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toilet won't flush completely

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Jan 04, 2013, 04:45 PM
toilet won't flush completely
We have a toilet that we have to flush twice. It just won't empty out. I thought there was too much slack in the chain so I shortened it up. No better. Could it be that the flapper isn't closing completely? This is driving me crazy.
Jan 04, 2013, 05:00 PM
Do you mean the flapper opens when you lift the handle, but closes too soon to let all the water out of the tank? With the tank cover off, does the handle rod lift the flapper enough for fully open?

You are right that too much slack in the chain or strap is often the cause, but it could also be the design of the flapper itself.
There are also red adjustable flappers where you can sort of "dial" the time it stays up and out of the way, and then drops, to close off the tank for a fill. Adjustable for similar issues as yours.

If the flapper wasn't closing completely, then the water would just continue to run, and the tank would not fill to shut off the water.
Jan 04, 2013, 06:16 PM
It's usually because the chain has too much slack as mentioned, but could be other reasons.

Remove the lid and pull the chain up to cause a flush while counting to 5, then let go. If you're still not getting a good transfer it's something else.

Most likely you have a clogged stack vent, the one that protrudes out the roof. You may have an accumulation of leaves or twigs. Have that cleaned out especially if you have trees over the house. Drains can not drain well if the system does not get enough air.,r:5,s:0,i:105

Tile 4 You LLc. Troy Michigan
Certified KERDI & DITRA installer - Tile & Marble
Kerdi Shower Specialist
Jan 04, 2013, 06:52 PM
Bob Fleming
Remember, too, that newer toilets have two flush cycles: Push the lever once and it will flush liquids. Push and hold the lever until the tank empties and it will clear solids.
Jan 05, 2013, 02:18 AM
Chuck Steak
Another thing to consider is if the float in the tank is set too low and the tank is not filling completely and cannot supply enough water for a good flush. Just taking the top off and watching a couple of cycles may help you figure it out.
Jan 05, 2013, 12:47 PM
Does it flush completely with no solid waste?

Certainly check the float and make sure you're filling the tank to the recommended fill line. You can get by with a little less but significantly less water and the toilet won't flush properly.

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Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

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Apr 25, 2013, 01:15 AM