Fewer things are as frustrating to a homeowner as answering nature’s call and finding the toilet won’t flush.
Mike Krejci, service manager at Jay’s Plumbing & Sewer, in Downers Grove, Illinois, offers up three reasons why this could happen.
1. The most common cause is a plugged drain line. If the toilet is in a basement, the ejector pump may have failed, the drain system for the toilet is full and will not allow the toilet to flush. “You should verify if any other fixtures are not draining properly,” says Krejci. “If others are not, a branch line or main line may be plugged and need rodding.”
2. If water is not going down the bowl, check inside the tank. “It could be your water supply to the toilet,” says Krejci. Also, the shutoff valve at the wall could be shut off or plugged up with rust, not allowing water to fill the tank. “In that case, test your water supply valve by turning it off. You may want to consult a professional if you’re not comfortable turning off the water to the toilet or disconnecting the piping from the wall to the toilet.” If there is no shutoff valve, as in some older toilets, definitely consult a professional plumber. Many older homes have galvanized pipe that can become filled with rust and may need to be replaced with copper piping.,
3. The flush valve assembly, also called the flapper, could be compromised, or the chain could be broken. The rubber seal on the flapper could be deteriorated or just old.. “In that case, getting a new flapper from a home center and watching DIY YouTube videos may be the best solution, or call a professional,” says Krejci. Flush valve assemblies typically last 5 years where city water is used, due to chlorine degrading the components.