How to Fix a Slow Flushing Toilet

slow flushing toilet

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Many home systems serve to give you comfort and improve your convenience, but there are only a few things more essential than a functioning toilet.

As such, it can be very frustrating and often embarrassing when you have guests and your toilet does not flush correctly, leaving some waste due to partial flushes.

A seasoned DIYer can easily resolve most issues with slow-flushing toilets, but it depends on the actual cause of the problem.

Your toilet may flush inadequately or slowly for several reasons, and it is important to identify the root cause before it can be fixed.

Common reasons why a toilet may flush slowly are: a partly clogged drain, low levels of water, a damaged flapper, sediment buildup on jet holes, and a clogged drain vent.

Below is a detailed breakdown of these toilet issues and their possible solutions that can help to solve your toilet flushing problem.

Slow Flushing Toilet: Partly Clogged Drain

It is quite easy to identify a clogged toilet, and many people can send the blockage through the drain by using a plunger.

However, it can be more difficult to identify a partial clog since the toilet will still flush, only not as it should.

If your slow-flushing toilet is caused by a partly clogged drain, you can use several methods to try to clear it and restore normal flushing power.

Plunging the toilet remains one of the first things you can try. The toilet plunger usually creates enough pressure to clear clogs or partial clogs.

If your plunger does not work, you should consider making use of a toilet auger.

Items such as kid’s toys, wipes, floss, and others can get stuck in the toilet drain line, so if it is difficult to remove the clog you may need to get a skilled plumber to clear the blockage.

Low Levels of Water

When the level of water within the toilet tank is too low, it can cause the toilet not to flush properly. This is one of the most common toilet flushing issues.

The absence of sufficient water in the tank is enough to greatly reduce the toilet’s flushing power because the force of water flowing into the toilet is limited.

A full tank creates just enough water pressure to drain the toilet bowl of its contents. When the water in the tank is not enough, you will likely see some leftover waste in the toilet bowl after flushing.

This leaves you waiting to refill the toilet tank only to try for another flush.

You can normally address this problem by changing the toilet float level within the tank. This toilet float suspends on top of the water and shuts the fill valve automatically when the water reaches a certain level.

Adjusting the toilet float will allow more water to enter the tank before the fill valve is shut and increase the toilet’s flushing power.

Slow Flushing Toilet: Damaged Flush Valve or Flapper

Sometimes, the flush valve and flapper assembly can be responsible for toilet flushing issues. These components are present within the tank and release the water within the toilet tank into the bowl when flushed.

The flush valve assembly is made up of a lever, chain, overflow tube, flapper, and flush valve opening at the tank base.

On the other hand, the flapper is a rubber ball or plug that covers the toilet bowl opening and it’s normally off to a side of the overflow tube.

When you flush the toilet by pressing the button or lever, the flush valve is activated and the flapper opens to release water from the tank into the bowl.

It is also possible that a flush valve is positioned on top of the valve opening.

In place of a flapper, these make use of a valve seat to connect the opening to the bowl. The valve seat lifts up when you flush the toilet, allowing the flow of water from the tank to the bowl.

However, if the flapper or flush valve has a problem, it may restrict the water flow into the toilet bowl. This will, in turn, affect the flushing power and cause your toilet to flush slowly.

To solve this, examine the flush valve assembly. At times, the chain gets stuck or trapped, so it can be a relatively easy fix.

But if the problem continues, you should consider replacing the flush valve assembly completely.

Sediment Buildup

Water primarily flows from the toilet tank into the bowl through jet holes situated underneath the toilet bowl rim.

These holes are quite small in size and can get blocked and reduce the flushing power of the toilet.

If your toilet is very old or there is hard water where you live, then minerals like magnesium or calcium can settle in these jet holes and block the water flow.

Use a stiff-bristle toilet brush and distilled white vinegar to help scatter the buildup of minerals and restore the toilet’s normal flushing power.

It is also advisable to install a water softener to prevent any future reoccurrence of this problem.

Slow Flushing Toilet: Clogged Drain Vent

If your toilet vent lines are blocked, it can lower the flushing power. It is recommended to clear this blockage immediately to avoid more problems in your wastewater system.

Since these vents are located up in the roof, it may be a bit difficult to access and clear them.

And it can be even more difficult if you are not sure of what to look for in particular once you get on the roof.

Therefore, we recommend hiring a qualified plumber to clear your drain vents.

Call us at (559) 940-0890

Clovis Plumbing Services