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4 Reasons why your toilet won’t flush

15th February 2024

Is there anything worse than a toilet that won’t flush? We take our drainage systems for granted, and when your toilet is not flushing properly it’s a real hassle to understand why. Flushing problems can occur for several reasons, and as drainage experts, the team at Cotswold Drainage have put together a list of why your toilet isn’t flushing.  We also provide many drainage unblocking services in these sorts of events, so you can have peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, our team is here to help.

How does flushing work?

A functioning, flushing toilet works by activating the toilet’s lever or button to engage the flushing mechanism. When the toilet flush is activated, water from the tank rushes through several openings in the bowl, exerting pressure that forces waste via the trap and into the sewer system. In addition to filling the bowl for subsequent usage, this water flow also cleans the bowl.

Understanding how flushing works can help in identifying certain problems, such as blockages or leaks.

Why your toilet won’t flush

So, what are the reasons why your toilet isn’t flushing? Let’s explore the most common reasons.

Clogged drain

First off, a clogged drain is one of the most typical causes of unsuccessful toilet flushing. A clogged drain may occur due to too much toilet paper, sanitary products or other non-dissolvable materials being flushed down the toilet. These different materials will accumulate in the pipes, hindering the free flow of water and waste. These causes of clogging make it more difficult for the flushing mechanism to properly empty the bowl, which increases the risk of overflows and necessitates its removal by hand or the assistance of a professional plumber to fix it.

Blocked pipe

Pipe blockages can seriously affect how well your toilet flushes. In addition to obstructing the free passage of waste and water, blocked pipes can also trap air inside the system. The force of water flow during a flush is reduced as a result of the pressure problems caused by trapped air. As a result, this may cause the toilet to not flush strongly or – in more extreme situations – not at all. Such blockages can be avoided and optimal toilet operation can be assured with routine maintenance and careful flushing practices.

Malfunctioning components

Sometimes the cause of a toilet not flushing properly is identified as broken or malfunctioning components of the flushing system, such as the flapper or flush valve. These components are essential for sealing the tank and controlling the water flow into the bowl during a flush. Water may continuously seep from the tank into the bowl if the components get damaged or are worn out, resulting in a less effective flush cycle and ultimately impairing the toilet’s capacity to remove waste. These problems can be avoided, and optimal flushing performance can be maintained, with routine inspections and prompt replacement of the parts.

Sewer line block

Finally, the fourth most common reason for a toilet not flushing is an obstruction or blockage in the main sewer line. These blockages are typically the result of debris buildup, tree roots getting into pipes or other external causes, which can cause the flow to be interrupted or stop completely. This kind of problem frequently goes beyond the toilet and could have an impact on other drains in your home. Owing to the intricacy and magnitude of sewage line blockages, expert help is required to identify and address the issue. Speak with qualified professionals, like Cotswold Drainage, if you’re having these problems - to guarantee a thorough and effective resolution.

Get your toilet flushing with Cotswold Drainage

We understand the frustration of toilets not flushing properly, and many struggle to find the root cause of the problem. Malfunctioning flushing systems must be fixed sooner rather than later – for health and hygiene reasons, and they can be fixed with the help of qualified drainage experts.

That’s where the team at Cotswold Drainage comes in - to provide you with the services to identify and resolve the issue. We relieve you of the hassle and frustration and get your toilet back in working order. No matter the time, or if it’s an emergency, give us a call on 01386 882324.