Although a standard toilet features a fairly basic design, periodic toilet problems are inevitable. Fortunately, a flushing problem substantially narrows down the number of potential problems. If the toilet will not flush, the problem is probably a broken lift wire or a water supply valve that was inadvertently left off. If the toilet flushes slowly or if it overflows, the problem is probably a clog within the toilet or within the structure’s main plumbing line.
Things You'll Need
- Screwdriver or pliers
- Replacement lift wire or chain (optional)
- Closet auger
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Toilet Will Not Flush
Rotate the water supply valve located against the wall and behind the toilet in a counterclockwise direction to ensure that the toilet is receiving a supply of water.
Lift the lid off of the toilet’s tank to expose the lift wire. Some toilets are equipped with a chain rather than with a wire.
Replace the lift wire or chain if it is broken. Each end of the wire is secured with a screw or clip. Remove the fastener with a screwdriver or with pliers to release the wire.
Toilet Overflows or Flushes Slowly
Fill the toilet with a few inches of water if the bowl is empty.
Plunge the toilet with a plunger to clear most toilet clogs.
Insert a closet auger into the drain opening within the bottom of the bowl if the drain is still clogged. The auger features a flexible metal bar that will conform to the drain pipe. Push the auger into the drain opening to clear the drain passageways.
Contact a professional plumber if the problem persists, as the problem is most likely not with the toilet.