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Why Won’t My Toilet Flush?

Should you be experiencing the common problem that your toilet won’t flush, we understand that trying to work out what has happened can be frustrating. There’s no need to worry though! Take a look at these popular reasons why and how you can fix them.


- Clogged toilet

Sometimes, using too much toilet paper, or attempting to flush anything other than toilet paper down the toilet, can clog the pipe and make further flushing impossible.

Use a toilet plunger or toilet auger to push the waste through, or using a toilet plunger to create suction to help dislodge the blockage, followed by flushing. This should move the blockage down the pipe. Should you be experiencing this problem frequently, you may decide to consider using a thinner type of toilet paper – particularly if yourself or others of your household use a lot in one sitting.

- The water level in the tank is too low

The water level in a toilet’s tank should be approximately one inch below the top of the tank’s overflow tube. Should the water in the tank be too low, simply check the water valve, as it may have accidentally have been turned off. If the water valve is turned off, then turn it on and monitor the water level in the tank to ensure it’s refilling to the correct level. You may then flush the toilet to make sure it’s flushing properly again.

 - The flapper is bent

Remove the toilet tank lid and inspect the rubber flapper. This is designed to release water when the toilet is flushed and then close the water intake hole afterwards, so that the amount of water remains in the tank.

- The chain isn’t working

Sometimes lifting the chain can work. This attaches the flapper to the flushing handle on the outside of the toilet, and sometimes it can have too much slack. This leaves the handle unable to raise the flapper and flush the toilet.

This problem can be solved by adjusting the length of the chain to shorten it, so that the chain can provide a sufficient pull to raise the flapper off the flush tube and allow water to flow when the handle is pulled.

Should none of these tips rectify the problem, there’s no need to worry. Simply call our friendly team today who will be more than happy to help.

- Preventing frozen pipes

The winter weather can sometimes cause problems for your pipes, including making them freeze in the cold temperatures. If you isolate the water supply to the outside tap with an internal shut off valve, then this will help to prevent problems from occurring.

- Insulated foam sleeving

Pipes in lofts, basements or outside are usually the most likely to be affected as these areas aren’t heated. They also tend to lack insulation, which you can rectify by insulating them with foam based sleeves. The thinner the pipe is, the thicker the insulation you’ll need. Thinner pipes will be more likely to freeze than thicker ones, so make sure that there are no gaps at valves or bends.

- Refrain from insulating underneath your tank

This is important if your tank is in the loft. Your loft will be even colder if its floor is insulated, as this will be blocking the heat that normally rises from the room below. Try not to insulate the underneath, but do insulate the top and the sides to prevent the heat from escaping.

- Fix dripping taps

Should a dripping tap freeze over, the water in the pipe can also freeze. This will create a blockage, so make sure that you replace the washers on the taps regularly and prevent them from dripping. A plumber will be able to carry this out for you.

- Boiler service

Having regular boiler servicing will help get it ready for winter. Having your boiler looked at by a professional is the best way to prevent breakdowns.

- Leaving your heating on

Even if you’re not spending all winter in your house, it’s still a good idea to leave your central heating on, but on a low temperature. Turning it off completely will save you money, but you could end up regretting it if a pipe bursts and causes expensive damage to your home.

- Stopcock

The most important thing to know in winter is where your stopcock is, so if the worst does happen, you know you’re prepared and can turn the water off.


If you are looking for a plumber in Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset or any of the surrounding areas then just give SCD Plumbing a call and we will be happy to assist you further.

SCD Plumbing Bournemouth & Poole

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