There is nothing worse than a blocked bog. That familiar holler from one of the kids telling you that the toilet won’t flush (again!) can leave you feeling down in the dumps.
A broken toilet can be a major inconvenience but knowing how your toilet tanks works and why it may be clogged can help you fix the problem. From damaged flapper valves to broken chains, we will talk you through the most common reasons why your toilet won’t flush in the UK.
At KJC Drainage we have been fixing flushes for years and have compiled a list of the top five most popular reasons why your toilet won’t drain, and things you can do to mend it.
Top 4 reasons why your toilet won’t flush
Before carrying out any plumbing maintenance, you should ensure that you have either isolated your toilet’s water supply or if this is not possible, turned off the entire water mains to prevent any leaks from occurring. The last thing you need is to make a tricky situation worse.
1. Clogged toilets
Plumbing Problem: Out of sight does not necessarily mean out of mind. If your toilet takes its time to flush or the water levels look higher than usual, you could be experiencing an unseen blockage. These often occur if you place too much toilet paper down your loo or attempt to put non-flushable items such as wet wipes, sanitary products or baby nappies down the toilet.
Plumbing Solution: For one off toilet blockages you could try using a plunger to create suction that will help dislodge the clog. Just be careful that by plunging you don’t push the blockage further up the pipes. If this happens, then try a toilet auger. With its long handle and rotating cable, this tool is specially designed to bend around the fixtures of your toilet whilst protecting the porcelain from scratching.
Plumbing Prevention: Firstly, always remember to keep the toilet lid closed when it is not in use. This will help protect foreign items from inadvertently being dropped down the drain. If you are prone to regular plumbing problems, however, then why not try using less or thinner toilet paper. If the problem persists then call in KJC Drainage who can get to the “bottom” of it, once and for all.
2. Water levels are too low
Plumbing Problem: Ideally your toilet tank should have enough water so that it sits one inch below the top of the overflow tube. Your toilet needs a large amount of water in its cistern in order to force it to flush, as without it, your waste will remain stagnant.
Plumbing Solution: If you notice that the water levels in your tank are too low then you will need to remove the tank cover and manually adjust the valve by turning it anti-clockwise. If you have a balloon float you will need to give this a gentle bend. This will increase the water level and your toilet should flush freely once more.
Plumbing Prevention: Although some people believe that adjusting the water level on their toilet will help to reduce their water usage (hence saving them money on their household bills), we would strongly advise against this. By lowering the water level in your tank will simply cause costly plumbing problems in the long term.
3. A damaged flapper valve
Plumbing Problem: A toilet flapper sits at the bottom of your loo and ‘flaps’ open and closed in order to release water from the cistern when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper valve becomes damaged, bent or warped over time then your toilet can not flush as it is unable to hold sufficient water within the cistern.
Plumbing Solution: It is relatively cheap and easy to replace a flapper, providing you purchase the correct size. Therefore, at KJC Drainage we recommend taking off the broken flapper first to ensure that you buy like for like.
Plumbing Prevention: Quite often your toilet is somewhere you spend a lot of time. So next time you sit and contemplate why not multi-task by checking your lavatory plumbing?
4. The lift chain is broken
Plumbing Problem: If you pull the flush and it doesn’t stop running or alternatively doesn’t run at all, then it could be that your lift chain is broken. The lift chain is a vital component as it attaches the flap to the handle. If there is too much slack, then the handle is unable to raise and flush.
Plumbing Solution: If your toilet chain keeps coming off, it could be that you have too much slack and it needs to be adjusted. This can easily be done by unhooking the pin in the chain located at the end of the handle arm and placing it a few links further down. By placing it closer to the flapper will make your chain shorter.
Plumbing Prevention: Over time, the lift chain will experience regular wear and tear and even corrosion. You may notice that when you flush the toilet you hear the sound of a metallic chain clunking inside. Don’t hang around any longer, replace it now before it breaks completely.
If you feel like you are literally “throwing money down the toilet” on D-I-Y plumbing remedies but to no avail, then it is probably time to call in a professional.
Why choose KJC Drainage
These four scenarios are the most common toilet problems that we get called to investigate. Getting your toilet back up and flushing is our number 1 priority and our team of emergency plumbers are on hand to get your loo flowing freely once more.
If you’ve tried to unclog your toilet and failed, then it may be because the blockage is too far down your pipes for you to reach, is wedged within the mechanics of the toilet or because fundamental fixtures no longer work. At KJC Drainage we use innovative equipment such as CCTV and drain testing techniques in order to assess your situation and sort your plumbing problems for good.
And should your toilet blockage be hiding a more sinister problem, then our team of expert specialists can deal with more complex issues such as cracked pipes or collapsed drains.
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our emergency plumbers are on call to quickly locate the source of the problem and ensure that your home is back to normal in no time at all.
If your toilet needs unblocking and you are based in Portsmouth or the surrounding areas, then think KJC Drainage. Give us a call today or complete our online contact form for a free, no obligation quote, and we’ll get back to you with our best available price.