Commonly, a toilet will flush. However, the water will either slowly rotate or will act like it’s clogged. This often leaves us in a state of panic as we’re unsure of the issue and properly assess it.
To fix a toilet that won’t flush even though it’s not clogged, check to ensure the float isn’t jammed or the siphon jet isn’t clogged. It’s also important to check the chain to make sure it’s not disconnected or stuck.
In this article, we’re going to help you troubleshoot why your toilet may not flush, even though it may not be clogged.
How Does A Toilet Flush?
Before we dive into why your toilet doesn’t work, let’s first learn how a toilet works, so we’ll be in better shape to fix the problems.
The toilet has a few crucial parts that you should be aware of, which may cause your toilet to be clogged. As shown in the video, these are the most important parts of the toilet:
- Fill Valve
- Overflow Tube
- Flush Valve
- Siphon Jet (Not Shown)
Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush Even Though It’s Not Clogged
One thing we always advise is to make sure the exit drain is not clogged at all. Although you’re pretty sure that nothing is clogged, the first thing you should do is make sure it’s not.
This means taking a plunger to the drain anyway to double-check.
The last thing we want is for you to go through all of these steps when in reality, it was partially clogged from a prior incident. Take the 10-20 seconds and take the toilet a good plunge to double-check that the drain isn’t clogged.
Even using toilet cleaner won’t get these particles out, so you’ll have to dislodge anything that’s clogging it manually.
Check The Water Levels
The video shows that the water level needs to remain at certain heights for the toilet system to work.
What’s unique about the toilet is it’s constructed solely off pulleys and levers. Meaning, it doesn’t use any electricity or electric gadgets for it to operate.
We explain this concept because it needs to be at a certain height for the water levels to be consistent with the necessary water levels.
For instance, if the water level is too low, it will not shut off the float or whatever apparatus you have stopped the water. This will continue to fill the bowl, which can lead to an overflow.
Check to make sure the water levels fluctuate throughout the flushing process and do not remain the same.
This is rarely an occurrence, but it’s always good to check to see if it’s still intact. A jammed or broken float will not signal the flushing valve to turn off.
In turn, this will continue to fill the bowl with water as it never shuts off the water supply. Again, this is rare, especially if your shut-off valve is the “balloon-like” apparatus, which naturally will float once water touches it.
However, if it’s the shape-shifting one, it could get jammed. It is played with or hit the bowl hard. Rare, but we always like to double-check and make sure.
Clogged Siphon Jet
The siphon jet is a jet that’s at the bottom of the bowl that pushes the water down the “S-tube” and allows it to flow naturally.
Confused about the siphon yet? Watch this video, as it perfectly illustrates how to unclog the siphon jet and where it’s located within the toilet.
As shown, the siphon jet is what helps push the water down the tube. Oftentimes, the siphon jet on the toilet can get clogged with minerals and other particles. If your toilet relies on a siphon jet, you may want to check to see if it’s clogged.
Chain Or The Lever Is Disconnected
Lift the top of the tank off of the toilet and locate where the lever on the outside meets the chain or plastic piece on the inside.
If you have a chain connected to the toilet, it’s common that the chain may have come loose and fallen off. This is common as a toilet is flushed several times a day, leading to its disengagement.
To fix this, connect the chain back onto the inside of the handle. If you’re worried about it falling off again, using a piece of waterproof tape or any adhesive can help the chain stick to the lever.
This fix is easy; however, this could be a frustrating reoccurrence if you’re unfamiliar with toilets.
Chain Is Stuck
Our last piece on our checklist is to see if the chain is stuck on the flapper or any part of it as it opens and closes.
Newer toilets shouldn’t have this issue, as the chain should be tight enough to the lever where there should be no overhand. Older toilets, however, may have a long loose chain, as that’s how they were built.
If your toilet has a long chain, we recommend making short adjustments to it or simply buying a whole new level for the toilet. The loose chain is what could be causing your issues.
Don’t be afraid to take the top off the tank and experiment and see visually why the toilet may appear clogged.
Tools To Fix The Toilet
If you don’t know how to drain the water, there are a few tools that you can use to help unclog the toilet and unjam the siphon jet.
The first tool is the specially designed plunger. While this item is pretty standard in every household, we recommend upgrading your plunger to one that does more than loosens the material at the bottom of the toilet.
This plunger is specially designed to go deeper than your traditional plunger. If notice, it tapers toward the bottom, which allows you to get deeper into the toilet. You can find this plunger on Amazon here.
Next is the toilet brush. We recommend you have a strong toilet brush nearby. Not just the one with small bristles that clean the top of the toilet.
We recommend this brush, which has long bristles that allow you to get deep inside the siphon jet that might be clogged. Save yourself some time and energy when trying to fix your clogged toilet.
This brush is available on Amazon here.
Toilets, not flushing, although they aren’t clogged, are a common occurrence among households. Families with multiple children living under one roof with few bathrooms are at the greatest risk for toilet malfunctions.
Frequent use of the toilet will cause disfunction if not properly cared for and properly maintained. When dealing with toilets, it’s always important to be proactive rather than reactive.
We recommend cleaning the siphon jet on the bottom of the toilet to its fullest, making sure the lever on the toilet is connected successfully and there are no interruptions in the flushing pattern.
Last, run through the water level test and ensure the water levels are properly rising and releasing properly. If you feel uncomfortable, the last resort is to call a plumber and have them come over and fix it.
We recommend this for anyone who wants to get their hands dirty or fears fixing their toilet. Call your local plumber and have them fix it.