How to Fix a Toilet That Only Swirls

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Things You'll Need

  • 5 gallon bucket

  • Plunger

  • Toilet auger

  • Wire hanger

  • Wood skewer

  • Muriatic acid

  • Water

A loss of flushing power can be caused by several factors.

Toilets normally flush with great force, so when your toilet merely swirls after you push down the handle you immediately know the toilet is no longer functioning properly. You must first determine the cause of the loss of flushing power before you can begin to work on a solution to the problem. Fortunately, you can fix the problem of a loss of flushing power without the need to call a plumber.


Step 1

Pour a five gallon bucket of water into the toilet's bowl rapidly, without spilling any water out of the bowl. If the toilet still struggles to flush, press a plunger over the opening in the bowl and pump the handle a dozen times or more to dislodge the clog.

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Step 2

Feed an auger into the toilet bowl's drain, spinning the handle clockwise, if the plunger does not get rid of the clog. Spin the auger's handle counterclockwise as you retract the auger from the toilet's drain. Repeat the process up to three times.


Step 3

Clean out the small holes located under the toilet bowl's rim, using a wire hanger or wood skewer, if the toilet flushes normally using the bucket. If you have used a drop-in cleaning tablet in the toilet's tank, use the hanger or skewer to break apart the tablet you can see through the holes.


Step 4

Mix one part muriatic acid with ten parts water in a bucket. Pour half of the bucket into the overflow tube inside the toilet's tank. Do not flush the toilet for at least half an hour. Pour the other half of the bucket down the overflow tube and wait another half an hour before using the toilet.


Do not use muriatic acid if you have a septic system.



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