Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you are standing inside your bathroom asking yourself, “why doesn’t my toilet flush?” then don’t panic, as we might have a solution for that.

A toilet is a necessity rather than a convenience in every home. But when it refuses to flush, it puts everyone in jeopardy. There are a few reasons for a toilet to stop flushing, some of them requiring a quick fix. But if your toilet is facing some severe troubles, it might need a professional hand to put it to work.

Let’s look into some common problems regarding a toilet that doesn’t flush without further ado.

Reasons Why a toilet doesn’t flush

There could be many reasons why your toilet is not flushing. It could be as simple as a low water level inside the water tank or a clog inside the drain pipes. Here we have compiled the most common causes.

Water Level Too Low Inside The Tank

To properly flush your toilet, the water inside the tank is delivered quickly to clear the bowl of any waste. But if the tank has not had enough water inside, then the waste will not be adequately flushed. When you check the water level inside your tank, the water should be an inch below the brim and overflow tube.

This problem might cause two scenarios that are easy to fix. First, check if the intake valve is working correctly or not. Because some times due to misalignment, the intake valve malfunctions, and water cant get inside the tank properly.

You also need to check the float because the water will stop entering the tank if it fails to lift. After adjusting the float and intake valve, recheck the water level and flush the toilet to ensure it is working correctly.

Flapper Valve Has Malfunctioned

If you press the flush handle and you don’t hear a “woosh” sound, then you might have a malfunctioned flapper inside the tank. The flapper is a round rubber seal that covers the water exit hole.

When the flush handle is pressed, it lifts a flush arm connected to the flapper via chain. Once the flapper lifts up, all of the water inside the tank is released inside the bowl. Once the flush is complete, the flapper valve seals the water exit.

Suppose the flapper valve fails to seal the water exit hole properly due to damage. In that case, the water will slowly leak into the bowl, leaving little to no water for flushing. The flapper might not seal the exit when the chain is shorter or will not lift up if the chain is too long.

To deal with the flapper valve problem first, you need to check the chain length. If the chain has slack, remove that and if it’s shorter, readjust it so the flapper valve must lift and seal properly. If the chain is of the correct length, check the flapper valve; if it’s damaged, you will need a new flapper valve.

Problem With The Flush Handle

If you press the flush handle all the way down and nothing happens, there could be two issues. Either the handle is disconnected, or the chain has too much slack. This type of problem is easy to fix and takes a few minutes.

The flush handle is connected to a flush arm responsible for lifting the flapper valve through a chain connected between them. If the flush handle is disconnected from the flush arm, you can quickly reconnect it. Similarly, if the chain has too much slack, you can adjust its length.

The Toilet Is Clogged

The primary reason your toilet is not flushing is that it is clogged. A toilet can easily get clogged by non-flushable items such as wipes, sanitary products, hair, and paper towels. It could be challenging to find a clog because it might be inside the S-Trap or somewhere in the drain.

It is easy to tell if there is a complete blockage because the toilet will start flooding. But a partial blockage is difficult to detect as the toilet will flush but with reduced performance. To check for a partial clog, pour a bucket full of water and see if the water goes down the drain quickly or not.

You can use various methods like a plunger, drain openers, toilet snake, baking soda and vinegar mixture, or hot water with soap to open a clog. If these methods fail to open a clog, you will need to call a plumber.

Poorly Installed Drain Pipes

If your toilet has visibly no issues, but still you face problems when you flush your toilet, the problem might be inside the drain line. A malfunctioned drain line will prevent the toilet from flushing correctly.

A drain line could be facing all sorts of issues, such as a blockage; it might be broken or poorly installed. If the drain line is blocked, it requires a plumber to fix it with a long auger. Sometimes the old drain pipes break and collect debris forming a blockage.

Sometimes, a poorly installed drain line doesn’t have a downward slope that leaves water inside. When the toilet is flushed, the already present water stalls the incoming water and waste, and the drain starts backing up.

So if your drain line is broken or poorly installed, it will eventually require the replacement of the whole drain pipes that are faulty.

Blocked Inlet Holes

The water inlet holes are located inside the bowl rim to allow water to enter from the tank. If you notice the water stream going directly down the bowl or there is no stream at all, it indicates blocked inlet holes or water jets. This resulted in the loss of water and reduced flushing performance.

The blockage of inlet holes might occur due to hard water buildup, grime, or corrosion. Sadly this can happen recurrently, and you might need to regularly check the inlet holes. Luckily there are ways to open the inlet holes using materials available at home.

You can open the blocked inlet holes with a pointy object by locating them with a mirror. You can also open the blocked holes by pouring hot vinegar or a mild toilet cleaner inside the overflow tube. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight to take effect.

How To Keep Your Toilet In Working Condition?

There are several ways to keep your toilet in working condition for a long time.

Always Invest In Quality Products

Investing in quality products could save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Similarly, suppose corners are cut when buying and installing a low-quality toilet or drainage system. In that case, they will eventually be replaced when they stop working.

A high-quality toilet and drainage system should keep working flawlessly for many years before needing a repair or replacement.

Keep Non-Flushable Items Away From The Toilet

A toilet is a toilet, and it should be used for the purpose which it is designed to. It should never be used as a garbage can. The most common items taken out of a clogged toilet are sanitary products, hair, napkins, paper towels, and wipes.

All of the non-flushable items should be kept away from the toilet to prevent them from clogging and creating panic throughout the home.

Keep The Toilet Seat Lid Closed

The toilet seat lid should always be kept closed. The advantage of self closing the seat lid is that it prevents accidental dropping of items in your bathroom. It also deters small children from throwing crayons, lego and other small toys down the toilet.

Routine Maintenance and Checkup

Make sure to arrange a routine maintenance and checkup of your toilet and drainage system. This will detect any early signs of a clog, and by cleaning the drain frequently will keep the system running smoothly.

Things To Avoid When A Toilet Is Not Flushing

The first and foremost thing to avoid when a toilet is not flushing is not to panic. If you avoid, certain things chances are your toilet will start flushing quickly without causing any additional damage.

  • Avoid repeated flushing when a toilet is clogged. This way, the wastewater will flood the bowl and spill into your bathroom, creating a nasty mess.
  • When a toilet is clogged, you should not use harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals can damage the ceramic and are dangerous to human contact.
  • It should be noted that the parts inside the toilet water tank are delicate and should be handled with care; otherwise, broken parts will need replacement.
  • Avoid pouring hardening compounds in the hope to open a blocked toilet which will block the toilet further rather than opening it.
  • Avoid using sharp objects to open a toilet clog or drain holes. Sharp objects can easily damage the enamel coating of a toilet.


So we hope that the above-given details are enough to educate you on causes and solutions for a toilet that is not flushing. Still, if this doesn’t help out, you can call a professional plumber to fix your toilet.

Write A Comment