How to Get a Toilet in Your Apartment to Flush
After coming home after a long day at work, you sometimes need a nice long trip to the bathroom. Bathroom time can be sacred— whether you spend it on your phone, reading a magazine, or simply staring off into space, it can be a precious time for you and yourself only. As such, it can be difficult to feel serene when the toilet simply will not flush.
Whether it is a clogged toilet or a flushing issue, toilet problems can be frustrating and even embarrassing. Fortunately, there are simple steps that you can take to fix most toilet problems, and one of the most common issues is a toilet that won’t flush!
Before we can dive into our tips and tricks, it is critical to understand how a toilet works and some technical jargon that comes with the territory. Pressing the handle on a toilet lifts a flapper in the tank, allowing water to flow into the bowl. This allows waste and water from the bowl to be pulled into the drain and out of your home.
If any part of this flow is interrupted, your toilet may not flush properly. To find the issue, read on and discover how to overcome it.
Check the water level in your toilet.
To do this, look inside your toilet bowl and look at the water level. If the water level is too low, it may not be able to create enough suction to flush the waste away. The ideal water level should be at or near the top of the curved part of the bowl.
On the other hand, if the water level is too high, you likely have a clog preventing water from going down. That is another issue, but for now, we suggest plunging the toilet to try to lower the water level. If you notice that the water is too low, you can adjust the level by adjusting the float arm in the toilet tank.
Check the flapper
As we mentioned earlier, the flapper is a rubber valve in the tank that allows water to flow into the bowl. It is critical to ensure that everything runs smoothly within your toilet! If the flapper is not seated properly or is damaged, it can prevent the toilet from flushing properly.
To check the flapper, roll your sleeves up, lift the toilet tank lid, and inspect the flapper for any visible damage or warping. If the flapper looks fine, push it down and watch to see if it closes completely. If it does not close completely, adjust the chain that connects the flapper to the handle to ensure that it has enough slack! Sometimes, you may need a plumber to help with more complex problems.
Check the chain
If the flapper is working how you would like it to, the next step is to check whether the chain functions as it should. The chain connecting the flapper to the handle can become too loose or tight over time— not something you want.
If the chain is too loose, it can prevent the flapper from opening fully, preventing the toilet from flushing properly. If the chain is too tight, it can prevent the flapper from closing completely, preventing the toilet from flushing properly. To adjust the chain, loosen or tighten it as needed: not much hassle.
Use a plunger
As we mentioned earlier, some elbow grease and a solid plunger can be the game changer for whether your toilet flushes or not. A plunger creates a suction that helps force water and waste through the drain, which is exactly what we want.
To use a plunger, place the cup of the plunger over the drain hole in the toilet bowl and push it down firmly. Then, pull up quickly to create suction. Repeat this process several times, then flush the toilet to see if the clog has been cleared. Nothing a little elbow grease can’t do!
Check for clogs
A point we brought up earlier with a higher water level than usual was the possibility of clogs. If the toilet is still not flushing after your efforts, you may need to think outside the box (and in the drain pipe). Try a plumbing snake or a drain auger alongside some hard work to clear the clog.
To use a plumbing snake, insert the end of the snake into the drain hole and turn the handle to break up the clog. To use a drain auger, insert the end of the drill into the drain hole and turn the handle to feed the drill into the drain until you feel resistance. Then, turn the handle to break up the clog! Bam! Your clog should be cleared.