Toilet Won’t Flush All the Way

When you flush the toilet, is the bowl completely drained? Or does it leave some of the contents behind? It can be frustrating to have to flush repeatedly. This can be an unpleasant situation, as well as wasteful. Repetitive flushing wastes water and runs up your water bill. But what can you do about this annoying problem?

If your toilet isn’t completely flushing all the way, it could be caused by one of these factors:

Blocked Inlet Holes

Every toilet has inlet holes that are located just under the lip of the bowl. Whenever you flush the toilet, water discharges from these holes. If they are blocked up, less water will flood the bowl. This can prevent your toilet from flushing properly. If there isn’t water flowing down the sides of the bowl at all, or if the water streams straight down instead diagonally, your inlet holes are probably clogged.

Get a small mirror and angle it so you can look under the seat of the toilet. Examine the inlet holes to check for blockage. These openings can get blocked up with bacteria and mineral deposits. It’s important to intermittently check the inlet holes for clogs because it can be a reoccurring issue.

If they are, in fact, clogged, there are some steps you can take.

1.       Heat up a cup of white vinegar (not boiling, but warm. At least 120 degrees)

2.       Use a funnel to pour the hot vinegar down your overflow tube

3.       Let the vinegar sit for at least an hour without flushing. It’s ideal if you can leave it overnight.

4.       Lastly, use a small Allen wrench or piece of wire to clear the holes


The Water Level Is Too Low

For a thorough flush, your toilet needs a lot of water and needs it delivered quickly. However, if the water level in your toilet tank is set too low, there won’t be enough water delivered to flush properly. To save on water usage, some people may adjust the water level themselves. In some cases, they are saving water, but at the expense of a good flush! This may end up wasting more water in the end, as several flushes are needed to clear the bowl. Another possibility is that some of the parts inside the tank have become misaligned – stopping the proper amount of water from filling the tank.

Lift the lid of the toilet tank. Toilet Manufacturers usually put a water line mark inside. This marks where the water should reach.  If the water is significantly underneath that line, there isn’t enough water in the tank.  If the water is too low, you need to adjust your float ball or cup ballcock. Your toilet will have either a rubber float ball (usually red) that rises as the water flows into the tank. This float stops the water pouring into the tank as it floats upwards. If you make a slight upwards bend in the arm of the float, you will raise the float, and more water will flow into the tank. The higher the float, the more water can pour into the tank. If your toilet has a floating cup ballcock, instead of a ball, there will be an adjustment screw on top of the fill valve. Turn the screw clockwise to raise the float, and more water will be allowed into the tank.

These are two possible issues that can cause your toilet to not completely clear the toilet bowl with every flush. If you don’t want to investigate the cause, or you have looked into it and haven’t been able to fix the problem, contact the plumbing experts at Gogo Rooter. We would be happy to help you with this issue.

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