Lynch Plumbing

Lynch Plumbing

Why Won’t My Toilet Flush? A Handy Troubleshooting Guide


Toilet bowl won’t flush? When you press the handle, does the water just sit there? The situation can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless. Some problems are easy to fix. Depending on the issue, you can make simple repairs or may need a professional Los Angeles plumber.

Common Toilet Problems and Their Fixes

Toilet flushing problems can be very annoying and inconvenient. To help you figure out your next step, here are some possible reasons why your toilet is not flushing, and how to tackle them.

The Toilet Handle Doesn’t Work

The handle can disconnect from the arm and toilet flapper. Pressing the handle normally raises the flapper so that water is released. A broken chain or loose nut can prevent this from happening. How to fix it: Reconnect the handle to the arm and tighten any loose parts to ensure proper function.

There Is a Closed Inlet Valve

A closed inlet valve is a common issue that prevents water from filling the toilet tank, which is essential for flushing. This can happen either because the valve was manually shut off during maintenance or inadvertently turned off. This should be one of the first things you check when troubleshooting a toilet that won’t flush. How to fix it: Locate the valve near the base of the toilet where the water supply line connects to the tank. Ensure the valve is fully open to allow water to flow into the tank.

The Water Level Is Too Low

Motion Blur Of Flushing Water In Toilet Bowl If the toilet can’t dump enough water into the bowl, it won’t flush. You can check the back of the tank to determine the cause. The water level should sit one inch below the overflow tube, but may be off if something hits the intake valve. How to fix it: Twist the flush valve until it’s in the proper position, or re-adjust the float ball so it’s at the proper height. If adjusting the float doesn’t work, there could be water pressure issues, leaks, and other plumbing problems. Call your trusted Los Angeles area plumber to take a look.

The Toilet Is Clogged

Toilets clog up pretty easily. You should only flush toilet paper, but even a lot of toilet paper will cause a clog. Sanitary products are also common culprits while kids often drop things in the bowl that shouldn’t be flushed. How to fix it: You can plunge it or poke a toilet brush down to push whatever is blocking the pipe. If you know how to use a plumbing snake, you can crank it until the clog is pushed through or can be pulled up. If not, it’s best to call a residential plumber.

The Flapper or Fill Valve Isn’t Working

If your toilet flushes normally but won’t stop running, flushing it again may be difficult. Water is running through the system as this is happening, so you’ll be consuming more than necessary, which can increase water bills. A common cause of running toilets is a bent or cracked flapper seal. A buildup of hard water minerals in the fill valve can prevent it from closing properly. How to fix it: Replace the flapper or adjust the fill valve to ensure it closes properly after each flush. Again, if you don’t have the skill to do this yourself, a professional plumber can help.

The Toilet Jets Need Cleaning

Over time, the jets around the toilet bowl rim can become clogged with mineral deposits and debris, reducing the efficiency of each flush. This can lead to incomplete flushing and the need for multiple flushes to clear the bowl. Regular cleaning of these jets can help maintain the optimal performance of your toilet. How to fix it: Use a small brush or a piece of flexible wire to gently clean each jet hole. Vinegar can also be applied to help dissolve any mineral buildup. After cleaning, flush the toilet a few times to ensure that the jets are clear and functioning properly.

The Drain Line Is Clogged

After you flush the toilet, waste is moved through the drain line to the sewer or septic system. A clogged drain line can prevent a toilet from flushing. At the same time, you might notice sink, tub, and shower drains working slowly or backing up. How to fix it: You’ll need to call a plumber, as they’ll need to access the drain line with a specialized auger. If the drain line is leaking, broken, or has tree roots growing into it, that section of pipe may need to be replaced.

When It’s Time to Call a Plumber

While many toilet issues can be fixed with DIY methods, there are times when it’s best to call a professional plumber:
  • If you’ve attempted to unclog the toilet using a plunger or a plumbing snake without success.
  • If there are signs of leakage from the toilet base.
  • If the toilet runs continuously even after trying to adjust the flapper and the fill valve.
  • If there is a decrease in the overall flushing power of the toilet that can’t be resolved by cleaning or adjusting components.

Tried Everything in This Guide and Still Asking “Why Won’t My Toilet Flush?”

You’re probably pretty frustrated right now, and it’s also probably time to bring in a plumber. Even if you weren’t able to try all of our suggestions, attempting repairs when you’re unsure can lead to further damage or water leakage. When in doubt, it’s safer and more cost-effective to call a professional. The good news is that the results of your troubleshooting attempts should help the plumber identify the issue more quickly.

If You Need Expert Help, Call Lynch Plumbing Today

Available 24 hours a day for emergency plumbing services, Lynch Plumbing can diagnose and resolve any problem that’s preventing your toilet from flushing. We provide plumbing services throughout the San Fernando Valley. Whether you need drain cleaning or toilet repair, our L.A. emergency plumber can get the job done right the first time. Call (818) 773-9514 to request service.

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