How To Fix Problems With Your Toilet Tank
Most household toilets have an easy to access tank above the main unit. If your toilet tank is within the wall or other bathroom units, you may have to hire a professional to access it, but for this guide we will assume you have easy access to it.
Within your toilet tank there will be a fill valve pulling in water, connected to a float by a float arm, and a flush valve with a flapper seal connecting it to the toilet. There should be a chain connecting the flusher to the flapper seal. The chain should naturally let the flapper rest over the valve, but should be able to fully lift the flapper when the toilet is flushed. When flushed, the flapper seal should be open for two to three seconds. If the chain is not secure enough it can usually be detached and connected through a closer loop, making the connection tighter.
A buildup of minerals within the toilet tank can cause it to drain slowly. This is especially common in hard water areas. Its recommended to clean your toilet tank twice a year, to prevent buildup. You can clean the tank with a scrubber and regular white wine vinegar, making sure to drain the water from the tank and replacing it with clean water afterwards .
Blocked Sewer Line Vent
Your sewer can become clogged from tree branches, dead animals, and large clogs from your toilet that built up over time. Clogs in your sewer will lead to a slow draining toilet. Cleaning this out will most likely require a plumber to fix it. They can do this with either an auger, a hydro jet, or replacing the line. You will only need to replace the line if it has physical damage.
Clogging Issues That Cause A Slow Flushing Toilet
As stated above, clogs are the number one reason why your toilet flush is slow. The good news is that each of the toilet clogs identified below is fairly easy to identify and fix.
1. Clogged S Trap
The S trap is that S-shaped pipe that is attached just below the toilet bowl. Because it has this curved shape, waste and debris can easily be trapped and unable to move further. If not dealt with, you will have a no-flush toilet or a slow flushing toilet.
How do I fix a clogged S trap?Most of the time, all you need is a common plunger. If the water in the bowl hasnt already been depleted, you should first remove all but about 2 inches of water. Now, place the plunger over the drain at the bottom of the toilet and pump up and down very quickly. This should unclog the drain. Just one caution: you can actually blow out your pipes if you plunge too hard. While you should pump the plunger firmly, dont overdo it.
If this technique doesnt work, there are others you can try. Read our article titled How to Unblock a Drain.
2. Too Much Toilet Paper or Debris
How do I fix too much toilet paper in my toilet?Again, just like the fix for the clogged S trap above, your handy dandy plunger will come to the rescue. Just place the plunger over the drain, pump the plunger while keeping it sealed to the drain opening. Do this a few times until the problem has been solved. Test by flushing your toilet.
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Need Plumbing Help Call Hiller Plumbing Cooling Heating & Electrical
Unfortunately, the DIY approach isnt realistic for some types of plumbing problems. If you dont feel comfortable enough to tackle your slow draining toilet on your own, then dont feel bad.
There are tons of professionals out there that can help you get your plumbing system back up and running.
But what repair business can you trust?
Only companies like Hiller Plumbing, Cooling, Heating & Electrical provide technical expertise with family-owned values.
With a transparent pricing model and full-range of plumbing, HVAC and electrical service we can help you get your home back up and running. You can request your appointment today by visiting this link here.
Plumbing And Emergency Plumber Services In Cape May And Atlantic County Nj
If your toilet is still draining slowly after that, then its time to call a plumber. You may have a clog further down in the drain line, or even possibly the main line for your house. In those cases, a plunger isnt enough.
Before this becomes an emergency, call or email Broadleys for help. Weve served homes throughout Cape May and Atlantic counties in New Jersey for decades, and well get everything running the right way as soon as possible.
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Unclog With A Combination Of Drain Cleaner And Dishwashing Soap
The second method of unclogging a toilet involves drain cleaner, dishwashing soap, and hot water. First, pour one gallon of hot water into the toilet bowl. Allow it to sit and dislodge anything that may be clogging the drain.
Also, keep in mind that you shouldnt pour hot water if you have an old porcelain toilet. Hot water may cause cracks in the bowl, which require replacement.
While the hot water sits in the bowl, find some toilet-approved drain clean. Pour a small amount into a bowl. Either flush it immediately or let it sit depending on the cleaners instructions.
Next, remove the lid on the toilet tank. Find the overflow pipe and pour one tablespoon of dishwashing soap into it. Give the dishwashing soap ten minutes to seep down the overflow pipe.
It will remove some calcium deposits during this time. After ten minutes you can flush the toilet. This should remove both the clog and some of the mineral deposits.
The Water Level In Your Toilet Tank Is Set Too Low
Your toilet needs a lot of water delivered quickly for a successful flush. But if the water level in your toilet tank is set too low, your toilet bowl wont get as much water as it needs once you flush.
Manufacturers usually leave a mark on the inside of the tank to show you how much water the tank is designed to receive. That line is usually about an inch under the top of the overflow tube.
So why would your water level be set too low?
Well, some people manually adjust the level to save water. In other situations, though, some of the components in the tank may be misaligned and preventing enough water from filling the tank.
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Slow Draining Toilet Bowls: When To Call In The Professionals
So, youve tried all the methods weve listed above and still your toilet bowl is draining painfully slowly? What to do now? The only thing you can do is .
Drainage companies in and around London will know how to tackle even the trickiest of blockages, so it really is worth leaving the issue in their capable hands.
Professional teams are trained in all aspects of sink and toilet unblocking and theyll have plenty of empathy about your situation. After all, a blocked drain can be more than unpleasant its distressing.
It really isnt something you should leave untreated, either. A blocked toilet drain could do damage to your property or worse, affect your health.
But specialist teams will know exactly how to handle the situation to ensure you can use your toilet again in no time at all. Get in touch today and sort out the issue once and for all.
Important Signs To Watch Out For If You Need To Repair Your Toilet
Perhaps the most important plumbing fixture or equipment in home is your toilet. Its one thing we CANNOT live without.
Toilets have made our modern life so much easier. Imagine if we didnt have any toilets in this new age, will we ever realize the importance of it? We would never experience the convenience it gives us now.
Fortunately, most of us were exposed into the culture of having and using toilets to dispose of our wastes properly but what if your toilet malfunctions? What if you have a slow draining toilet? How will you know? Here are the tell-tale signs:
- Clogs more often If you know how to take good care of your toilet, youll only experience occasional blockage or you may never experience any blockage at all. On the other hand, if you find that your toilet clogs more than once a week, then you must have a more serious problem.
You must have a defective flushing system or there might be a blockage somewhere in your waste pipeline. The parts in the flushing system will eventually be worn out overtime but either way, you still need to address these problems.
Either you hire a professional plumbing contractor to repair the damage in your flushing system or have him dislodge the blockage.
- Your toilet has a weak flush If your toilet only swirls when you flush and the water does not even go down, then there must be something wrong with the flushing mechanism. You need a valve replacement and you need to get the right fit.
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Water Issues That Cause A Slow Flushing Toilet
1. Not Enough Water
This one is pretty easy to diagnose. If your toilet is flushing too slow, remove the tank lid so you can get a good look inside. The water level should be about 1/2 inch below the top of the overflow tube . If not, there is not enough water in the tank to have the flushing power you need. The good news is the fix is easy.
How do I add more water so my toilet flushes faster?Just fill a bucket with water and pour into the tank until it is about 1/2 inch below the top of the overflow tube. The overflow tube is a vertical tube with an opening at the top. It has a little rubber pipe that goes into it. In this photo, the overflow tube is white.Once youve filled your toilet tank with an adequate amount of water, try a couple of test flushes. The problem should be resolved.
2. Hard Water
As we noted earlier in this article, hard water has a lot of dissolved minerals . You can easily see hard water after you wash your dishes. Its that soap scum left behind on your glasses. In a toilet, these minerals build up on the inside of your pipes, making the inside of the pipe smaller and smaller until water flows more slowly.
The next morning, try flushing a few times to see if it has helped. If not, you might need a plumber to remove the build-up for you. On the other hand, you might need to invest in the installation of a water softener, which prevents build-up of minerals on the inside of pipes in your toilet, hot water heaters, and other fixtures.
If That Didnt Work Grab A Snake
No, not a real one! Now that would be a little silly andspoiler alerttheyre not too good at unblocking toilet drains.
A plumbing snake, meanwhile, could be the next best thing to a plunger. A long, wire coil with a tip like a corkscrew, a snake can feed into your pipes, come across the clog and set it free, as it were. Heres what to do if you have a snake
Try turning the snake clockwise. The tip will then screw through the clog to break it up if this doesnt work, though, the debris will wind onto the wire, making it easier for you to pull it out.
Drain snakes like these are generally short, as most obstructions in toilets will be in the first S-bend of the drains. Therefore, you should be able to sort it out relatively easily.
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Understanding The Importance Of A Quick Flush
To understand why you should care if your toilet flushes quickly, you have to understand how a toilet works. When you flush your toilet, the flushing action triggers an influx of water from the tank into the toilet bowl before traveling down the main waste line. The speed with which this water travels creates the suction required for the actual flush. The slower this water moves, the more ineffective the flush and the larger your problem becomes.
Clean Clogged Jet Holes
The best solution to clean mineral deposits around the rim is to have a toilet brush with an under-rim lip brush handy. Use the under-rim lip brush to clean jet holes around the rim.
If you have a toilet brush without an under-rim lip brush, you can use a wire coat hanger, a straightened-out paper clip, a small hex key, or a toothbrush as a substitute. Clean the jet holes with vinegar or dishwashing soap.
An alternative to cleaning the jet holes is pouring vinegar down the overflow tube. Let the vinegar sit there overnight. Flush the toilet the next day.
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Common Causes Of A Slow Flushing Toilet
There are two reasons the toilet flushes slower than normal, and they relate to the toilet drain and the water supply. When one or both is not functioning properly, you get a slower toilet flush. Consider the list below subcategories of issues, all of which are a result of the drain or water supply not operating correctly.
Adjust The Lift Chain
Remove the toilet tank lid and place it away in safe place where it cannot fall off and crack. Push the toilet handle down and check if the flapper is lifting off all the way. The toilet flapper should lift to an almost vertical position.
If the flapper isnt lifting off as designed, you will need to shorten the length of the lift chain. It may take you 2 to 3 times to get the correct length of the lift chain. The toilet lift should have a 1/2 inch slack.
While at it, make sure that the toilet handle arm is moving freely inside the tank and that it is not touching anything.
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Issues That Would Make Your Toilet Drain Slowly
Arguably the most common issue with a slow draining toilet is a clog. Not necessarily a full blown clog, but a partial one.
Many things can cause a partial clog, but luckily it can be a pretty easy fix.
Assuming there will not be an excessive amount of water that will overflow the toilet bowl, try increasing the water pressure.
You can do this by filling a large bucket of with water and quickly empty the bucket into the toilet bowl, ensuring there is as little splashing as possible.
If the issue is in fact a small clog, this should be able to push whatever is clogging the pipe through and finish the initial flush.
Perhaps you have had to deal with unclogging another drain in your house and have what many people call a snake or an auger.
This will help to physically push the clogged materials through the drain. If you do not already have one, it may be a good idea to buy one for times like this!
Remove The Mineral Build
If you find that your jet holes still have mineral buildup after the dish soap method, then you may need a more physical method of removing them. One way you can try involves a screwdriver and a mineral remover agent.
Apply a cleaner to the exterior of the jet holes and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, take a small screwdriver, or similar device, and physically scrape the mineral deposits away from the holes.
If you find that this process still doesnt remove the build-up, then you will likely need to call a plumber to help.
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How To Fix A Sluggish Toilet
As long as there is sufficient water running through your toilet drainpipes after you flush, enough air to keep the flushed material moving and no blockages to impede progress, your toilet should operate normally. When any one of these conditions aren’t met, though, flushing may be slow and incomplete. Accurate diagnosis isn’t always necessary, because you can often correct the problem by plunging the toilet, which is very simple to do. When plunging doesn’t work, a basic understanding of the operation of a toilet will help you plan a strategy for restoring it to working order.
Plunge the toilet, submerging the plunger entirely so it makes an effective seal with the toilet bowl. If there is a partial blockage in the waste line, the action of the plunger may loosen it and allow the waste water to flow freely, correcting the problem.
Turn off the water to the toilet and flush it. Put on rubber gloves that cover your entire forearm to grope for obstructions in the toilet P-trap. While the bowl is empty, reach into the inlet and feel for debris. Turn the water back on after you’ve finished.
Listen for gurgling sounds coming from nearby drains when you flush the toilet. They are a sign that the toilet vents are blocked the sound is created by air being sucked through the drains. Clear the vents by climbing on the roof, removing debris from the vent openings and spraying water from a garden hose into the openings.
Common Reasons For A Slow Draining Toilet
A toilet that drains slowly might not seem like an urgent issue, but it could be a sign of a more severe problem with home plumbing. Determining the cause and repairing it is in the homeowners best interest. When slow draining toilets are left unattended, they can lead to expensive utility bills or broken pipes and fixtures. Here are common reasons a toilet is draining slowly and valuable tips on what needs fixing.
A damaged or disconnected fill valve
A low water level in the tank causes the toilet to drain slowly. In this case, you could be dealing with a damaged or disconnected refill tube or fill valve. The fill valve, also known as a ballcock, is usually a black rubber tube found inside the toilet tank. It is responsible for transporting water from the tank to the toilet bowl. If the refill tube is disconnected, try reconnecting it and see if the problem is fixed. Though, a damaged fill valve or refill tube requires replacement.
A clogged or blocked-up drain or toilet
Whether something got sent down the toilet that shouldnt have, or its been a while since the last pipe clear-out, drain blockages happen all of the time. Remember the three Ps of toilet flushing: pee, poop, and paper. Toilet paper, to be exact. That is all that you should flush down the toilet, or you might find yourself with a poorly draining commode or a full-fledged clog.
A cracked or broken toilet
An obstructed sewer line vent
A jet hole that needs cleaning
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