Our modern toilets work with gravity to accomplish a flush. The weight and pressure of water held in the tank are released to wash away our waste, down the sewer pipes and out of our homes. It is a procedure we don’t think about until the flush loses its strength. Then it is our main concern.
Is your toilet starting to show signs of decreased flushing? We can’t do anything about the age of our plumbing system. Still, if there are noticeable issues with the ability to fully disperse the contents of our toilet bowls, there are things to remedy the situation.
Here is how to increase toilet flush power.
1. Clear any clogs
The first thing you should check is for a blockage in the system. A full flush should take around two minutes, from turning the handle to filling the tank. Any more, and there is an issue. With a clog, the wastewater can’t drain as fast or at all, resulting in a noticeable decrease in efficiency.
Test your system by pouring a large pot of water directly down your toilet. Pay attention to how fast it empties. If it is slow, you have a clog that needs fixing from a plumber. There are a variety of methods for unplugging a toilet, including:
- Boiling water
- Vinegar & baking soda
- Commercial cleaner
- Plumbers snake
Use one or more of these methods to clear any blockage and see if that resolves the flushing issue.
2. Check the bowl flush holes
Around the top inside the toilet bowl rim are holes designed to shoot out water during flushing. This helps wash away debris and add water to the bowl for a complete flush. If there is a blockage in these holes, it will decrease pressure and minimize the flushing effect.
Get up and personal with your toilet bowl and closely examine these holes. You can use a coat hanger or small implement to unclog and clear them. Use baking soda and vinegar to help dissolve mineral buildup or foreign debris. Once this is done, flush the toilet several times to wash away loose material from the location. Then see if this has resolved or improved the situation.
3. Adjust the water level
Sometimes the problem is simply a matter of a lower amount of water volume during the flush. The less water you have to do the job, the lower the ability to completely wash away the waste.
Take the lid off the back of the tank and check out the current level. Flush the toilet and watch how the system operates and refills. A mechanism fills up the tank, and this level can be adjusted. Inside is a float that triggers the operation of a fill tube, and you can adjust it to raise the water level before it shuts off. Now your tank will have increased water volume.
Ensure the level doesn’t rise over the overflow tube before it stops, which will cause your toilet to keep running. Try your flush again and see how it goes. This should resolve the issue.
4. Tank buildup
Over time, hard water deposits minerals throughout the system, from your water lines to the sewer lines. In your tank, minerals increase and get washed into the waste lines as you flush. Other dirt and debris find their way into the tank as well, and this grime can also affect the flushing power as it makes its way into the bowl and down the drain.
Once or twice a year, you should do a full clean-out of your tank. This involves shutting off the water supply and flushing the tank, so it drains empty. Then you need to start cleaning off the sides of the tanks and all the moving parts and equipment inside them. Pour a bleach container into the tank to help dissolve the minerals and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before flushing it away.
Now turn your water back on and flush a few more times, scrubbing the sides if needed. Bleach is a toxic chemical so ensure that the room is well ventilated and you wear gloves and a face mask if necessary.
5. Toilet age
We all know what age can do to our bodies. Time starts to catch up, and your movements and function may diminish. The same ones for your toilet. If your toilet is 25 years or older, it may be an issue of old age. This senile throne has done a good job over the years, but it may be time to bring in a younger model.
The power to flush is your toilet’s top objective. Use these methods to help it out, and then you can return to sitting proudly on the throne without worrying about the world.