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3 Reasons for a Slow Flushing Toilet

Posted on: September 7, 2023

Running into clogged pipes is a regular part of living in any home. Sometimes the solution can be fixed with a plunger, and you can return to your day. Other times though, a weak flush can really throw a wrench in things. What causes your toilet to flush so slowly?

It’s pretty easy for almost anyone to identify when something is clogged. But a slow-flushing toilet might have you racking your brain, trying to figure out what’s wrong. Fortunately, there’s an expert plumbing team on your side with Bud Matthews Services. We can help you determine and solve the cause of a low-flushing toilet.

Hard Water Mineral Buildup

A slow water flow from any source typically means something obstructs your pipes. Hard water, for example, causes mineral deposits to build up inside your pipes. These mineral deposits make your pipes narrower and narrower over time so that toilet flushes (and all other drain activity) slow down when they should be whooshing swiftly away.

If you can’t find the clog, hard water might cause many slow drain problems, including a toilet that flushes slowly but isn’t clogged.

Low Water Level

Another issue could be the low water level. Toilets are designed to use the gravity of water falling down an open pipe to help sweep away each flush. If there isn’t enough water, there isn’t enough gravity or water pressure to cause an efficient flush. Low water levels can result in a slow or incomplete flush, even if your drains aren’t clogged.

Low water levels can come from problems in the toilet tank system, not filling up enough between flushes, or not releasing enough water with each flush. This could be an issue with the float, the chain, the seals, or some combination of the three.

Hard water can also cause low water levels if the channels that facilitate the flush have closed with mineral buildup.

If you’re ever uncertain about how to check your water levels, though, we have professionals who can help.

Drain Blockage

Partial drain blockage could also be the cause. A drain doesn’t have to be completely blocked for toilet issues to show up. Lost plastic toys or wads of hair and waste might be narrowing the drain pipe below the toilet without actually causing a clog that you can pull up by plunging. Things are always dropped down the toilet that aren’t supposed to be, especially in a busy household with small children and pets. The risk is also higher if there is not enough counter space by the sink.

A plunger might not be able to help get one of these partial blockages out of the unique S-shaped pipes at times.

How To Fix Slow Toilet Flush

How to fix a slow toilet flush? Start by inspecting the flush holes under the rim of the toilet bowl. Mineral deposits can block these holes, reducing water flow. Carefully use a wire to clear any obstructions. Next, check the water level in the tank; it should be about one inch below the overflow tube. 

Adjust the float mechanism if the water level is too low. Additionally, ensure the flapper valve is functioning properly and replace it if it’s worn out or doesn’t seal completely, as this can hinder water flow and flush power. Regular maintenance can prevent these issues from recurring.

Get Your Toilet Flowing Properly Again with Bud Matthews Services in North Carolina

The good news is that you don’t have to investigate too closely into why your toilet’s drain is running slowly. If your toilet flushes slowly but is not clogged, don’t worry. Bud Matthews Services has teams ready to clear the drain, diagnose the problem, and help you prevent a slow toilet from slowing down your family routine again. Whether you need a small plastic toy removed, descaling (removing minerals), or help with the toilet tank, call on us.

If you have a toilet that isn’t flushing correctly, we can help. From clogs to slow draining, from whistling toilet tanks to unusual watercolors, we’ll get to the bottom of your household plumbing concerns with friendly and efficient expertise. Contact us today for a consultation on how to get your toilet in ship shape and flushing with appropriate swiftness again.


Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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