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Diagnosing a Toilet Problem

We asked one of our Atlanta plumbers, Steve, if he could tell us a little about diagnosing a toilet problem or clogged toilet. Steve explains to us several different reasons for why your toilet may not be flushing. “Believe it or not, a toilet is in delicate balance. The level of water in the tank, the speed of the water, the air pressure in the system, and the amount of water in the bowl all have to be perfect for a modern toilet to flush,” said Steve, one of the most experienced plumbers in Atlanta.

To troubleshoot your toilet, pour three gallons of water into the bowl. If the water does not go down within the first couple of seconds, your problem is a clog blocking the flow. This can be fixed by using an auger to break up the blockage. Make sure you auger has a rubber sleeve around its cable so you don't scratch the porcelain finish in the bowl. If the water returns to normal level, try flushing, three attempts. If it does not work during any of the tries, something is wrong with the pipes below the toilet. If the flush works during every attempt, then the problem may be between the tank and the bowl.

Sometimes if something is blocking the jets that puts the power into the flush, not as much force is going to be exerted to push the objects through the pipes.  Finally, if nothing is clogging the jets, something might have flushed down into the rim and is blocking water flow. The fix for this is, unfortunately, a new toilet.

If the fill valve inside of the toilet tank is not filling properly, the toilet will not flush every time. You can tell if this is the problem by “removing the small 1/8 inch plastic tube that goes above the water level from the fill valve on the left side of the toilet tank to the center overflow tube and see if there is a fast stream of water entering the tube and refilling the bowl,” explained Steve.

If your toilet is not holding the two gallons of water that should be idle in the bowl when flushing, the toilet will not flush properly. What you should do is very slowly (so it doesn’t flush) pour about ½ a gallon of water into the bowl so it will rise to its maximum water volume. “If the flapper does not stay floating long enough, the water will only partially leave the tank and the required amount of water to flush the toilet will not enter the bowl,” described Steve. You may buy a new flapper to fix this problem. If you still can't diagnose the problem, call in the best Atlanta plumbers, Roto-Rooter, for a free estimate. You can reach them at 404-209-0001 or schedule a service call on-line by clicking here.



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