A slow-flushing toilet is a peculiar kind of household annoyance. It’s easy to ignore, at least for a while, because the toilet is still working. Sort of. So you flush a few extra times, watching the water swirl sluggishly, and spend that time wishing you could conjure back that full lion’s-roar-of-a-flush again.
Instead of wondering, check out these three reasons why your toilet is flushing slowly.
Maybe all you need is a quick and easy fix. If jiggling the flusher isn’t helping the situation, take the top off your tank and check your flapper and chain. Has the chain broken? Is the rubber flapper sealing correctly? These parts are easy to adjust, fix, and replace.
The first thing you probably did when faced with a slow-flushing toilet is grab a plunger. That’s a good instinct, because one possible reason for the slow-down is an obstruction in the drainage pipe. You may want to check your theory first by pouring a bucket of water directly into the bowl. If that water drains fast, there’s no obstruction and your problem lies elsewhere. But if the water drains slowly, then give the plunger a go. If the bowl continues to drain slowly, use a drain snake to try to dislodge or pull up the clog.
Mineral Build-Up In Your Toilet
If the bucket test proved that there’s no obstruction in the drainage pipe, you probably have a mineral build-up problem.
Even if you don’t live in an area of the country with hard water, mineral deposits like calcium and magnesium carbonates can accumulate over time in your toilet and tank. They can clog the small holes under the rim where water coming from the tank swirls out in the bowl. Without that strong rush of water to create a siphoning pull in the drain, the flush won’t be as powerful as it should be.
You can clean these holes multiple ways. The simplest is to use dishwater soap and a scrub brush, poking the bristles into the holes under the rim to dislodge any mineral clogs. For a more complete clean, consider putting a lime and calcium remover into the tank’s overflow pipe for a good fifteen minute soak before flushing. You should see results immediately.
If none of these efforts restore that strong, satisfying swirl to your toilet, don’t hesitate to call your trusted plumber.