Your toilet is an essential part of your home. It’s used every day by you and other members of your family and you rarely give it a second thought. However, when something goes wrong with it your first impulse is likely to be to call a reputable emergency plumber.
It’s a good idea. A toilet that doesn’t flush means the wastewater and associated products aren’t going anywhere. Flush it again and you could have sewage on your bathroom floor. That’s not pleasant and not good for your health.
Fortunately, most toilet flushing problems are simple to fix, you can take a look before your plumber arrives.
A lack of flushing doesn’t always mean the water level has risen in the toilet. You may simply see that nothing has been flushed away.
In this instance, you’ll want to lift the lid of your cistern and verify if there is water in the tank. If there is then you should pull the flush lever to verify that the water leaves the tank and goes into the toilet. If it doesn’t, your toilet will never flush.
The most common reasons for this are a loose flush handle or an issue with the flapper. Wiggle the lever. If it is loose you can tighten it, there is a screw on the inside of the lever.
Alternatively, if the flapper seems to be the issue you’ll want to replace the internal mechanism. This is held in place by a large nut.
Of course, if your cistern doesn’t have any water in then you have a problem with the supply valve. You’ll firstly have to check it is turned on. If it is and there is no water the float lever inside the cistern may be up when it should be down. Push it down and the water will enter, allowing you to flush shortly.
The other main issue with your toilet is when it won’t flush but the bowl is full of water. This suggests that the pipes are clogged and the waste products simply can’t get past.
You’re going to need to get a toilet plunger, this slots over the bottom of the toilet and you can gently pull it up and down. The aim is to create a vacuum in the pipe which will force the blockage to move.
If this doesn’t work you can get a drain snake that can be fed into the toilet and through to the clog. It should then be able to push the snake through the clog, breaking it up in the process.
You should note that it is never a good idea to poke your toilet with a stick or coat hanger, it won’t reach the clog and is likely to make the problem worse.
Don’t forget to wear gloves and be cautious when dealing with your toilet. But, if you are in any doubt it is still advisable to get the emergency plumber to resolve the issue for you.