When you go to the bathroom and you flush the toilet, you want it to flush correctly. Nobody wants to have to flush multiple times or to constantly fiddle with things inside the tank.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common reasons why toilets can have poor flush performance and some of the simple, DIY ways that you can fix the issue by yourself.
What Are the Common Reasons for Poor Toilet Flush Performance?
While a toilet with poor flushing performance can be facing a multitude of different issues, some causes are more common than others.
Let’s take a look at three of the main causes behind a weak toilet flush.
Dirty (or Clogged) Feed Holes or Jet Holes
The feed holes refer to holes at the top of the bowl right underneath the rim where the water enters into the bowl when you flush it. The jet hole is the hole at the bottom of the tank that jettisons the sewage out.
If any of these holes are dirty or clogged, the toilet will have a tough time putting in enough water to effectively flush away the contents.
Low Water Level in the Tank
This one is a little bit more self-explanatory and just refers to the actual water level in the tank before you try to flush it. If the water level is not high enough, then there may not be enough water entering into the bowl to produce a powerful flush.
Flapper Closing Too Soon
Another word that may need a bit more explanation is the flapper.
The flapper is the rubber seal at the bottom of the chain that is raised when you flush. It’s where the water leaves the tank and enters into the bowl. If your flapper is closing too soon, you may not be getting enough water passing through the system just like with the other two potential issues.
5 Ways to Improve Toilet Flush Performance
The method of fixing the toilet to get it to flush better will of course depend on the issue that is causing the poor flush performance in the first place. So let’s take a look at five ways to improve your flush performance so that you can cover all your bases.
1. Cleaning the Feed Holes
The easiest way to clean the feed holes of the toilet is to let toilet bowl cleaner work its way through the holes for a few hours or overnight while the toilet is not being used.
If you want to really get in there and try to get the feed holes as clean as possible, you can use a wire hanger and work the end of it up into the feed holes to get them completely free of dirt and grime.
2. Cleaning the Jet Hole
Similar to cleaning the feed holes, you’ll want to employ the help of a toilet bowl cleaner to ensure that the deep crevices of the jet hole can get cleaned easily.
For the jet hole, you can use a regular toilet brush and get in there to make sure you get all the dirt and grime out. But using a wire hanger isn’t a bad idea either to make sure there’s nothing stuck that you could snag while you’re cleaning it out.
3. Adjusting the Water Level
Checking the water level refers to checking the water level in the tank itself, not in the bowl.
To do this, simply pull the top cover off the tank and see where the water level is about the overflow pipe. If the water level in the tank is more than one inch lower than the top of the overflow pipe, it may not have enough pressure to sustain a proper flush when you try to flush it.
To fix this, try adjusting the water level using the adjustment screw on the fill valve until it is less than an inch from the top of the overflow pipe.
4. Fixing the Flapper
As mentioned earlier, the flapper is the rubbery lid hooked onto the bottom of the chain where the water flows from the tank to the bowl when it is flushed. If the flapper is closing to soon when you flush the toilet, it may not let enough water into the bowl.
Fix this by checking the slack in the chain attached to the flapper and ensure it is minimal. You want just enough slack to raise and lower the flapper when the toilet is flushed.
5. Fix the Flush Handle
This can go hand in hand with fixing the flapper – you’ll also want to make sure that the flush handle is operating correctly. The flush handle should pull up on the flapper chain when you flush it, and then raise the flapper.
A faulty flush handle may not be raising the flapper enough to allow for enough water for a proper flush.
What if None of the Above works?
If you’ve gone through all five methods listed above and are still having issues, it may be time to pull out the big guns. The first thing you should do would be to call a high-quality plumber to come to take a look at it.
Plumbers can be costly to bring over for something that you were hoping to fix yourself, but nobody is better suited for the job. It may be a quick fix for someone who knows what they’re looking for, or they may have to go over it with you whether the price to fix it is worth it.
And, if it’s not worth it, that leads us into the final option. If all else fails and the flush performance is too bad to live with, you may have to just replace the whole toilet.
While replacing a toilet is certainly no easy task — you may need to call the plumber back — nor is it cheap, having a working toilet is essential for everyone to have.
Not only will guests be taken aback by a faulty toilet not flushing well for them, having to live with it yourself would not be worth the savings of keeping the bad toilet. At least with a new toilet purchase, you can get exactly what you want and you know that it will work perfectly!
Having a toilet with a weak flush can be one of the most annoying things you have to deal with. Sometimes it flushes fine, sometimes it doesn’t flush. Maybe even now it’s not flushing at all.
All five methods presented here are easy DIY fixes that you can do at your home in no time at all. If you go through all five and still have issues, you might have to call a plumber or replace the faulty toilet.