What to do When the Toilet will not Flush Properly

Friday, April 28th, 2017

The toilet will not flush is a phrase that will be said in every home a good few times over the course of a lifetime. Trying to figure out the problem that is preventing a toilet from flushing properly can be frustrating if you don’t know what you are looking for.

The quickest and easiest way of fixing the toilet would be to call an emergency plumber out to your home but before you do that it is always a good idea to see if it is a small issue with the toilet that can be fixed by yourself. If you are unable to fix the toilet yourself you will be able to let the plumber know what you think the issue is which will save time and money for the job
Toilet will not Flush

Four Most Common Reasons When a Toilet Will Nott Flush

Here is a list of the four most common reasons when a toilet will not flush properly and how to fix them yourself. This most common of plumbing problems happen to all of us sooner or later and in the vast majority of cases can be fixed quickly and easily.

The Toilet is Blocked:

Your toilet will become blocked if you are using too much toilet paper, or attempting to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet. Flushing wet wipes instead of toilet paper are said to cause up to 75% of sewer blockages a year.


Unblocking a toilet is no easy feat! No matter how careful you are, you’ll probably spill some toilet water onto the floor when unclogging a toilet, so I would advise to put some newspaper down and to put on your marigolds rubber gloves.

If you can spot the cause of the blockage, you can first try and break up the blockage with a stick or toilet brush but if you can’t see the blockage you will need a plunger. You will need to use a toilet plunger because they are specifically designed with blocked toilets in mind.

Do not start vigorously plunging immediately because the vacuum created by the plunger could cause dirty water to spray out of the toilet. Instead, start softly, ensuring that you have created a tight seal, and only begin plunging strongly when you have forced all of the air out of the plunger.

If you are experiencing frequent blockages, then you may want to consider using a thinner type of toilet paper, particularly if you or other members of your household use a lot in one sitting.

If there is Water in the Cistern:


You will need to check the flapper valve on the toilet syphon, this is located at the bottom of the tank. The valve opens up to allow water to empty from the cistern and flow into the toilet bowl. Pull the flapper valve up and see whether water flows from the cistern, if it does, then it is likely that your toilet is not flushing because the flapper valve arm or the lift chain connecting this arm to the flush mechanism is broken. Alternatively, the chain may be too slack and you can manually tighten this.

Remove the lid of the toilet cistern and check to see if there is anything obstructing the float and toilet syphon. Also, check the toilet syphon for problems, check to see if the flap is still working and not deteriorated or is too warped, bent or misshapen to seal the flush tube hole. If the toilet syphon is broken, then it will need to be replaced.

The Lift Chain is not Working:

Sometimes the lift chain, which attaches the flapper to the flushing handle on the outside of the toilet, can have too much slack and make the handle unable to raise the flapper and thus flush the toilet.

You will only need to adjust the length of the chain to shorten it so that the chain can provide pull sufficient to raise the flapper off of the flush tube and allow water to flow when the handle is pulled.

Broken Toilet Flush Handle:

Over time, toilet flush handles can become loose and can stop connecting with the lift chain and flapper valve. Alternatively, the handle may be too tight or may have become clogged up with limescale and debris.

You may need to tighten the mounting nut that connects the flush handle to the toilet but if the handle is clogged up with limescale you can remove the handle and give it a good clean. Sometimes the handle or flushing mechanism in the toilet cistern are completely broken and will need to be replaced with a new one.

If you have tried this and the toilet still will not flush, then why not give us a call here at Dewar Emergency Dublin Plumbers, on 015143300 our team of plumbers is on hand to deal with any problem quickly and effectively.

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