Written by BATHROOM, How To

How To Fix A Toilet That Won’t Flush

How To Fix A Toilet That Won’t Flush

Finding out that your toilets won’t flush is a significant inconvenience, mainly if it’s the only one in the home. Unfortunately, every bathroom eventually experiences this typical plumbing issue. However, try a few easy fixes to keep the toilet running again.

If your toilet isn’t flushing correctly, this article will walk you through diagnosing and fixing the problem. Here you will know how to fix a toilet that won’t flush.

My Toilet Doesn’t Flush

If the water level in the bowl is average, but the toilets not flushing all the way, the issue is likely not with the plumbing. Instead, this suggests that you may be suffering from one of the following frequent ailments:

  • Low tank water level
  • Flushing mechanism malfunction
  • Inoperative knob
  • Poorly connected flush

Here Is A Tip For You

First, check that everything is running well with the plumbing system within your house. For example, do all of your taps produce average amounts of flowing water? Do your neighbors have access to plumbing? If not, your utility company may have a problem.

1. Faulty Drainage

It’s not the flushing cistern’s fault if the bowl’s water level is higher than usual, yet the waste still doesn’t drain.

A clogged toilet or the toilets won’t flush often is the source of draining issues. For example, using an excessive amount of toilet paper might cause clogs. There is also the practice of flushing objects that shouldn’t be flushed, such as sanitary products and baby wipes.

If you’re having trouble with drainage or toilets not flushing properly, this handy approach to unclogging a toilet might help.

2. Check The Water Level

To begin, uncover the cistern and look inside to see whether there is sufficient water is the toilets not flushing all the way. It is recommended that the water level be roughly one inch lower than the overflow tube. Next, check the cistern’s input valve to see if it’s much lower than average. The device that regulates the ship’s water level is located here. Possible issues with the cistern inflow valve include:

  • The apparatus makes contact with the tank wall, stopping the level from increasing.
  • Misaligned mechanism
  • Incorrect working of the mechanism.

Master Tip

It’s probably the mechanism if there’s no flushing noise when you use the toilet.

3. Fixing A Malfunctioning Flushing

Several factors might cause a malfunctioning toilet flush mechanism. However, the cistern inflow valve is an issue that often arises. Learn how to change a cistern intake valve, also called a toilet ball valve. This valve is located within the cistern of a toilet.

4. Typical Toilet

The workings of a flushing mechanism is usually exposed in the cistern of an older-style toilet. First, it is fastened to a metal link, which is linked to the handle of the flushing mechanism via a trip lever.

5. Toilet With A Siphon

A diaphragm may be found within the siphon of a toilet that uses the siphon method of waste removal. To determine whether or not this is the cause of the issue, you will need to examine it.

On certain types, all you have to do is take out the locating pin and lift the top piece of the siphon. By doing this, you will have access to the diaphragm so that it may be inspected and replaced as necessary.

Changing out a siphon is often a challenging task. Read on for detailed steps to teach you how to do it yourself. Another option is to call HomeServe and have us connect you with a qualified technician.

toilets not flushing properly
Photo Credit: Canva

Repairing a Toilet’s Flushing System

What You’ll Need

  1. The screwdriver type with a flathead
  2. Wet wipes and storage container
  3. A new diaphragm or flushing system

A Piece Of Advice

Before shopping for a replacement flushing mechanism, remove the old one and bring it to the hardware store to get the right size.

1. Unscrew The Cistern Cover And Flush The Toilet

  • To stop the flow of water, close the isolation valve. The water supply line leading into the cistern is fitted with a shut-off valve. It may be adjusted by quarter-turning clockwise with a flathead screwdriver.
  • Empty the storage tank of water. To do this, remove any water that may be contained inside the tank using a siphon, and then use a sponge and a bucket to remove any water that may still be there.
  • Ignore the trip lever and its attached connection. To get to the flushing mechanism, you’ll need to unscrew a huge plastic nut below the cistern’s base. Get a new flushing mechanism from a hardware shop.
  • Connect the chain’s end to the flushing mechanism’s toggle switch. Pull the handle or push the button a few times to ensure the tension is comfortable, neither too loose nor too tight.
  • Re-establish communication by re-opening the communication valve.
  • The cover of the commode should be replaced.
  • Make sure the toilet flush handle is fixed.
  • If you want to flush the toilet, push the lever on the exterior of the cistern, which is called the flush handle. The flushing mechanism is activated when the flush handle is pressed and linked to the cistern through a trip lever.
  • The most likely cause of the issue is a damaged or malfunctioning flush handle. The handle loses its ability to link up with the flushing mechanism when it gets too loose or tight. The mounting nut on the handle’s rear is sometimes the source of the problem and may be quickly addressed by tightening it.
  • It’s also possible that limescale has built up on the handle, making it difficult to turn. If this is the case, all it needs is thorough washing. In contrast, a damaged handle requires immediate attention.
Fixing A Broken Flush Lever On A Commode
Photo Credit: Canva

Fixing A Broken Flush Lever On A Commode

What You’ll Need

  1. A wrench that can be adjusted to different sizes
  2. A new flush lever for your toilet

Here Is A Tip For You

When replacing a flush handle, it is essential to take the old one to the hardware shop to ensure you receive the correct size.

1. Remove The Cistern Cover From The Bowl

Disconnect the trip lever and take it out of the way. This portion connects the cistern’s handle to the rest of the mechanism on the inside.

  • Pull the knob accessible by unscrewing the nut. Since it is backward-threaded, it might be challenging to use. To loosen it, spin it in a clockwise direction.
  • Put the handle down.
  • Get a new knob or handle from a hardware shop.
  • Place the replacement handle in the appropriate slot. Put the nut on and tighten it down. Carefully use an adjustable wrench to get it nice and snug but not too tight to avoid cracking. Keep in mind that it is counter-clockwise threaded.
  • To re-install the trip lever, slide it onto the end of the handle and hook it back up. Next, flush the toilet to ensure the flush mechanism works, and readjust it if required since it may be demanding to get into the appropriate position.
  • The cover of the commode should be replaced.

Verify The Connection Status

The flushing mechanism is linked to the cistern at its base through a chain that begins at the trip lever (related to the flush handle). In a well-functioning toilet, pressing the flush handle opens the flushing mechanism by pulling on the chain, releasing water from the cistern into the bowl.


Why is my toilet all of a sudden not flushing?

A blockage is the most frequent cause of a toilet that won’t flush. Complete occlusion is the most severe kind of clog. However, partial obstruction is still a possibility. In addition, the accumulation of wipes, toilet paper, and other materials in sewage systems may cause flushing to be weak and ineffective.

What to do when a toilet is running and won’t flush?

If you have an older toilet, the float cup may be adjusted by bending the float arm, which is made of metal. To flush a toilet with a screw-type flush rod, such as those manufactured after 1993, press the floater clip down or spin the screw. After emptying the tank and refilling via the fill valve, the water supply should cease dripping.

Can you pour water into the toilet tank to flush?

There is less difficulty involved than you may imagine in flushing a toilet. It is sufficient to pour water into the toilet tank until it hits the apex of the drain valve. Then, if everything is in order, you may use the toilet’s flush handle as usual to flush.

Why won’t my toilet flush even with a plunger?

Turning off the water supply, flushing the toilet, and then filling the bowl with hot water are what we’d suggest. Then, after a few minutes, flush again with hot water. If this doesn’t fix the problem, a blockage farther down the pipe may be to blame.


We understand the frustration of a malfunctioning toilet flush or those toilets won’t flush, but as you can see, many common issues are simple and affordable. You need an hour of your time and some basic knowledge to know toilets won’t flush.

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