3 Different Ways to Fix a Toilet That is Refusing to Flush

What To Do With a Non-Flushing Toilet

Clogged toilets can be gross and embarrassing. Apart from the lingering odor that fills the room and surrounding areas pretty quickly, there can be health concerns like mold or disease if waste or urine is left to sit.

In order to avoid clogs, people should not flush things that toilets weren’t designed for. But even with the right care, clogs can still occasionally happen. Read on for three proven tips to fix a toilet that won’t flush.

1. Try Hydrojetting

pressured waterWhen toilet clogs happen, most people will first attempt to use a plunger to loosen the clog. When that doesn’t work, a professional may need to be called in to use a stronger method to clear the clog from the pipes or sewer line.

While snaking is fairly common, fewer people know about hydrojetting. Hydrojetting is when plumbers use bursts of highly pressurized water to free the clog. It’s an incredibly effective method that can even clear out tree roots if needed.

While some homeowner’s next step after the plunger might be to use a chemical drain cleaner, calling a professional plumber to snake or use hydrojetting to clear the pipes is a much better move. Chemical drain cleaners can permanently damage the pipes, while a professional will be able to assess the clog and determine an appropriate means to clear the line without damaging anything.

2. Adjust the Water Level

Before calling a professional, though, homeowners should check the toilet’s tank to make sure that the water level is high enough. If there is not enough water present, then the toilet won’t be able to create enough water pressure to successfully flush when the handle is pushed.

water level

If the water level needs to be raised, use one of the methods below, based on your toilet’s float design:

  • Adjust a ball and arm float by turning off the water to the tank, and using a screwdriver to adjust the float height.
  • Adjust a cylinder float by turning off the water to tank, and using your fingers to raise or lower the float by ½ inch.

If any parts of the mechanism need to be repaired or replaced, a professional plumber may need to be called.

3. Check the Flush Handle

Many times, a toilet that won’t flush is simply the result of a faulty flush handle. The good news is that this is a fairly easy DIY fix for most home or business owners. A pro tip is to remove the handle and take the whole piece (called a trip lever) to the home improvement store with you to make sure you purchase the right replacement part. While some are labeled universal, there are too many different variables for length and angles to really be sure without having the part there to compare.

flush handleTo replace the trip lever, follow these easy steps:
  1. Open the tank.
  2. Unhook the lift chain.
  3. Remove the old handle.
  4. Clean any existing mildew or rust from the porcelain.
  5. Attach the new handle and secure with the nut.
  6. Attach the new chain.

Perform a few test flushes to make sure the new handle works, and see if this fixes the toilet that won’t flush. If not, there may be something more serious that requires a professional plumber.

About Allore’s Plumbing Services LLC

Allore’s Plumbing Services LLC is a Navy veteran owned and operated plumbing company. They have been serving residents and businesses in Stuart, FL and surrounding areas since 1986. Their licensed plumbers are able to clean drains, repair burst pipes, install water treatment or filtration systems, and more.