Is Your Toilet Draining Very Slowly? Identify the Most Common Causes and Learn How to Fix and Unclog Your Slow Draining Toilet
Is your toilet draining too slowly and causing frustration? If so, you’re not alone. Slow-draining toilets are a common plumbing issue that various factors can cause. While some problems can be fixed with simple DIY solutions, others may require the assistance of a professional plumber.
As a plumber, we understand that plumbing problems can be a hassle and may require urgent attention. However, before calling in a professional, it’s always worth trying DIY fixes to save you time and money.
Let’s explore the most common causes that make toilets drain improperly and review solutions you can try at home. We’ll also help you identify if your plumbing problem may require the help of a professional plumber.
5 Of the Most Common Causes of a Very Slow-Draining Toilet
Several things may be causing your toilet to drain unsuccessfully. Whether it’s a clogged drain or a malfunctioning flapper, we’ll help you identify the issue and find solutions that will help fix the problem.
Clogged toilet trap
The toilet trap is a curved pipe inside your toilet that prevents sewer gases from entering your home. However, it can become clogged with toilet paper, debris, or foreign objects. A clogged trap could be the culprit if your toilet bowl fills up and doesn’t drain properly.
Blocked vent pipe
A vent pipe is a vertical pipe that allows air to enter the drainage system and balance the air pressure. If the vent pipe becomes blocked, air can’t enter the system, causing the water to drain slowly.
Main sewer line clog
The main sewer line carries wastewater from your home to the municipal sewer system. An obstruction in the pipes or a clog somewhere in the sewer line can affect all the drains in your home to back up, including your toilet. If you notice water backing up in other drains, it’s a sign of a main sewer line clog.
Low water level in the tank
If you’re experiencing a drain issue with your toilet—your tank may have a low water level. Not enough water in your tank can cause your toilet to flush poorly and drain slowly. You can adjust the water level in the tank by adjusting the float or fill valve.
To identify if your toilet flapper is functioning correctly, take the top off your tank and flush it. Does the tank drain as it should? If not, the flapper may be malfunctioning. The toilet flapper is the rubber valve that seals the toilet tank and allows water to flow into the bowl. If the flapper is worn or damaged, it can cause water to leak from the tank, reducing the amount of water available for flushing.
How to Fix a Toilet That’s Draining Slowly
A slow flushing toilet can be sure to several issues. Luckily, there are a few things you can first try to fix the clog before you call in a professional plumber. The following steps are good tips to help you understand how to fix common toilet drain issues.
Put your plunger to work for faster flushing
If your toilet seems to have a drain-related issue, you should first use a plunger to remove the blockage. A simple but effective solution to many common toilet issues is a plunger! It’s best to use a plunger with a flange designed to fit tightly within the toilet drain opening. Next, cover the drain hole with the plunger and push and pull up and push down several times to create suction. Finally, flush your toilet, and check to see if the blockage has been removed and water is moving more freely.
Try a toilet auger to cure a slow drain
If the plunger doesn’t work, use a toilet auger to help your toilet drain more quickly. Insert the auger into the toilet bowl and rotate the handle clockwise until you feel resistance. Then, push the auger down the drain until it clears the obstruction. This should help to alleviate your slow flushing toilet and help water flush through the system more quickly.
Clean out the toilet trap to solve the problem
To clean the toilet trap and help your toilet drain quickly, turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush the toilet to remove most of the water in the bowl. Use a toilet brush to remove any visible debris from the trap. You can also use a bent coat hanger or a toilet snake to remove stubborn blockages.
Double-check the vent pipe to fix flush issues
This is a DIY to be done only if you have safe access to your roof. If so, carefully check for visible obstructions, such as leaves or debris. Then, use a garden hose to flush out the vent pipe from the roof to clear any blockages.
Try a bucket of hot water
One of the best ways to get a slow-flushing toilet to work more quickly is to try the hot water bucket technique. To test this solution, carefully pour boiling water into the toilet bowl and add a little bit of liquid soap. Let this sit for about 15 minutes, and then try flushing.
If you’ve tried all the DIY solutions to help your toilet drain or flush successfully, it’s time to call a professional plumber. They have the tools and experience to diagnose and fix the problem.
Tips to Prevent and Fix a Slow-Draining Toilet
Dealing with a slow-flushing toilet can be a frustrating experience for anyone. If you’re tired of slow drainage issues with your toilet tank and want to know how to fix this issue, TMG can help. First, explore how to prevent problems impacting a successful flush. We’ll also help you identify if your plumbing problem may require the help of a professional plumber. So, let’s get started and learn how to unclog your toilet.
Stop clogs before they start
Too much toilet paper can cause clogs in the toilet trap when you flush your toilet. Use only as much toilet paper as you need to prevent overfilling the tank and avoid clogs.
Maintenance is key
Regular maintenance on your toilet can prevent clogged toilet drains and ensure your toilet can flush effectively. Check for leaks, clean the toilet trap, and inspect the flapper and fill valve for any signs of wear or damage. All of these things can help you stay ahead of toilet drain problems.
An automatic toilet flusher can help prevent clogged drains by ensuring the correct amount of water is used to flush the bowl. An auto-flush system can also help conserve water, ensure water is draining smoothly, and save on utility bills, too.
Purchase a low-flow toilet
Low-flow toilets are designed to use less water than traditional toilets, which can help prevent slow-draining toilet problems. They are also more environmentally friendly and can save on water bills.
Be careful what you put down the drain
Pouring grease down the drain can cause buildup and clogs in your pipes, including your toilet. Instead, properly dispose of grease and cooking oil by letting it cool and solidify before throwing it in the trash.
Try a filter screen
Using a drain screen in your toilet can catch foreign objects that might cause clogs in the trap. This is especially helpful if you have children in the home who might accidentally be flushing toys or other items down the toilet.
Know When to Call a Pro
A toilet draining slowly or not flushing correctly can be an incredibly frustrating—and often expensive—plumbing problem. But flushing issues can usually be fixed with the right tools and a little know-how. However, you may sometimes discover that you can’t manage the problem alone. When this happens, it’s time to call in a trusted plumber.
Remember to perform regular maintenance on your toilet and follow the tips to prevent issues from occurring in the future. Then, if all else fails, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber to diagnose and fix the problem. Your toilet will flush correctly again with help from experienced professionals like TMG. Don’t hesitate to contact the TMG service team for all your plumbing needs. Based in Mystic, CT, we supply plumbing support and services throughout the surrounding areas and are always ready for any 24-hour home or business plumbing needs!