If you flush your toilet but the water simply swirls, there could be an issue with the tank or the drainpipe.
One common cause of this issue is a broken flapper. A flapper is a rubber or plastic lid that opens when you flush the toilet.
1. The Float Ball Is Too Low
Toilets need a lot of water to flush properly, and it’s possible that your tank is not filling up to the level needed.
One way to check is to open your tank lid and look at the float ball inside. This is a large rubber device that floats upwards when water rises in the tank.
If the float ball is too low it could be causing your toilet to swirl but won’t flush. This can be caused by a number of different issues, but the most common is that it is too low to allow enough water into your tank to flush.
To fix this problem, you will need to raise the float ball so that it is higher than the refill line. There is usually a float adjustment screw on the valve, and it’s easy to turn it clockwise to raise the float ball.
2. The Flapper Is Broken
If you hear your toilet flushing but it won t flush, the flapper may be broken. It is a small rubber piece that seals off the intake hole for the tank so water can drain into the bowl.
A toilet flapper is a simple and inexpensive part to replace. You can find one at a hardware store or home improvement center.
The flapper connects to the flush handle via a thin metal chain or nylon string that you should disconnect if you suspect it is broken. You can also remove the lid of the toilet tank and check for signs of wear or damage to the flapper.
A broken flapper can cause the toilet to run all the time, wasting up to 200 gallons of water every day. Flappers often deteriorate from age, mildew and mold, and the use of drop-in bowl cleaners that contain chemicals that can wear down a flapper over time.
3. The Lift Chain Is Broken
The lift chain is a crucial part of your toilet. It helps connect the toilet handle to the flapper valve in your tank. It is also responsible for delivering the right amount of water into the toilet bowl every time you flush.
If the lift chain gets broken, it could cause a variety of issues. One of the more common is that it won’t deliver enough water into the toilet bowl, which will cause the water to swirl and eventually not flush.
However, there are several things that can be done to fix this issue. In addition to replacing the flapper, you may need to adjust the length of the chain.
First, check that there isn’t any slack in the chain. If there is, this will cause the flapper to be stuck open when you push the lever. To correct this, slip a different link over the hook at the lever end of the chain. Leave about an inch of extra length, but don’t let the line dangle too long.
4. The Water Level Is Too Low
If you can’t figure out why your toilet is not flushing, the water level could be a problem. The ideal water level in a toilet tank should sit one to two inches below the fill valve and/or overflow tube, ensuring that water is delivered to the bowl during flushes.
Keeping the water level at this optimal height will prevent clogs in your toilet and ensure that sewer gases aren’t escaping into your home. Most toilets indicate the ideal water line by a mark inside the tank, typically an inch below the top of the overflow tube.
Adjusting the water level in your toilet isn’t as complicated as you may think. Simply turn the screw on top of the float stem directly on top of the fill valve in a clockwise or counterclockwise motion, making sure that you only turn it more than one full rotation at a time.