Not only is it frustrating when your toilet doesn’t flush completely, it also makes it difficult to keep your toilet bowl clean. Multiple flushes also waste water. If your toilet isn’t flushing properly, you may not have to replace it. There are multiple ways to remedy the problem, depending on the cause.
The Lift Chain: Lift the top off the back of your toilet tank; if you have a lift chain, inspect it to see if there is too much slack or stretch. If there is, the flapper won’t rise and stay up long enough to let enough water into the toilet bowl to produce a full flush. Allow the flapper to stay up longer by removing the chain and rehooking it to a hole that is closer to the flush lever.
The Flapper: Made of rubber, the flapper sits at the bottom of the toilet tank. When you flush, it raises to allow water to empty from the tank to the toilet bowl. Then it lowers itself to hold water in the tank for the next flush. If your flapper is worn, it might not sit properly and will allow water to leak from the tank. As a result, there won’t be enough water for the toilet to fully flush. Replace your flapper by turning the water supply off to the toilet, then flushing to empty the tank. Remove the old flapper and install the new one.
Clogged Rim Holes: Lime and other minerals can clog the rim holes in your toilet bowl, resulting in decreased pressure and volume of water to the bowl when you flush. To see if the rim holes are clogged, hold a small mirror under the rim of the toilet bowl and look for mineral deposits. To unclog rim holes, you can use a toilet bowl cleaner especially designed to eliminate lime and other minerals. Severely clogged holes may need to be manually cleaned by inserting a piece of wire into each hole and pushing it in and out to clear the sediment.
Inadequate Water: If the water level in your tank is too low, there won’t be enough water to adequately flush the toilet. There is sufficient water if the water fills to a manufacturer mark on the inside of the tank. Tanks without that mark should fill to an imaginary line about an inch under the top of the overflow tube. For tanks with float balls, bend the arm of the ball up. By raising the float ball, you will raise the water level. For tanks with a water intake assembly, find the clip on the metal rod and slide it up until you achieve the desired water level.