Why Won’t My Toilet Flush Solids Out?
Many years ago, toilets, water closets or hoppers as they were called way back when, used 7.5 gallons of water. Most people never had a problem with their toilet not flushing out all the solids. Today, with the federal water conservation act, toilets are mandated to use 1.6 gallons or less to do the same job. Unfortunately, some of these newer toilets don’t work as well as the old 7.5 gallon water closets.
IF YOUR TOILET WON’T FLUSH, IT COULD BE ANY OF THESE ISSUES
- The tank is too small. Everyone is trying to save water and so toilet tanks are getting smaller and smaller. If yours is too small, your toilet won’t flush or won’t always flush, no matter what you do.
- You have water flow issues. If there’s not enough water getting into your toilet’s tank or if the tank is leaking, it won’t have the water it needs to flush well.
- Your jet hole got plugged. This is the small hole under the front of your toilet. It can get plugged with hard water deposits or objects.
- Your septic system isn’t working. Many septic problems can cause issues with toilet flushing. You may need a new outlet filter for your tank or a new drainfield. Don’t try to fix your septic system yourself.
Toilet Flushing Help
Some important things to check that your Sarasota plumber would tell would be:
- Lift off the tank lid and make sure the water level is up to the factory water mark line. This is usually one inch or less below the overflow tube in your toilet tank. Raise the water level if it’s lower than that, because this makes a huge difference in how toilets flush.
- Check the jet hole in the front of the bowl under the water. This hole should be clear and you should feel the water jetting out of it when you flush it. If the jet hole appears to be clogged up, it is usually from hard water deposits such as calcium and lime.
- I know a plumber in Sarasota that will use the special tool, part # 446108-A, commonly known as a bent clothes hanger, to poke in the jet hole to break away the deposits. This will work quite well along with a small screwdriver.
- Check the valves. If water is leaking, replace them.
- Check the incoming water lines. If they are bent, clogged, or broken, they will need to be replaced.
- Call for help. At Wimpy’s, we know how to fix a toilet flush, how to get a toilet to flush, and how to fix a slow flushing toilet. We’ll find the problem and fix it as fast as we can so you get your house back to normal ASAP.
SEPTIC SYSTEM CARE SUGGESTIONS BY SARASOTA PLUMBERS
Septic systems do need care, and could be the cause of your flushing problems. Here are some things you should avoid doing:
- Don’t drive over your tank and drainfield or compact the soil in any way.
- Don’t dig around the tank or drainfield, or build anything over it, and don’t cover it with a hard surface such as concrete or asphalt.
- Don’t plant anything over or near the drainfield except grass. Roots from nearby trees and shrubs may clog and damage the drain lines.
- Don’t use your garbage disposal like a goat. Limit its usage. Disposals increase solids loading by about 50%
- Don’t use your toilet as a trash can or poison your system with harmful chemicals. Chemicals kill bacteria that help purify the wastewater.
- Don’t waste money on septic tank additives. The bacteria needed to treat wastewater is naturally present in sewage. Additives can re-suspend solids causing your drainfield to clog. Additives do not eliminate the need for routine pumping of your tank.
- Never enter a septic tank — toxic gases from the tank can kill.
Tips When Your Toilet Won’t Flush
Now, if you were used to larger volume holding tanks on your old toilet and a plumber installed a new water closet for you, and you are having trouble with your new toilet not flushing out all the solids, try flushing more frequently. Also, if you use less paper this may help. Holding the trip lever down until all the water empties the tank will usually help clear the bowl so the solids flush out completely.
The water closet Wimpy’s Plumbing & Air recommends, is the Gerber Avalanche water closet, in an elongated, comfort height model. This particular model has a large water spot in the bowl, which is more sanitary. Also, it does a very good job of flushing out the solids with the first flush.