What can you do about a slow flushing toilet? This problem is common in older toilets.
Not sure if this your problem? See the article 'How to Fix a Toilet' for a complete listing of all of the toilet repair topics. There are (3) Key Topics associated with a 'Slow Flushing Toilet':
Toilets that used a large supply of water would be prone to slow flushes. Hard water and sediment can also be a factor.
A toilet that flushes slowly can be very annoying. When a toilet does not flush properly, clogs are frequent. A clogged toilet is more than irritating. The dirty messy water is no fun and can be a health hazard.
In the mid nineties, toilets had to start using 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Prior to that time toilets could use 3.5 to as high as 7 gallons of water. The design of toilet would require that the full amount be used. In an effort to conserve, some homeowners would adjust the water level down. This will cause the toilet to flush slowly, since there is not enough water pressure to create the proper siphon effect.
What Can You Save? - A plumber can usually take care of this problem in a single service call. Normally this will run from $75 to $100. One danger is that the toilet will be condemned and the plumber will try to sell you a new toilet.
How Hard Could It Be? - Fixing the common causes of a slow flushing toilet is not difficult. | These repairs will have a Difficulty Level of: Simple | These repairs require a Skill Level of: Job Jar Specialist | For and explanation of the terms in this section, see 'How to Use This Site'.
Check the Simple Things! - Adjusting the float to set the water level to the correct height is the easiest fix. Most toilets are designed to work properly with the water level at the maximum level in the tank.
What Can Go Wrong? - Not fixing a slow flushing toilet can lead to toilet clogs. A clogged toilet can be very disruptive. Not to mention the mess that can be made by the dirty water. Another issue is that the toilet may need to be flushed multiple times, wasting water.
The 'Next' section discusses 'Adjusting the Toilet Tank Water Level'. Check the 'Home Repair Topics Menu' at the top of the page, if this is not your problem.
It may make economic sense to lower the water level in the tank. However, it does not make good toilet flushing sense.
See the article 'How to Fix a Toilet' if this is not your problem, it covers all of the toilet repair topics.
Toilets are designed to use a certain amount of water to flush. With the water consumption limitations imposed by the government, all of that water is needed for the toilet to work properly. Reducing the level in the tank will cause the toilet to flush poorly. A 'slow flushing toilet' is a sign of too low a water level.
Inside the tank, you will find two key elements for setting the water level in the tank. The first is the fill valve. The fill valve has a float on it that can be adjusted to set the water level in the tank. Most fill valves have a float that slides up and down on the vertical fill valve. There is generally a retaining clip that allows for adjustment.
Some toilets will have a ball cock that acts as a float. This will be connected to a horizontal rod that is connected to the fill valve. There will be a adjustment screw where the rod connects to the fill valve.
The other key element is the vertical tube on the toilet flush valve. The height of this tube determines the proper water level for the tank. The water level should be close to the top of the tube. If it is lower than the tube when the tank is full, the level needs to be adjusted. To raise the water level you want to raise the float. Adjust the set screw or the clip on the float. Make sure the water shuts off without trickling into the tank. With the water level set correctly, your slow flushing toilet should be history.
The 'Next' page covers 'Removing Toilet Sediment'. The 'Previous' page is the 'Introduction' to this series of articles on a 'Slow Flushing Toilet'.
The last and less desirable reason for a slow flushing toilet is an obstruction. Now this is not a slam on having children.
There are three articles that discuss 'Toilet Clogs'. See 'How To Unclog a Toilet', 'Plunging a Toilet' and 'Using a Toilet Auger'. Just about any type of obstruction can be dealt with using the information in these articles.
Children are great and well worth the few problems that they create. Sometimes, not likely the fault of the children, things get thrown in the toilet that shouldn't be there. Toothbrushes, small toys and other objects can get caught in the trap.
When objects get caught in the trap, the toilet still works, but poorly. The obstruction will catch things that go by, slowing down the operation of the toilet. The solution is to get rid of the obstruction.
A toilet auger is the best tool to use when you have this problem. The problem will likely get worse and the clogs will become more frequent. In time the plunger will no longer work and something will have to be done. A slow flushing toilet has now become a clogged toilet.
The 'Next' page is a 'Summary' of this series on 'Slow Flushing Toilets'. The 'Previous' page discusses 'Removing Sediment From a Toilet'.
Another reason for a slow flushing toilet is a clogged inlet valve. The water from the tank is fed into the bowl via an inlet that is built into the porcelain bowl.
Sediment can build up in this inlet. This will cause the water coming into the bowl to slow down. As a result the toilet will not flush correctly.
Toilets are engineered to use a certain amount of water. Most people realize this. What many don't realize is that the water needs to enter the bowl in a certain amount of time.
When it gets slowed down, the engineering falls apart and the toilet fails to flush.
There are several inlets for water in your toilet. Some are under the rim. The main one is usually near the bottom where the water leaves the bowl.
Check for sediment in all of the inlets and clean it out as needed. You might want to consider wearing waterproof gloves for this activity.
You can use a small screwdriver or awl to clean out the sediment. It builds up over time and can be pretty stubborn. Try to get rid of as much of it as you can. Use a little elbow grease and get all of the sediment out of the inlet.
The 'Next' page covers 'Removing Partial Toilet Clogs'. The 'Previous' page discusses 'Adjusting the Toilet Tank Water Level'.
The 'Introduction' to this series on 'Slow Flushing Toilets' gave you an overview of the symptoms and problems you might be facing. It also gave you some idea what it might cost to have someone fix this problem for you.
The amount of water in the toilet tank is critical to proper flushing. The article 'Adjusting the Toilet Tank Water Level' provided instructions on adjusting it to the proper level.
Another common problem is a build up of sediment in the inlets for the bowl. If the water does not get into the tank quickly enough, it won't flush properly. See 'Cleaning Out Toilet Sediment' for a review.
'Removing Toilet Obstructions' discusses how a clog or partial clog can affect the operation of your toilet. Removing them is the only choice.
Were you able to deal with your slow flushing toilet? It may have been as simple as adjusting the float. This is especially true for older toilets. In years gone by, toilets needed a lot of water to flush properly. When the tank level gets too low, the proper siphoning will not start.
Another common problem is sediment in the inlet valve. Again, older toilets are more likely to have this trouble. Then there is the 'object' stuck in the trap. No one knows how is got there, but it sure has caused a problem. Dislodging objects is not too hard and hopefully, you are up and running again.
The 'Previous' page discusses 'Removing Toilet Obstructions'.