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Toilet Won’t Flush? Some Reasons Why

Any appliance or fixture in your house that doesn’t do what it’s designed to do is a problem. And a toilet that won’t flush—that’s something you want fixed as soon as possible!

There are several reasons why you may have a toilet that isn’t flushing when you press the lever or the top button. In some cases, the solution may be a simple one you can remedy on your own. Other times, you’ll need to call professionals for plumbing in Sudbury, MA to fix the issue. Below are some of the common causes of a non-flushing toilet and what you can do about them if anything.

The toilet is clogged

This is the #1 problem toilets face. Unfortunately, with more people throwing disposable wipes and other trash items down toilets, tough blockages that stop flushing entirely are becoming more common. If you have a toilet plunger handy (different from a sink plunger; toilet plungers have longer flanges), this is the time to put it to use. If the plunger isn’t working, you may have a more serious clog that will require a plumber to fix. Please don’t use chemical drain cleaners as a solution, as they rarely do long-term good and often create long-term harm.

The flapper is decayed, stuck, or otherwise not working

The flapper is what controls the flow of water from the tank down into the bowl with sufficient force to cause it to flush. Hitting the flush lever or button causes this flap to lift. The rubber of the flap can decay over time or become warped or in some way prevented from closing all the way. This allows water to flow down into the tank, so lifting it up won’t do much. You can often tell if there’s a flapper problem because the toilet will run continually.

You can purchase and replace the flapper if this is something you feel comfortable doing. You can also let a plumber take care of the problem. Remember, if you aren’t sure of the reason the toilet isn’t flushing, have a plumber investigate and diagnose the source.

Cracked overflow tube

If you lift the tank lid, you’ll see a tall plastic tube near the refill tube. This is the overflow tube that allows water directly down into the bowl. But if the tube cracks, water will enter the tube and down into the bowl when it shouldn’t. Let a repair expert handle replacing a broken overflow tube.

Tangled chain

In older toilets, the flush lever connects directly to the flapper with a chain. When the lever is pressed, it pulls on the chain and lifts the flapper to start flushing. The chain can become tangled up, which can leave the flapper open so the toilet runs continually and won’t flush. Lift the lid to untangle the chain. Please be cautious about trying to replace the chain if it breaks, however, since a chain that’s too long will also lead to a toilet that won’t flush.

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