Back to Blog

Toilet Leak

Common Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush

June 22, 2024

Few household inconveniences are as frustrating as a toilet that won’t flush properly. This common plumbing issue can disrupt your daily routine and leave you wondering, “Why won’t my toilet flush?” Understanding the root causes can help you address the problem effectively. Here, we’ll explore the common reasons your toilet won’t flush and provide insights on how to fix a toilet that won’t flush, ensuring your bathroom runs smoothly.

1. Clogged Toilet

One of the most common reasons your toilet won’t flush all the way is due to a clog. Clogs can occur when too much toilet paper is used, or non-flushable items are accidentally flushed. This blockage prevents water from flowing through the pipes, resulting in a weak or incomplete flush.

How to Fix It: Try using a plunger to dislodge the clog. Place the plunger over the toilet drain, ensure a tight seal, and pump up and down vigorously. If the clog persists, a plumbing snake or auger might be necessary to break up the obstruction.

2. Low Water Level in the Tank

If your toilet won’t fill properly after a flush, it could be due to a low water level in the tank. The water level in the tank needs to be high enough to generate the pressure required for a complete flush. When the water level is too low, it results in a weak flush.

How to Fix It: Check the water level in the tank. It should be about an inch below the top of the overflow tube. Adjust the float arm or the fill valve to increase the water level if needed. Ensuring the water supply valve is fully open can also help.

3. Faulty Flapper

A faulty or worn-out flapper can be another reason why your toilet won’t flush. The flapper is responsible for releasing water from the tank into the bowl during a flush. If the flapper doesn’t seal properly, it can lead to incomplete flushing and continuous running of the toilet.

How to Fix It: Inspect the flapper for any signs of wear or damage. If it looks worn out, replace it with a new one. Flappers are inexpensive and easy to replace. Simply remove the old flapper and attach the new one to the flush valve.

4. Issues with the Handle and Chain

Sometimes, the problem lies with the toilet handle not flushing correctly. If the handle or the chain connecting the handle to the flapper is broken or misaligned, it can prevent the flapper from lifting properly.

How to Fix It: Check the handle and the chain mechanism. Ensure that the chain has the right amount of slack to lift the flapper when the handle is pressed. If the handle is loose, tighten it or replace it if necessary.

5. Blocked Rim Jets

The rim jets are small holes located under the rim of the toilet bowl. These jets release water during a flush to help clean the bowl and create a swirling motion. Over time, mineral deposits and debris can clog these jets, reducing the effectiveness of the flush.

How to Fix It: Use a small brush or a piece of wire to clean out the rim jets. You can also use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to dissolve any mineral buildup. Pour the solution into the overflow tube and let it sit for a few hours before flushing.

6. Sewer Line Issues

If multiple toilets or drains in your home are experiencing issues, it could indicate a problem with the main sewer line. A blocked or damaged sewer line can cause sewage backup and prevent toilets from flushing properly.

How to Fix It: This is a more complex issue that often requires professional intervention. Contact a plumber to inspect and clear the sewer line.

7. Toilet Bowl Water Level Drops Overnight

If you notice that the toilet bowl water level drops overnight, it could be a sign of a partial clog or a crack in the toilet bowl. This issue can lead to an ineffective flush and potential water damage.

How to Fix It: Check for visible cracks in the toilet bowl. If none are found, try using a toilet auger to clear any partial clogs in the drain. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to replace the toilet.


Dealing with a toilet that won’t flush can be frustrating, but understanding the common causes can help you troubleshoot the issue effectively. Whether it’s a simple clog, a low water level, or a faulty component, many of these problems can be resolved with a bit of DIY effort. However, for more complex issues like sewer line problems or persistent clogs, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

At Weltman Home Services, we understand the importance of a fully functioning bathroom. If you’re struggling with a toilet that won’t flush, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced technicians are ready to assist with all your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC needs. Reach out today to ensure your home systems are running smoothly and efficiently.