Help! My Toilet Won’t Flush

The problem with a broken toilet flush is that you usually only discover the problem after you’ve just used it! But don’t worry – a non-flushing toilet is usually pretty straight forward to fix and won’t require a plumber. Take a look at the following four most common toilet flush problems and how to fix them so you never get caught short by a broken toilet flush again.

Clogged Toilet

Flushing foreign objects down the loo or using a large amount of paper can cause a blockage that will stop your toilet from flushing. You can avoid this problem occurring simply by not flushing anything other than toilet paper down the loo.

However, if a blockage has already occurred you can use a plunger to dislodge it. Place the plunger into the toilet resting where the waste pipe curves off and plunge up and down to create suction. If that doesn’t work you can use an auger which can reach up to a meter and push the blockage down your waste pipe.

Low Water Level in Tank

A low water level in the tank is most commonly caused by the water valve being switched off accidentally. If your valve is off, switch it back on and check the water refills to the right level (one inch below the overflow tube) then flush the chain.

Warped or Bent Flapper

The rubber flapper inside your tank releases water during flushing and closes the intake hole when the flush has finished ensuring the right level of water remains in the tank.

If your flapper is warped or deteriorated it will need to be replaced. You can find flappers at any DIY store for a few pounds. To change the flapper, turn off the water, drain the tank and replace the old flapper, then flush to check the problem is fixed.

Lift Chain Won’t Work

The lift chain attaches the flapper on the inside of the toilet to the flush handle on the outside. It can sometimes have too much slack so it can’t raise the flapper in order to allow the toilet to flush. To solve the problem shorten the length of the chain to allow for sufficient pull to raise the flapper.

My Toilet Won’t Stop Flushing

If your toilet won’t stop flushing start by checking the lift chain. Give the toilet handle a jiggle and if the flow stops move the chain’s position on the arm. If this doesn’t solve the problem then check to see if the float has been disconnected. It should be just above the water level. If it’s not you can adjust it using the arm.

Check for leaks by dropping a dye tablet into your tank, then when you flush the water in your bowl will turn the colour of the tablet if you have a leak. A faulty flapper valve is often the cause of leaks so if your loo is leaking then replace your flapper valve with a new one.