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How to Fix a Slow Flushing Toilet: Step-by-Step Guide

by E Cavendish 06 Feb 2024 0 Comments
How to Fix a Slow Flushing Toilet: Step-by-Step Guide

Table Of Contents:

How to fix a toilet that flushes slow

Is your toilet flushing way too slowly, or not clearing properly? A slow flushing toilet needs to be attended to as ignoring the problem can lead to the toilet becoming completely clogged, which is not something you want to happen.

Troubleshooting a Slow Flushing Toilet

1.Inspecting the Toilet Tank Water Level

The water level in your toilet tank plays a crucial role in flushing efficiency. Lift the tank lid and look for the vertical tube in the center, part of the toilet flush valve. The water level should be about half an inch below the top of this tube. 

If it's too low, adjust it by locating the fill valve or ballcock at the side of the toilet bowl. Loosen the retaining clips or screws and raise the fill valve or ballcock to increase the water level. Flush the toilet to ensure the level is correct.

2.Checking the Water Inlet for Sediment

If the water level is not the issue, sediment buildup in the water inlet might be causing the problem. Put on waterproof gloves and clean the water inlet to remove any sediment. This can improve water flow and flushing efficiency.

3.Dealing with Blockages

fix toilet blockage

When it's neither the water level nor sediment, there might be a blockage in your toilet. Try using a plunger to remove the blockage. 

If you don't have one, use a mop or coat hanger with a plastic bag secured at the end, which can act like a plunger. 

Sometimes, a stubborn obstruction may require a toilet auger, a tool with a flexible cable that can dislodge and clear the blockage.

DIY Fixes for a Slow Flushing Toilet

1.Hot Water and Dishwashing Liquid

toilet flush

  1. Boil a gallon of water on the stove.
  2. Remove the water from the stove just before it fully boils to avoid damaging the toilet.
  3. Pour two cups of dishwashing liquid down the toilet drain.
  4. Allow the dishwashing liquid to sit in the drain for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, pour the hot water into the toilet drain.
  6. Let the hot water sit in the drain for another 30 minutes.
  7. Finally, flush the toilet. This method can help break down buildup in the pipes and improve flushing.

2.Cleaning Jet Holes

toilet flush

  1. Examine the toilet bowl rim for jet holes, which are small openings around the inner rim.
  2. Use a toilet brush with an under-rim lip brush or find a suitable alternative like a wire coat hanger, a straightened paper clip, or a small hex key.
  3. Scrub the jet holes with vinegar or dishwashing soap to remove mineral deposits.
  4. Ensure thorough cleaning to restore proper water flow.

3.Using a Plunger

fix toilet blockage

  1. Put on rubber gloves for hygiene.
  2. Place the plunger's seal over the toilet drain hole, ensuring a tight fit.
  3. Begin plunging slowly and steadily to create suction.
  4. Continue plunging for about 30 times, allowing the plunger to work effectively.
  5. Flush the toilet to check if the problem is resolved.
  6. If the issue persists, repeat the process for additional attempts.

Repairing and Maintaining Your Toilet

1.Adjusting the Fill Valve and Flush Valve

Properly functioning fill valves and flush valves are essential for a well-flushing toilet.

 If your water level adjustment didn't work, it might be time to inspect and adjust these components. 

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your specific toilet model. Adjusting them correctly can restore your toilet's flushing power.

2.Replacing a Faulty Flapper Valve

Toilet flapper valve repair

If your toilet continues to flush slowly despite other efforts, the flapper valve might be the culprit.

 The flapper valve controls the flow of water from the tank to the bowl. Over time, it can wear out or become misaligned, affecting flushing performance. 

Replacing a faulty flapper valve is a relatively simple task and can significantly improve your toilet's efficiency.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Slow Flushing Toilets

To prevent future slow flushing issues, adopt these preventive measures:

1.Use Toilet-Friendly Cleaning Products

Avoid harsh chemical cleaners that can damage your toilet's finish and plumbing. Opt for safe household products like lemon juice, dishwashing liquid, baking soda, or vinegar to clean your toilet. These products are effective at keeping your toilet clean and preventing mineral buildup.

2.Choose the Right Toilet Paper

toilet paper

Believe it or not, the type of toilet paper you use can affect your toilet's performance. Some toilet papers are more prone to causing clogs. Consider using biodegradable toilet paper, which is designed to dissolve easily in water.

3.Regular Toilet Maintenance

Regularly clean your toilet and inspect its components for signs of wear or damage. Promptly address any issues to prevent them from worsening and causing slow flushing.

4.Keep the Toilet Seat Down

Leaving the toilet seat down when not in use can prevent foreign objects from accidentally falling into the toilet and causing blockages. This simple habit can save you from future slow flushing problems.


In conclusion, dealing with a slow flushing toilet may seem daunting, but armed with the right knowledge and a few DIY fixes, you can effectively address this issue. By tackling the root causes, such as blockages, water levels, and maintenance, you can restore your toilet's functionality and prevent future disruptions. Don't let a sluggish toilet disrupt your daily routine—take action and learn how to fix a toilet that flushes slowly and  enjoy hassle-free flushing.

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