Failing flushes? Common Causes for Low Power in Toilet
Updated: May 16
There's nothing quite like the feeling of walking into the bathroom and realizing your toilet isn't what it used to be.
Maybe it's suddenly louder or takes longer to fill, or has "jiggle the handle" syndrome.
Or, worst of all, its flushes are flunking and nothing is dumpin’.
It's an unpleasant and disconcerting experience, and it's also one that can (thankfully!) be avoided if you understand the causes of a toilet failing to flush with power.
We'll look at the most common causes of lack of power in the throne room and tips on restoring a royal flush.
Be easy on your toilet; it's under pressure.
No, really, that's one of the most common causes of a toilet not flushing with power—insufficient water pressure.
If the water pressure is too low, it may not be strong enough to push enough water through the toilet fast enough for a forceful, effective flush.
It makes you waste water and time as you stand there waiting for the tank to refill.
All Clogged Up
Even the word "clog" sounds like something stuck in a pipe. It's another common cause of a toilet not flushing with power and can be caused by a few different things.
If the clog is blocking the flow of water from leaving the toilet, it can cause the panic you might feel when you realize the water level is rising instead of falling. If you are experiencing a gurgling sound then you have an issue with your drain pipe which should be looked at, without a thought, by your local plumber.
Clogs between the tank and the bowl can turn a torrent into a trickle, and they can happen in places you might not even know exist.
Ever wonder how the water inside the bowl gets there?
A collection of hard-working nozzles tucked under the rim of the toilet bowl called siphon jets. If those get clogged, they'll spit and sputter when they should be spouting, causing your flush to be flimsy.
Clogs can be caused by various things, including foreign objects flushed down the toilet, calcium buildup, or even tree roots that have invaded the pipes.
They all have different solutions, and some problems definitely require professional assistance. Remember that Massachusetts law requires a licensed plumber for any work inside a residential building before doing anything that might get you in number two with authorities or a new homeowner.
Give Your Toilet a Spa Day
There are some home remedies you can try, however. A quick soak with hot water and vinegar might be all that's needed for mineral buildup inside the tank and the siphon jets.
You'll have to turn off the water supply first and flush to empty the tank, then block the holes with waterproof tape or temporary sealant.
Pour in a 50/50 mixture of hot water and vinegar, let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, remove the seal from the siphon jets, and your flush should be much flushier.
Feeble Flapper and Fill Valves
The flapper valve is part of the toilet that opens and closes to allow water to flow into the bowl. Every time you flush, the flapper valve is doing hard work. Over time, wear and tear can tire the little guy out, and it just won't be able to open enough to allow enough water to flow into the bowl to flush with authority.
A distant cousin to the flapper is the fill valve, which lets the water into the tank from the supply line. This can get clogged, stuck, or leaky, resulting in low, slow water inside the tank. If the fill valve isn't working correctly, it won't be able to fill the tank with enough water to flush the toilet.
Toilet Failing Flush Trouble? Call For Back-up!
If your toilet isn't flushing with power, consider a toilet repair, this will save you time by not having to plunge and money on your water bill. G&C Plumbing & Heating is a trusted plumbing provider in the Bellingham / Franklin, MA areas, that specializes in repairing and installing all brands and styles of toilets.
Find out more about how one of the licensed, professional plumbers at G&C Plumbing & Heating can help homeowners in Franklin or surrounding Norfolk County restore any toilet to its former glory by contacting us today—we're here to help!