Toilet Doesn’t Flush All The Way? Find Out Why & Get It Fixed

Updated by Lynda Stevens

Nothing is more annoying than flushing your toilet and some of the stool floats around after. You still need to wait for the tank to fill up considerably before flushing it down again, hopefully taking all the gunk with it this time. If you have a toilet that doesn’t seem to flush all the way, this article is for you.

There are a couple of reasons why this happens. You would want to get to the bottom of the problem in order to find the accurate solution for it.

Here are some of the possible causes as to why your toilet doesn’t flush all the way:

  • The chain is loose.

 

Person holding flush chain

The most common reason is a loose chain. The chain can lose its tension overtime. The older your toilet is, the more likely it is to have a loose chain problem. Remove the toilet tank cover and then check the chain. This is the one connected to your toilets flush lever. Does it stretch out too much? If this is the case, it prevents the rubber flapper from staying lifted. The rubber flapper needs to stay lifted in order to allow the tank to fill properly with enough water. The easiest solution to this is to install a new chain.[1] It should be easy to find in your hardware store.

Before replacing, shut off your main water supply first.  Flush it to get rid of the remaining water in the tank. Remove the lid and use a pair of pliers to disconnect the old chain from the flush lever and the rubber flapper that is connected to a fill valve at the other end. Also remove the attachment of the rubber flapper from the tank. Now install the new chain to the flapper. Use your pliers to remove the last link and connect it to the flapper. Put the flapper back into the toilet tank and then connect the chain to the flush level. Turn your home’s water supply back on and then try the new chain out. It should be fixed by now.

  • Your toilet has a worn-out flapper.

 

Flapper picture

After opening the toilet tank and you see that the chain is still intact, check the flapper next. If you see signs of deterioration, it might need to be replaced. Buy a new one from a local hardware store, making sure it is the one compatible with your toilet. To replace the toilet flapper, simply use a pair of pliers to remove its connection to the chain and your toilet. Install the new one and then test the toilet.

  • You don’t have enough water in the tank.

 

Water level in toilet tank

There are more obvious reasons such as the tank not filling up with the right amount of water. Open the tank of your toilet and then check the water level. If it is too low, the fill valve needs to be replaced. Again, follow the same initial steps as the previous one. Shut off your water supply and then flush your toilet to remove the remaining water. Remove the water hose. This is usually connected through a screw. Just unscrew it and set the screw aside. Remove the hose and then remove the fill valve after. Put the new fill valve in. Use a screwdriver to connect the lock nut found under the toilet tank. Connect the water supply hose once again and then turn your water supply on. Test it out. Flush the toilet and see if it is filling up nicely now and all the stool is flushed down.

  • The inlet holes are clogged.

Another reason why your toilet doesn’t flush all the way is because the inlet holes are clogged. The inlet holes are the holes at the rim of your bowl where water comes out to cleanse the bowl. Try flushing your toilet and then take a closer look at the inlet holes to see if water comes out of them sufficiently. If not, it could be clogged.

If you have a water source riddled with hard minerals, this can be a common issue in your home. When hard minerals collect, they tend to leave behind limescale deposits that are hard to get rid of. This is usually the cause of the clog.

Again, you need to shut off your water supply and empty your toilet. Open up your tank’s fill valve and pour a declogging solution in here. You can try hot vinegar. This always works in removing limescale deposits from hard water. Let it sit there. You can also directly spray it on the inlet holes. If some are still clogged after using this trick, use a wire to poke the holes and dislodge the clogs.

You can also use store-bought decloggers. You can pour some of it in the fill valve. Let it sit there for a few hours. Don’t let other people use the toilet in the meantime while you are removing the problematic clog.

It also helps to install a water filtration system if you have hard water. It removes hard minerals from the source, so you can protect your plumbing fixtures and even your appliances from their damaging effects.

  • There is a clog in your toilet.

There could collected toilet paper in there. This usually requires the help of a professional plumber. Try testing it out first. Pour water from a bucket down the toilet and if it doesn’t flush down easily or it takes some time before the water goes down, it is surely clogged. Call a plumber that has a good reputation when it comes to fixing plumbing issues well.

If you have an old toilet it might have worn out internal parts already. It is better to just completely replace the toilet and go for more efficient ones that have more pressure and force when flushing even when using up very little water rather than waste gallons of water on a toilet that doesn’t even flush all the way. There are now affordable modern toilets that you can get for your home.

Learn more about the products you need to repair your throne here!

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