I know it’s easier for me to say don’t panic if your toilet won t flush when I’m not there right? The truth is although there are quite a few parts and processes in a normal household two-piece or single piece toilet, once you know how everything works you’ll see it’s pretty simple.
There are several problem areas, which could cause a clogged toilet and I think it’s easier to recognize the causes of you understand the basic anatomy of a toilet first.
My toilet won’t flush when I depress the handle? That’s a simple fix. The linkage is most likely broken that attaches the handle to the flapper. If those two things aren’t connected your toilet won’t flush unless you take the lid off and lift the flapper manually. Believe me I went to college, I think we lived for three months in our apartment before we fixed the handle. We just kept the tank lid off for convenience. Your toilet keeps running. Yes, having a problem with the flush valve can also lead to a perpetually running toilet. Two things can lead to this.
- Your flapper has deteriorated and is allowing water to flow into the bowl even when it is seated. In this case you need a new flapper.
- Your over flow tub is cracked and it’s allowing water to flow into it so the tank is perpetually filling. In this case you need a new overflow tube.
How to Plunge a Toilet
There are two basic type of plungers available the cup type plunger which is most often used on kitchen sinks, bathtubs and lavatories and the flange type plunger. The flange type plunger is designed to work on toilets. The head is tapered to fit inside the trap opening in the toilet to focus all pushing power into the trap. Using a cup type plunger for this application is super inefficient because the pushing power is so unfocused. You have to position the plunger over the trap perfectly to get any pressure and sometimes because of the bowl design you can’t use it at all.
When using the flange type plunger you may have to remove access water if the water level is too high in the bowl. If you don’t remove some of the water you may end up with a huge mess on the floor from all the water moving around during plunging.
So when you’re ready to start insert the flange into the trap and press down with two hands in a firm downward motion and continue until blockage is removed.