Understanding Your Toilet System

Everybody has had an issue with their toilet at some point in their lifetime, whether it is a blocked toilet or a toilet that refuses to flush

Toilet with Lid Taken Off

Everybody has had an issue with their toilet at some point in their lifetime, whether it is a blocked toilet or a toilet that refuses to flush no matter how many times you pull the handle! So, here is a blog post aimed at making you more familiar with your toilet system so you can take care of the common issues that we tend to experience with our toilets.

Firstly, it is important that you know how your toilet works so familiarise yourself with the process below as a basic start to getting to know your toilet with our easy 5 steps;

* A main tip is to remove the lid of your cistern (the top of the back part of your toilet) so you can see into the cistern and visualise the below process*

  • When you flush the handle the chain in the cistern lifts the stopper (also called the flapper valve or tank ball).
  • Water then flows through the flush valve opening straight into your toilet bowl.
  • The water from your tank forces the waste water which was in the toilet bowl through the toilets trap and down into the main drain (you will notice the waste water leave through the drain and be replaced by new fresh water)
  • Once the tank is empty, the flapper valve closes and the fill valve/ballcock refills the cistern tank with water clear.
  • When the tank is full, the float ball shuts off the fill valve/ballcock and your toilet is ready for its next flush.

Toilet not flushing?

There are a multitude of reasons why your toilet may not be flushing correctly so here are a few checks that you can do to see if you can diagnose why your toilet is not flush and potentially fix the problem yourself!

Overall you will need to remove the lid of the cistern to check the flush handle, the lift chain and the stopper whilst checking all of their connections to determine if they are all functioning as they should be. Below you can find a few common issues that can occur which stop your toilet from flushing:

  • The flush handle may be too loose, too tight or just broken. (Adjust accordingly)
  • The lift arm may be skewed or broken.
  • The connection between the lift arm and the stopper may be out of place or broken. -(if out of place then simply readjust)

If your toilet is flushing but not completely then there a few things that can be wrong:

  • There may be too much slack in the flush chain
  • The components in your toilet may not fit appropriately or are the wrong size/model
  • The water level in your tank may be too low -(Depending on the type of toilet you have, you may be able to adjust the water level by rotating the fill valve or by tightening/loosening the screws of the float valve as require)

If you cannot repair the issue yourself then it may be time to call your expert local plumber to attend and fix the issue for you.


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