Toilet Not Flushing

Why Won’t Your Toilet Flush When It Is Not Clogged? The Reasons + DIY Fixes

If your toilet is not flushing properly or flushing slowly, and you know that the toilet trap and the main drain is not clogged, then the possible causes could be: a blocked siphon jet, broken seal of the wax ring, or issue with the toilet tank’s inner components such as the flapper or the chain.

Reason #1: The Siphon Jet Holes Are Blocked With Mineral Deposits

A siphon jet is a small hole located inside the bowl. Not all toilets have a siphon jet, therefore, verify your model before getting started.

Now there are two ways to eliminate mineral deposits from the siphon jet. We have listed both the ways here.

  • Solution #1 is a fast and easy way to get rid of not-so-stubborn deposits on the jet hole.
  • Solution #2 is an advanced way to get rid of very-stubborn deposits on the jet hole.

Go with the option that matches your needs.

Solution #1: [The Quick & Easy One]

  1. This work is kind of yucky, so you will want to suit your hand up with a latex glove.
  2. Dip your hand inside the toilet bowl’s drain area (where the water is contained).
  3. And check the siphon jet holes, hidden inside the wall of the toilet bowl’s drain area.
  4. Your hands will feel the hole is clogged with mineral deposits.
  5. First, break these mineral deposits as much as possible with your hands, but since the walls inside are a bit rough, you may break the mineral deposits free by scraping the walls of the inside of the hole with an old plastic toothbrush handle.
  6. Plastic is safe since it would not damage the porcelain. But you can substitute it with any other similar item such as a small stick.
  7. You would notice a lot of debris breaking free.
  8. Once properly cleaned, the toilet’s flushing power will be restored.

Solution #2: [The Advanced Method]

  • Shut off the water supply to the tank.
  • Flush the toilet to drain most water and then remove the rest of the remaining water from the bowl with a small cup or a sponge or paper towel to soak up the water.
  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Next put vinegar in the toilet bowl. The vinegar should be enough to cover the drain portion. Let it sit overnight. This will soften up the calcium build-up in the 3/4 inch or so hole in the draining part of the bowl.
  • Use a wooden stick or a soft plastic article to gently help dislodge this calcium buildup when you flush down the vinegar. Do not scrape with a metal object or damage the porcelain.
  • The calcium crumbles when soaked long enough, so removal with a blunt object should be quick and easy.
  • Additionally, you may also clean the inner bowl rim to hopefully remove any slime or build-up that may impede the water coming down the inner bowl sides.

Reason #2: Inaccurate Water Level In The Tank

The toilet needs the right amount of water in the tank to flush with effectiveness. When the volume of water is too low or too high, when you flush, you will face difficulty with the toilet. The toilet vendor also puts a label within the tank, informing you precisely how many gallons of water your toilet uses per flush to function properly. Manual modifications to the water volume may have been made to save water or there could be a misalignment of sections within the tank.


  1. As the toilet tank loads, there is a float inside that regulates the amount of toilet water. A float is a ball-like object. Check if there’s enough water in the tank. The water level should be around one inch below the overflow tube.
  2. Check the flush operation on the toilet. There are many styles of toilets, and with this standard on how low the water level should drop on a flush, it’s probably safe to say that at least half or more than half of the water should empty from the tank.
  3. The fill valve which opens and closes/keeps the water level within the tank must be balanced using a screw-like system located at the top of the fill valve. If rotated to the left, it will raise the float which will allow it to take any more volumes of water into the tank.

Reason #3: Problems with the Flapper Valve

The flapper is a little instrument that sits attached to a chain in the toilet tank, which allows the required amount of water to spill out when the toilet is flushed. When the lever is flushed, the flapper opens to allow water to escape and then shuts to avoid additional water from running. If the flapper seems to be weakened, bent, or missing, it could be the explanation of why your toilet didn’t flush properly.


If the flapper becomes affected in a way that prevents it from operating, it will have to be replaced. The replacement flapper is easily available in nearby hardware stores and is reasonably inexpensive. Drain the tank before removing the flapper, and then connect the new flapper to the chain.

Reason #4: Chain Issues

If your toilet isn’t functioning well i.e slow flushing (despite not being clogged), there might be something wrong with the toilet chain. The chain is attached to the faucet which enables water to flow in and out. Maybe this chain is rusted, broken, or at the wrong length mounted. If one of these complications occurred, the chain does not correctly lift the flapper to encourage the water to flow out to the toilet swiftly.


There could be issues with the chain being too short, which will render it difficult for the toilet to operate. If that’s the problem, make modifications to the chain’s length. If the chain tends to be warped or rusted to such a degree that it doesn’t function, it requires substitution. A replacement chain can be ordered at the hardware shop.

Also Read: Best Flushing Toilets of 2021

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