My Toilet Won’t Flush Properly!!

toilet won't flush-best plumber sacramento

My Toilet Won’t Flush Properly!!

Toilet Won’t Flush | Best Sacramento Plumber Explains

A Sacramento Plumber Explains Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush Properly

Have you ever gone to flush your toilet and notice that it is not emptying all the way? We are not talking about a clogged toilet here folks. Just a simple flush. If you have experienced this then you know the frustration! You end up having to wait around for the toilet tank to refill. Then you have to try to flush again. It is a waste of time and a waste of water. If your toilet won’t flush properly, don’t worry. Always Affordable Plumbing will explain possible causes, as well as solutions. Keep reading below!

Main Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush Properly

Again, clogged toilet aside, we are talking about a problem flushing. You hit the lever, it starts flushing, but then does not seem to clear out all the contents. This is actually a very common issue. The good news is that it is usually pretty easy and affordable to fix. Very rarely does it mean you need a new toilet.

Here are some of the main reasons your toilet is having a hard time flushing:

  • not enough water in the tank

  • the flapper is broken or not set right

  • the inlet holes are clogged

  • there is a clog somewhere

“Flushing” is actually a really simple process. Gravity combined with a little water pressure, using basic mechanics, creates the flush that washes out our toilet waste and rushes that waste and water down the main drain, out to the sewers. If there is a problem with incomplete flushing, it is likely due to one of the listed problems. Let’s look at these and go over troubleshooting and solutions. You can fix most of this stuff on your own without having to call Always Affordable Plumbing Sacramento and Solano, but we are always here to help if you need it!

Check Your Tank Level

Before you flush, carefully remove your tank lid and check your water level. Even high efficiency toilets require a good amount of water for a proper flush. Many toilet manufacturers will mark a line on the inside of the tank to indicate the correct water level. It is usually about an inch below the top of the overflow tube.


If your tank is not filling up with enough water, then your toilet won’t flush properly. When your water level is too low, then you need to adjust the float ball or floating cup, depending on the type of assembly you have. If you have a float ball, then you need to adjust the float arm up to allow more water in.

Alternatively, you might have a float cup. With a float cup then you  simply adjust the screw on top of the valve clockwise to allow more water. Make small adjustments and watch the water level change. Make sure you don’t set it to fill with too much water.

Flapper Problem

The flapper is the big rubber portion that covers the bottom of the tank. When the flapper lifts up, water rushes into the toilet bowl creating the “flush”. The flapper is supposed to create a tight seal over the hole at the bottom of the tank. If the flapper is corroded or worn, it might not be maintaining a tight seal anymore. This will allow water to leak out. If you hear water running in your toilet constantly, it is probably due to an issue with the flapper.

Another issue might be the flush valve chain that connects to the flapper. This is what connects to the flush handle and pulls the flapper up, to allow for a flush. If that chain is too long, then you might not be lifting the flapper up high enough to allow for the tank to empty. If the chain is too short, then you will be preventing the flapper from sealing properly over the hole.


Inspect the flapper for damage. Look if it is bent, warped, or damaged. If it is then you should replace the flapper. Also inspect the flapper chain. Adjust the flapper chain if it looks too long or too short. You want about a 1/2″ of slack in the flapper chain. A new flapper ranges between about $5-$10. It is fairly simple to replace in about 15 mins. Just be sure to purchase the correct flapper for your flush assembly.

Clogged Inlet Holes

The inlet holes line the underside of the rim of the toilet bowl. These holes are what allow the water from the tank to enter the bowl when you flush. They are designed to allow the water to rush in at an angle, creating a swirl effect when you flush. Hard water can cause these small holes to corrode with mineral deposits.

To tell if your inlet holes are clogged, flush the toilet and watch the water coming into the toilet bowl. It should be flowing in evenly from all the way around the toilet bowl rim. If it seems like some are flowing better than others, then you might get a small mirror out and use that to actually visualize the holes. You might be surprised by the amount of mineral build up they can get!


Regular toilet bowl cleaning with a toilet scrub brush will help keep those inlet holes clean. However, the best way to prevent mineral deposits on any of your fixtures or plumbing equipment is to install a whole home water filter system. You will love the way your water feels and tastes when it has been properly filtered, and you will extend the life of all your plumbing equipment. This includes toilets, water heaters, dishwashers, shower heads, and fixtures!

A Deep Down Clog

Most of these issues are related to small problems with the toilet equipment. As you can see, they are pretty easily resolved. Even a new float assembly will only cost you around $15-$20. However, if these are not the problem, then you might just have a major clog somewhere deep in the line. You can try clearing out a clog in the line using an auger. Make sure to use one designed for toilets so that it doesn’t damage the porcelain. These can clear out a blockage a few feet down the drain.

Sometimes, unfortunately, you can end up with a clog deep in the line or in the main drain. Something like this will definitely need the help of a professional plumber from Always Affordable Plumbing. We can inspect your drains and find the blockage. Then we can make a recommendation on the best way to clear it. This might be a professional auger that can reach much further than a handheld. We might also recommend hydro jetting instead. Hydro jetting is the best way to clear your pipes of a clog, as well as clean them out of years of build up and gunk.

Fix That Toilet Issue Today

If your toilet won’t flush then follow our easy tips on figuring out the problem. If it just isn’t helping, or if you prefer to stay out of it, then just give us a call! CALL AAP TODAY and ask about our Discount Plumbing Membership program, which includes an annual home plumbing inspection!!!


Service, quality, and affordability for our customers always comes first. Call today to schedule your appointment!

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Find out more about Always Affordable Plumbing (Lic. #1003782) by calling:

SACRAMENTO VALLEY: (916) 970-0188

SOLANO COUNTY: (707) 410-3182 

Toilet Won’t Flush | Best Sacramento Plumber Explains