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Why Won’t My Toilet Flush?

You push the lever on your toilet and you realize the horror: it refuses to flush. This can be a frustrating and often unpleasant experience. Why does this happen and is it possible to prevent it? Here are a few of the most common causes of this annoying issue.

Toilet Flushes but Bowl Doesn’t Drain

When you flush the toilet and everything appears to be functioning normally, only the water doesn’t drain from the bowl and instead it just continues to fill until it’s nearly overflowing, you’re more than likely dealing with a clog in your toilet’s drain line. This is usually caused by a mixture of waste, toilet paper, hygiene products, and other disposables being tossed down the toilet and flushed away. As a homeowner, it’s a good idea to remember: just because it’s out of sight, doesn’t mean it’s out of your plumbing. When enough builds up, it’ll prevent your toilet from draining, and leave you possibly dealing with a nasty mess.

Resolving this problem involves your old trusty friend, the plunger. Using your plunger, make sure you seal off the hole at the bottom of your bowl as much as possible, push down so the suction cup compresses, and then quickly pull upward. This creation of a vacuum causes a sudden jolt of reverse pressure in your plumbing line that can force the clog loose, where the pressure of the water behind it can then clear it away.

Lever Doesn’t Flush Toilet

If you push on the handle, but it feels light and nothing happens, then one of two things has occurred:

  • The bowl is empty and hasn’t refilled
  • The flapper has come disconnected from the handle

Pull the lid off your toilet tank and you can probably figure out which one is the problem you have.

When the bowl is empty, either the water tap that services your toilet has been turned off, or the fill valve has been jammed shut, preventing it from refilling after the previous flush. A quick jiggle of the float or ball valve should tell you what issue you’re having.

What is the Toilet Flapper?

Your flapper is a small piece of rubber that separates the tank from the bowl below until you press the handle, lifting the flapper and allowing water to rush down the tank drain and into the bowl. The handle and flapper are usually connected by either a string or a thin metal chain. Sometimes this can simply come untied or disconnected, which can be fixed by reconnecting the two. If the string or chain breaks, you may need to replace the flapper. This is a super-simple task that generally takes about five minutes and requires no special tools. You can find a new flapper from your local hardware store for about five dollars or so.

Your flapper can also tell you if you’re dealing with another, larger problem: poor water quality. If you touch the flapper and it leaves a black residue on your hand, this is an indicator that your water has a high quantity of chlorine, which is deteriorating the rubber stopper. That shouldn’t happen, and it’s a sign that you could find yourself dealing with other plumbing problems in the future. We strongly recommend reaching out to us and discussing a solution to your water quality issues.

If you’ve got a problem with your toilet or you need a new one installed, the plumbers at Dutton Plumbing can help! Call us at (844) 811-5449 to schedule your service today.

Why Dutton?

  • We Strive to Be At Your Home Within 60 Minutes of Your Initial Phone Call
  • We Charge by the Job - Not by the Hour
  • We Offer Only the Most Dependable Customer Satisfaction With Each Job Completed

Our Customers Love Dutton!

  • “ We had major main sewer problem in the front yard that took 7 working days to complete. Sean Goldate and his crew gave us very good service & advice on how to solve the problem. With their help and repair, we can now get back to enjoying our home.”

    Satisfied Customer

  • “I’ve used Dutton for any plumbing problems for over 20 years. This last time Larry Cohen showed up and fixed everything I needed to my complete satisfaction. Thanks Larry!”

    Satisfied Customer

  • “Armando was wonderful! I want Armando to be my plumber from now on!”

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  • “Matt D. He was so professional, kind and skilled. The whole neighborhood was very impressed with his whole appearance and professionalism.”

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  • “I fully recommend Dutton Plumbing and especially David Walker for all your plumbing needs!”

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  • “Thank you Dutton Plumbing for a job well done. Your technician was on time and very quickly unclogged my drain. He explained all of my service options with Dutton without undo pressure , which I appreciate greatly. ”

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  • “Bryan was professional and courteous and fixed the stopped up toilet very quickly.”

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  • “We just had a really great experience with Dutton Plumbing. We called them this morning because our regular plumbing service was to busy to come out. They were great and we have water again, yeah! One million stars for Dutton Plumbing!”

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  • “Excellent timely service & friendly professional plumbers”

    Tom Fowler

  • “We thank you for your good service and polite workers.”

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  • “Your technician, Oscar, was PROFESSIONAL, HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY. I will request Oscar for any future plumbing issues. I have now found a plumbing company I feel I can trust.”

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  • “Besides being very pleasant and knowing his job, Sam is a fast, efficient worker. Thank you again for good service, including installation of the water heater and the copper re-piping. You have excellent service people, and Sam is A-1, extra deluxe.”

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  • “I was amazed to see the work commitment and dedication both men displayed. Struggling to get the new heater in the confined cabinet was like a magician performing his magic. Hats off to two extraordinary workers!”

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  • “Dutton is the only plumbing business I will ever use, and I have told my family they would be a lot better off to go with Dutton. Brett gives Dutton a very good name. I will always ask for him. A job well done Brett.”

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  • “David fixed what was necessary and thoroughly cleaned up when he was finished. Dutton Plumbing has been very dependable when I needed them. Thanks again David!”

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