Troubleshooting Your Toilet’s Flushing Mechanism

You use it multiple times per day, and probably give it very little thought.

Yet it can be quite discouraging when you do your business, flush the toilet and nothing happens. Toilet problems may seem overwhelming – after all, we all use today’s modern conveniences to maintain healthy living. However, before you rush to call the nearest plumber, take a quick look at the inner mechanism of your toilet. Your toilet’s flushing mechanism could be the problem and, most of the time, these problems are quite easy to fix.

If your toilet refills itself without being flushed, you could have a flapper problem. The flapper is the rubber piece at the bottom of the toilet tank. When the toilet is flushed, this flapper raises and lets the water run into the bowl. When the tank is empty, the flapper reseats itself and the tank fills with water for the next flush. If your flapper is not sealing tightly, the water will seep out of the tank, triggering the valve to refill the tank once the water level reaches a certain point. You can pick up a replacement flapper for a few bucks and make the repair on your own.

If your toilet does not flush at all when you press the handle, you probably have an issue with the flapper chain. The flapper is connected to the handle with a small chain. When you press the handle and flush the toilet, the chain pulls the flapper up, allowing the water to pour into the bowl. Check the chain – it may have come loose from the flapper or the handle, or it may be broken. Reattach the chain. If it is broken, you can use small wire to make a temporary fix.

If your toilet seems to have trouble flushing the waste, check the flapper. It should not close until the tank is empty. If it closes too soon, replace the flapper. If the flapper is fine, you can adjust the water level to allow more water to fill the tank.

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