Toilet Not Flushing All The Way? Your 2024 DIY Fix It Guide

Toilet Not Flushing All The Way

🚽 Toilet Not Flushing All The Way?

One of the worst problems your bathroom can deal with is a toilet that won’t flush all the way.

When your toilet decides it wants to do this, it can leave you with a big mess, and it’s not particularly sanitary. So, when your toilet struggles to flush its contents, what do you do?

Luckily we have a few plumbing experts who can help you with a few solutions when your toilet won’t flush. So let’s get started.

🚽 Why Won’t My Toilet Flush Completely?

frog on a toilet

When you have a toilet not flushing properly, it can be a number of issues.

From a clogged toilet to poor maintenance, there’s a reason why your toilet won’t get rid of all your business. 

So one of the first things to check is the top toilet tank.

If your toilet tank is filling up all the way, then it’s probably a clogging issue or a more significant plumbing issue you will need expert plumbing help to fix.

Let’s walk through each problem and how you can fix it yourself without spending your hard-earned cash on a plumber.

🚽 You have a Clogged Toilet

Plumber unclogging a toilet with a plunger

A blocked toilet, in our experience, is one of the most common reasons why a toilet won’t flush completely.

Depending on where the clog is, you will likely be able to fix this yourself. But how did my toilet get clogged in the first place?

Toilets are designed for human waste and toilet paper, and that’s it!

Too much toilet paper, paper towels, cotton balls, and flushable wipes are not meant for your septic system.

If you have children, we understand this can be tough to police.

Unwanted substances can find their way into multiple locations and cause your toilet to not flush properly.

If you are having an issue with a gurgling toilet, we have the perfect article for you: Toilet Gurgling? Here’s What Causes It and How to Fix It.

πŸ› οΈ The Fix!

Try unclogging your toilet with a plunger. When using a plunger, ensure it completely covers the drain hole in the toilet bowl.

Then, give it 10 to 15 plunges to dislodge whatever is stuck there.

Sometimes running a garden hose into your toilet can help dislodge a stubborn blockage. Then, just make sure not to flood your bathroom!

If this doesn’t work, a toilet auger can be your new best friend.

However, this can get expensive, so at this point, it’s probably best to call your local plumber.

If your toilet isn’t flushing at all and you’re in a hurry, check out this article: How to Manually Flush a Toilet!

πŸ“— Related Reading: What To Use To Unclog a Toilet. Your Homeowners Guide!

🚽 Blocked Inlet Holes

cleaning the toilet inlet holes

Small inlet holes are located just under the bowl’s rim and allow water into the toilet bowl.

However, these can become blocked over time with mineral deposits, debris, and bacteria buildup.

Most homeowners don’t notice as it’s out of sight, out of mind!

A blockage here can reduce the strength of the flush, leaving you with a big problem.

πŸ› οΈ The Fix!

Get yourself a small mirror and have a look up under the rim of the toilet to check for blockages.

If you notice it’s blocked or starting to build up gunk, you can flush it out with vinegar and dislodge it with a small wire brush.

To clean it with vinegar: Heat up a few cups of white vinegar.

Then, pour it directly into the overflow tube in your toilet’s tank using a funnel.

Let it sit for about an hour in the overflow tube, and then flush the toilet.

That should help clean out the inlet holes.

The video below gives an excellent short tutorial on how to get this done.

This issue is more prevalent in areas with hard water. 

A whole-home water softening system will help in preventing mineral buildup.

Check out the following video on How To Clean Those Rim Jets!

🚽 Check the Toilet Flapper

Flapper valve in toilet top tank

The toilet flapper is what allows water flow into your toilet when you hit that flush button.

When you flush, it lifts up the rubber valve

The flapper is in constant contact with moving water, so it can twist or warp over time with continued use.

If a flapper is worn, a tell-tale sign is toilet water constantly leaking into the toilet bowl.

This means it won’t seal properly.

πŸ› οΈ The Fix!

Check it out with a flashlight and see if it’s damaged or not sealing correctly.

It’s an inexpensive part, so when in doubt, replace it.

Your local hardware store will stock it.

Don’t forget to check the length of the securing chain as well.

They are notorious for getting stuck under the toilet flapper.

🚽 The Water Level in Your Toilet Tank is Too Low.

toilet top tank

We won’t go into great detail here as we already have a great article on this, and you can find it here: 3 Simple Reasons Why Your Toilet Keeps Running.

πŸ› οΈ The Fix!

In summary, you will need to adjust the height of the water by adjusting the float valve.

Adjust it until the water level is at its maximum and aligned with the refill line.

🚽 Poor Toilet Design or Installation

old toilet in a beach

Your toilet may have been installed incorrectly, or it’s super old.

Something simple like your plumber forgetting to remove the cap off the vent pipe causing back pressure.

This simple error causes your toilet to not flush thoroughly.

There could also be a problem with the design of your drain pipes which can be equally frustrating.

πŸ› οΈ The Fix!

Realistically unless you are a plumber or a super handy DIYer, this is best left to a professional plumber to inspect.

Your local plumber should conduct an extensive inspection and troubleshoot any outstanding issues.

You may also have one of those old low-flow toilets.

This is an excellent opportunity to replace your old toilet with a new one.

You could even add one of those high-tech bidets you have been thinking of.

Newer models have the extra benefit of conserving water as well.

πŸ’© If You Have Bigger Problems…

Phyxter Approved Logo on Service Truck

If you have done everything you can and still have problems with your toilets, it’s time to call in the cavalry or your local plumber at least… 

Unfortunately, you have more significant issues if a toilet is not flushing correctly and isn’t suffering from one of the minor problems listed above.

From improper installation to a sewer line blockage, it’s time to call the professionals.

 If you live in the North or Central Okanagan region, contact Phyxter Plumbing Services to get that toilet working correctly and ready for that big first successful flush!

We have expert plumbers specializing in a range of residential plumbing problems.

So don’t wait; contact us today and schedule an appointment.

Related Reading: DIY Guide to 15 Common Plumbing Problems & Solutions

Russell Jones

Russell, a native Australian and VP of Operations at Phyxter Home Services, is also part-owner of Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical Services. When he's not busy with work projects and renovations, Russell enjoys putting his vast knowledge of home improvement to good use by sharing his tips and tricks.

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Phyxter (pronounced Fix-ter) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.

Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.

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