flapper partially. 

For potential clogs, try a plunger to resolve the issue. See our blog on how to plunge a toilet for tips on how to best do this. 

If these steps don’t work, it might be time to call a professional.

3. Toilet Won’t Stop Running 

A new toilet flapper.

Problem: A running toilet can be obnoxious and wastes a lot of water. This usually happens due to a problem with the flapper valve or the float ball.

Solution: Check the flapper; if it’s not sealing properly and water leaks through, it may need to be replaced. It’s not uncommon for flappers to wear out and your local hardware store will have a new one that fits your toilet. Make sure you bring the old one to match the type you need. 

Also, ensure the float ball isn’t waterlogged and is properly adjusted. The float ball determines the water level inside the tank. If it continually triggers the refill valve to open, your toilet will keep running. An older fill valve may need to be replaced.

4. Ghost Flushing or Toilet Flushing By Itself

Problem: Ghost flushing can be startling and wasteful. It’s often caused by a slow leak from the tank into the bowl.

Solution: This usually indicates a faulty flapper or flush valve seal. Replacing these parts is generally a straightforward process and can eliminate ghost flushing. Identify where the leak is and replace the necessary components. If you’re uncertain of the cause, contact our licensed professionals to diagnose the problem.

5. Toilet Leaking Water After Flushing

Problem: Water on the floor after flushing? This could be due to a faulty seal or a crack in the tank or bowl.

Solution: Check the seals around the tank and the base. Tighten any loose bolts and replace worn-out gaskets. Make sure you turn off the water supply before doing this! If there’s a crack, unfortunately, you might need a new toilet. 

How to Turn Off Water to Toilet

When performing any of the above maintenance to your toilet, you may need to turn off the water supply. To help, we’ve created a quick video that shows you how. Knowing how to shut off the water to your toilet can come in handy if you experience leaks or overflow as well.

Toilet Repair, Denver and Boulder

Dealing with toilet troubles can be frustrating, but many issues have simple fixes. Remember, regular maintenance can prevent many of these problems. However, if the problem persists or you don’t feel equipped to address it yourself, don’t hesitate to contact Applewood. Our Denver and Boulder plumbers are always ready to assist with your plumbing issues. 

Call  303-328-3060

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