It’s around this time of year when we’re entertaining more and often have friends and family drop in for a visit, and the last thing anyone wants is a toilet that won’t flush. Trying to figure out the problem can be frustrating if you don’t know what you’re looking for. There are three common reasons for a toilet not being able to flush, and in most cases you should be able to fix these problems yourself.

Most households will come across problems with toilets flushing at some point or another, but the solutions can be more easily fixed than you first might think.

Here are the top three reasons your toilet won’t flush and how you can try to fix it yourself.

  • blocked toilet
  • The water level is low
  • The flushing valve or button is broken

A BLOCKED TOILET

This is something that can happen regularly if anyone in your household is flushing items that shouldn’t be flushed. The problem can be as simple as too much toilet paper, or flushing sanitary items, baby wipes, or even toys. Yes, when little ones are around, you’d be surprised at what plumbers have found flushed down the toilet causing a blockage.

The solution is to firstly use a toilet plunger to try and create suction that will dislodge paper and any waste that has built up. The suction movement will push and pull the blockage until it dislodges and moves further down the pipe. Once the waste has moved past the first bend of the pipes, it will often flush more easily. If you’re discovering frequent blocks, you might want to try flushing more frequently on full flush and making sure there is a toilet bin where people can throw away sanitary items.

THE WATER LEVEL IS LOW

Take off the top of the cistern and check the water level. The water tank level should be around one inch below the tanks overflow level. If it’s lower, then it could be a sign that there is a leak or that the water valve has been turned off.

The solution is to check the water valve tap, which is the tap next to the toilet base. Check that it hasn’t been accidentally turned off. If this is on and there is pressure, the other reason could be a worn-out valve, causing the water that is refilling the cistern to leak into the bowl. Or it could be a faulty inlet valve. Both of these valves can be easily replaced, and you can buy them at a hardware store.

THE FLUSHING VALVE OR FLUSHING BUTTON IS BROKEN

In most modern toilets, the outlet flushing valve and the flushing button are made from plastics that can become brittle or broken over time. The button which lifts the outlet valve to flush water down the cistern can become detached, stuck or broken from continuous use and may need to be replaced. Depending on the make or model of your flushing valve it can have plastic tabs that lock it into place which may have become broken or the entire valve system may need replacing. Luckily replacing these is not expensive. A flush button can be as little as $10-15, and an entire dual valve outlet kit can be as low as $40-60 depending on the make and model.

When in doubt, call a professional plumber!

While these three situations are the most common reason for a toilet not flushing properly if you’ve tried to solve the problem yourself and still having no luck, give us a call at DCM plumbing. Sometimes even the best intentions of fixing a plumbing job yourself may result in still needing a professional to come out and help get your toilets flushing once again.

DCM Plumbing and Drainage are members of the Master Plumbers Association of Queensland and fully licensed with QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission) to carry out all repairs and replacements for toilets.

For complete peace of mind and fast, courteous service, call DCM Plumbing and Drainage on (07) 5576 5305.