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4 Reasons Why Your Toilet Won’t Flush All The Way and How To Fix It

The toilet is one of the fixtures in the house that you always expect to work flawlessly. However, when you least expect it, your toilet can start working incorrectly. One of the most common toilet-related complaints is that the toilet is not flushing all the way. If you have to flush your toilet more than once, or it simply doesn’t flush as it should, you might be sitting on a problem that may eventually grow bigger. Below, we discuss some of the reasons why your toilet won’t flush all the way and what you can do about it.

An Old Flapper

The flapper is a part of the tank that allows water to flow into the toilet bowl. Since a flapper is made of rubber, it can become old and warped over time. Therefore, it loses the ability to seal properly. When this happens, the result is usually that the tank does not refill properly and the flapper, which results in the toilet not flushing correctly.

To determine if the flapper is the problem, you need to examine the flapper for any signs of wear or tear and see if it seals tightly when closed. If it looks old and worn out, you can buy a flapper at your local hardware store and replace it. Flappers are cheap and can be replaced at home. You should drain your toilet and replace it with a new flapper.

Insufficient Water in the Cistern

A toilet works such that it releases the water from the cistern into the bowl when you flush it. Therefore, you may need a lot of water to ensure a successful flash. However, if there isn’t enough water, there will be a weak flush which results in the toilet not flushing all the way. An excellent way to know if this is the problem would be to look inside the tank. Usually, a line will show how full the tank should be. If the water in the tank does not reach this mark, it means you may need to get it fixed as there is insufficient water in the tank.

To solve this problem, you first need to determine if the water reaches the fill line described above. If the water does not, you will need to adjust the float by adjusting its position on the refill tube’s arm. Then, you will need to flush again to see if the problem is fixed.

A Clogged Toilet

Sometimes your toilet will not flush all the way because it is clogged. Usually, this happens mostly when there was too much toilet paper in the bowl before you flashed. Therefore, this is a common occurrence in a household where there are small children as they may leave excess toilet paper or other items such as wipes or even drop a toy in the toilet that may clog it. In cases where you have a partial clog in your toilet, you can use an auger or plunger to help you loosen up things.

Use a flange plunger as the cup better seals the toilet bowl. Alternatively, you can empty the toilet tank by flushing, then adding hot water to the bowl, letting it sit in the tank for some minutes, and flushing it. However, if your toilet clogs more often than not, you may need to do much more than unclogging it with a toilet auger or plunger as there may be a bigger problem.

Buildup in Inlet Holes

The inlet holes are located under the toilet bowl’s rim. These small holes are the conduit through which water reaches the bowl. Sometimes due to mineral buildup, you can find the holes clogged, which leads to a significant loss of water, which causes poor flushing. If you notice that the water flows straight down instead of diagonally, you could be looking at a problem of inlet buildup.

If you suspect the toilet jets cause your problem, it would be best to clean the jets with a small nail, toothbrush, or wire. You can use vinegar or heavily diluted bleach to do the cleaning. You can then use a mirror to check if any jets are still clogged and unblock them for a full flush.


Most of the reasons your toilet will not flush all the way are easily solved at home. However, some problems persist and may need more than a few adjustments to fix. If you notice a recurrent problem, it would be best to call Butler Plumbing Inc., a plumbing company in OKC as they better understand toilets and other drainage systems in the home.


Master plumber and owner of Butler Plumbing Inc.

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