Why Is My Toilet Not Flushing All the Way?

One of the most frustrating experiences is when the amenities in your home malfunction and do not provide you with the services you need. This could be a dripping tap, clogged water pipes, a lack of hot water, a lack of water in general, or even a faulty flush.

The frustration of repeatedly trying to flush your toilet only to see the water stubbornly remain, or not flushing at all, can be incredibly stressful. It often leads to taking your irritation out on the flush handle, exerting all your strength on it. If this is happening — stop right now. Continuing to do so can only break the flush mechanism and lead to a worse problem.

These emotions arise from curiosity and confusion about why your toilet won’t flush. So, let’s work together to explore some reasons for this issue. To learn more about possible reasons why this might occur, continue reading for our explanations on why your toilet is not flushing.

Faulty flapper

If your toilet isn’t flushing properly, it might be because the rubber flapper in the tank isn’t working right. This valve’s job is to let water flow into the bowl when you flush.

But if it’s worn out or doesn’t fit right, it can stop sealing correctly and let water leak into the bowl slowly. This means there isn’t enough water for a full flush. A flapper that’s not aligning or is too rigid might not open all the way either, which also messes with the flush.

To fix this issue, check the flapper for damage and make sure it’s moving and sealing as it should. You might need to replace the flapper, but don’t worry; it’s an easy and affordable fix to get your toilet flushing well again.

Keeping an eye on your toilet. Swapping out parts like the flapper when needed will help keep it working well for a long time. If this part is broken, ask a professional like Birnie Plumbing & Drains to help you replace it.

Broken chain

Your toilet might not be flushing properly due to a broken chain inside the tank. This chain is vital as it links the flush handle to the flapper and lets the flapper lift to start the flush.

A broken or wrongly attached chain can mess up the flush, making it weak or partial. Also, if the chain is too long or short, it could cause the flapper not to close correctly, which would lead to water constantly leaking into the bowl, or it could stop enough water from being used when you flush.

To fix this, open up the tank and take a look at how the chain is attached to both the flush handle and the flapper. If you find that it’s broken, get a new one and make sure you give it just enough slack so the flapper can both lift fully and create a good seal.

Getting the length right and making sure it’s securely connected to both the handle and flapper will help your toilet flush strongly and efficiently.


If a clog has formed, this might be another reason for your broken flush. The trapway, a crucial S-shaped pipe in the toilet’s base, is the conduit for waste to travel from the bowl to the sewer line.

Over time, your toilet can get clogged with toilet paper, sanitary items, and other objects that shouldn’t be there. This can block the passages and make it hard for water to flow when you flush, leading to a frustratingly weak flush and ineffective waste removal.

To fix a clog, roll up your sleeves and use either a plunger or a toilet auger. With some persistent pressure and a bit of plunging or twisting action, you can break up the blockage so your toilet flushes like it should. Remember to regularly check for clogs and keep your toilet in good shape to prevent these issues from cropping up again.

Low water levels

The water level in your toilet tank plays a very important role in properly flushing your toilet bowl. This is because it provides the force necessary for a powerful flush. If the water level is too low, insufficient water may create the suction and force needed to effectively clear the bowl.

To address this issue, homeowners can remove the tank lid and inspect the water level. Ideally, the water should be just below or at the overflow tube. If the water level is inadequate, adjusting the fill valve can raise it to the appropriate level, ensuring a more efficient and complete flush.

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