Toilet Hard To Flush? Find Out Why & Get Our Tips For Fixing The Problem


When something goes wrong with the toilet in the house, there is definitely a problem for everyone who lives in the abode. No one realizes just how significant a toilet is until they need to use the bathroom and have no option or safe method to dispose of the waste. A toilet that is hard to flush might still work a little bit but could be covering up deeper problems, especially if there is sticking of the internal mechanisms.

Common Toilet Issues

Tank parts diagram

There are quite a few common issues that make a toilet hard to flush, and almost all of them pertain to mechanical problems inside the tank. The tank of the toilet is the square part that sits behind and above the seat. In here are all of the mechanisms that make the plumbing of the toilet function properly. If the toilet is hard to flush, there is most likely a piece inside that is getting stuck, moving slowly, or is not connected properly.

The most common problems that make a toilet hard to flush are a tired lift chain, a poor flush seal, and an ill-fitting toilet flapper. Each piece is essential to keeping the toilet running. When the handle is pushed down on a toilet, it triggers the interior swing arm, which tugs on the chain and raises the toilet flapper to allow water to wash down into the bowl of the toilet. Over time, these pieces can wear down, necessitating repairs. Someone who is uncomfortable with plumbing can hire a professional to fix faulty pieces, but many of these procedures are simple.

Toilet Flapper Failures

Toilet flapper

The flapper is the piece of plastic that sits over the pipe through which water drains into the toilet bowl. It is part of the mechanism that triggers when someone pushes down on the toilet handle to flush it. When the flapper isn’t installed correctly, is worn down, or is even the wrong size for the pipe, it can allow too much or too little water to pass through the toilet. It’s easy to tell when the flapper isn’t working because water will keep running into the toilet bowl and the handle will feel “loose” – it will offer little resistance to being pushed down. When this happens, the toilet will struggle to flush.

Flappers are simple and easy to replace. The biggest factor in buying a new one is to make sure the product matches the size of the pipe in the toilet. If someone buys a flapper that is too big or too small, it will not form a seal and water will continue to run. Not only does this make flushing difficult, but it can also cause the water to run all the time, increasing an individual’s water bills.

Flush Valve Slips

Flush valve picture

The flush valve is the piece of the toilet responsible for moving water from the plumbing up through the pipes and into the toilet tank. While the valve can fail, the biggest problem faced by people who have trouble getting their toilet to flush is when the flush valve starts to no longer be effective at getting water to come up into the tank. Flush valves are one of the most common pieces in a toilet to face troubles because it is so often in use. Thankfully, repair kits are easy to purchase and can cost as little as $10.

Flush valves can also face issues when their seals go bad. The seal in a flush valve is what stops excess water from leaking. When the seal goes bad, the toilet tank can no longer fill up probably and will face other difficulties. Seals are cheap and easy to replace since they are small, often rubber, circles to help prevent leaking. Some disassembly of the toilet tank interior will be necessary, but the situation could be much worse. Don’t lose hope: replacing a seal is much better having a more catastrophic meltdown.

Chain Catastrophes

The chain connects the swing arm to the rest of the interior plumbing in the toilet tank. When the handle is pressed down, the chain puts the mechanisms in motion to activate the flush valve and lift the flapper, keeping the water moving. Chains need to be the right length because too much slack or tightness can damage the chain and also cause trouble flushing the toilet.

When there is too much slack in the chain, the flush valve and the flapper will not raise all the way and the toilet won’t flush correctly. In most cases, the chain just needs to be tightened. This can be done by moving it to a different hole in the swing arm or connecting it through another link, similar to a necklace. If the chain is too tight, people with toilet trouble can loosen it by doing the opposite.

Sometimes, the chain is in terrible condition from constant exposure to water. When this happens, a new one can be purchased from most hardware stores for less than $10, which is a small price to pay for a functioning toilet!


Don’t let a toilet that’s hard to flush get you down. This is a common problem and one that plagues many people around the world. While it is more of an irritant than a dire issue, it can represent a more serious issue that needs attention. After all, if the toilet is allowed to continue to stick or the parts go unchecked, they can wear down further and the toilet could break entirely. So, examine the symptoms of the problem, make a diagnosis, and then seek out the proper repairs.[1]

What’s Next

It’s time to get back to your life without having to worry about something as irritating as a toilet that won’t flush properly. Now that you know what the problem is, be prepared to enjoy a life without the hassle of a faulty toilet.  Be sure to check out the best toilet repair kits today.

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