What is a Slow Flushing Toilet Trying to Tell You?
You have a toilet flushing slower than it should. What’s it mean? Is it time to panic? Maybe if I ignore it, it’ll just be fine. Can I just jiggle the handle? A slow-flushing toilet is telling you something. At some point, slow might well become a clog or another more serious issue. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to get to that point.
There are several reasons why a toilet has a slow flush. Most are pretty simple reasons, and some are tough. If you can identify why your commode is draining slowly, you can most likely repair it. We’ll cover the usual causes and let you know how to fix them.
Low Water Level in the Tank
When you flush, you’re sending water from the toilet tank into the bowl. Moving all that water quickly is a suction effect for the flushing. If you’ve started out with a low level of water, the suction isn’t strong enough and you have a weak flush.
The tank needs to have enough water to be a half-inch below the drain. If the tank isn’t filling enough, then your flush will be slow and weak. A few things might decrease the water level and circulation in the tank. You can have low water pressure, poor or worn fill valves, or a failing trip assembly. Each of these troubles is simple for a plumbing professional to repair.
Clogged drains or pipes can hit any appliance or fixture which uses water. A clog anywhere in your home’s plumbing can slow the flow all over the house. Just a partial clog can slow a toilet. The best way to stop this before it’s a problem is to have a professional drain cleaning service make scheduled visits.
A clog is most usually from someone flushing an item or material which shouldn’t go down a toilet. Pay attention to what you’re putting down a toilet or any drain. Your drains are not trash cans or garbage disposals.
Old or Broken Flapper Valve
The flapper valve is the rubber part at the bottom of a toilet tank. It covers the hole going into the toilet bowl. When you flush, you raise the flapper and let the water flow. Water flows from the tank to the bowl, causing a flush.
It’s normal that flapper valves wear out or break with time. If the flapper wears, it may not be able to properly cover the drain between the tank and bowl. You hear this when you have a toilet that “keeps running.” The water leaks from the tank to the bowl regularly. This will also weaken a flush. It’s fairly simple to replace a flapper DIY style, or you might rather have a plumber do it.
It’s easy to check how well the flapper valve is working with dye or food coloring. Put a few drops in the water in the tank. Wait a few minutes. Do you see the color in the bowl? If yes, the flapper needs to be replaced.
Mineral Deposits in the Rim Jets
The rim jets are holes under the toilet rim. Water comes out of the jets when there’s a flush. They are little and out of sight. It’s easy to forget or never care about them. It’s easy to let rim jets get dirty, or even let mineral deposits build up which will block them. Even if you clean the bowl pretty routinely, you might not get this area. Gradually, clogs here affect the whole circulation in a toilet.
Use distilled white vinegar and a stiff bathroom brush to clean the accumulation around and in the rim jets. Wear gloves while doing this. Initially, spray the area with white vinegar. Let the vinegar sit for 30 minutes. After that, use the brush to brush the deposits and grime away.
Tips to Care for a Commode
- Don’t procrastinate with little problems – Don’t ignore an issue or pretend it’ll somehow fix itself. A simple problem likely is ok with a simple solution, but only if you do it then. Every little issue in your toilet can lead to worse problems. This will save you a lot more pain and expense later on.
- Don’t throw trash in the toilet – Only use a toilet for what it’s designed for. Don’t throw paper towels, diapers, wipes, tissues, or any other items when you don’t know how a toilet, plumbing, and a septic system will handle them. You might just think that flushing all this stuff just sends it into the septic tank. This could well lead to other major problems, but even that’s wrong. This trash can clogs pipes. They can leave waste and build up inside pipes over time. You are likely to get blocks, clogs, slow flushing, odors, and unsanitary conditions.
- Don’t Use Damaging Chemicals – Know what products and chemicals you’re using when cleaning a toilet and other bathroom fixtures. Avoid using anything with harmful, corrosive chemicals. There are plenty of products on the market which are safe. There are natural products, probably even in your home already, you can use. Try baking soda and vinegar, then a toilet brush, to effectively clean toilets.
- Keep regular maintenance on schedule – Many things are easier because someone solves them early or it’s never a problem, to begin with when you stick to a professional maintenance plan with an expert plumber. Monitoring and repairing small issues such as small leaks or worn parts before they become failed parts will certainly make certain your toilet functions as expected. Whether you DIY the maintenance or hire a pro, the purpose is to avoid having to use more time and money.
South End Plumbing specializes in toilet repairs, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in drain cleaning – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.