Slow Flushing Toilet, What’s the Problem
You toilet didn’t always seem so slow. You have tried drain cleaners and are almost certain there is a problem with the toilet. You might be thinking that you need a new one.
Even though you regularly clean your toilet, you could have a problem with mineral buildup. Accumulation can cause a slow flushing toilet. Other problems could be worn parts or obstructions in your drain.
If Your Toilet has a Problem
Before you replace your toilet or do unnecessary repairs, you can do a simple test to verify that the problem is your toilet and not an obstruction in the sewer line. Fill a one-gallon bucket with water and pour it directly in the middle of the toilet bowl. Then flush the toilet while observing the flow rate and sound. You should get a gurgling sound or suction sound when it flushes. If the water quickly gets flushed down the drain and makes the characteristic gurgling sound, your drains are flowing well. However, if the water is sluggish to empty the bowl and starts to back up, then your problem is more likely a clog or obstruction in the drain. Another problem is when the water is sluggish and swirls around and around in the bowl when you flush it with no backup. In this case, there could be a problem with the water getting from the tank to the bowl.
Correcting Problems with Water Delivery
When your problem appears to be in the delivery of water getting from the tank to the bowl, there are a few simple steps you can take.
Check the water level in the back of the tank. The water level in your reservoir tank should be almost at the top of the vertical spillover tube or at the fill line if it shows one. Toilets are engineered to work with a certain amount of water so too little can cause it to flush slowly or not at all. If you find you have a low water level problem, you will want to correct it before it causes your toilet to clog. Correct it by adjusting the float. The float adjusts the same way the water needs to go. To raise the water level, raise the float. To lower the water, lower the float.
Remove mineral buildup from inside the tank. Simply cleaning any mineral buildup or replacing a part or two should solve the problem if you have mineral buildup in your tank. Adding a toilet bowl cleaner or white vinegar into a dry tank will help to remove the minerals. Then regularly use a cleaning bowl tablet that can be hanged along the inside of the tank to continuously reduce deposits.
Replace parts for proper water delivery. If you observe that the float is getting stuck, it is likely from mineral buildup and will need to be replaced. Another possible problem is that the flapper could be closing too soon. If you observe the flapper is closing before most of the water has left the tank or is not sealing properly, replace the flapper.
Clean underneath the bowl’s rim. There are small holes underneath the bowl’s rim that dispense water into the bowl. Every time you clean your toilet you should use your brush to get under the rim. A problem could arise even with regular cleaning because mineral deposits can accumulate, clog the holes, and significantly slow your flow. To remove the mineral deposits, turn off the water to the toilet and drain the bowl, then take a toothbrush or pumice stone to scrub the area beneath the rim. Using a mirror to see what you are doing is helpful. You can also use a bent wire hanger to clear the holes. However, be careful not to scratch the porcelain.
Clear any debris from the drain hole and siphon jet. Your siphon jet helps provide the suction needed for a good flush. It is located in the drain hole at the bottom of the bowl. To clear it, pour some bowl cleaner in the tank, wait the amount of time designated in the cleaner’s instructions, and flush. If this doesn’t work, you could have an obstruction in the jet. With the bowl full of water, use a plunger vigorously several times to clear any waste or debris that might be blocking the jet.
When The Problem is Not Your Toilet
In reality, you might have more serious of a problem than you think. A slow flushing toilet can be an indication of a clog in your sewer line. If it is a minor clog that is close to the drain, then a plunger and bowl cleaner would typically correct the problem. However, when it is a clog or obstruction that is located further down the drain, you will need to contact your local plumber. He will be able to clean your line with a snake or toilet auger or use a jetter to scour clean your sewer system. In worse-case scenarios, your sewer line might need repair.
When it is time to call the plumber, remember you are a priority with High Priority Plumbing. You can contact us at 770.860.8110 in Atlanta.