Here's What's Causing Your Slow Flushing Toilet And How To Fix It

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A slow-flushing toilet can be inconvenient and cause odors to linger in your bathroom. Fortunately, a few common problems that lead a toilet to flush slowly can typically be fixed in less than an hour without needing a plumber. Your toilet may be flushing slowly because it's partially clogged; to remedy this issue, you could use a plunger or a drain snake. Pouring either hot water and dish soap or baking soda and vinegar down the drain and flushing after 20 minutes could also unclog it.

Another problem with an easy fix is a toilet with a low water level. If this is the issue, open up the tank and adjust the level of the float so that more water fills the tank. Those with hard water may be dealing with mineral buildup on the jet holes, which could cause less water to fill the bowl. Scrub the jet holes with a stiff toilet brush dripped in distilled white vinegar to clean them. Install a water softener in your home for a permanent fix, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $6,000. 

Broken flush valve

There's also another issue you may be facing, and it's a broken flush valve. This is a pretty common problem, and if you have any experience with plumbing, you should be able to fix or replace the parts yourself. In fact, many say that this is the easiest toilet part to replace, and it will cost under $20 on Amazon. However, if you don't think you can do it yourself, call a plumber and expect the services to cost anywhere from $60 to $200.

The flush valve system is located inside the toilet tank and releases the tank water into the bowl when the lever is pressed. However, sometimes the chain can get stuck, which is an easy fix. Other parts of this system that may be causing issues include the flapper, the rubber ball or stopper that opens when the lever is pressed, the overflow tube, the lever, and the flush valve opening, all located inside the tank. 

Blocked plumbing vent pipe

Finally, your slow-flushing toilet may be caused by a blocked vent. Plumbing vent pipes are located on the roof and attached to your home's plumbing system, and their purpose is to reduce bad odors and bring air into the pipes so everything flows smoothly. If you've been noticing a sewer smell or if your toilet starts to gurgle when flushed, this may be the issue you're facing.

To fix the problem yourself, you'll have to be comfortable getting on the roof, as this is the easiest way to unclog a vent. Once at the vent, have someone inside the home flush the toilet while you place the palm of your hand against it. If you don't feel a suctioning sensation, the clog is somewhere in the system you can't easily reach. Use a plumber's snake and rinse with a garden hose to unblock it. You'll know it's unclogged when you feel it suction against your hand after the toilet is flushed. If all else fails, call a plumber to complete the job, which will cost anywhere from $100 to $200.