Sydney Emergency Plumbing

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CALL 24/7

1800 862 565

How to Fix a Toilet That Won’t Flush

Having a toilet that won’t flush is a massive inconvenience and one of the most unpleasant plumbing problems. It’s embarrassing to come out of the bathroom and tell others that the toilet will not flush. Not to mention, toilets that don’t flush properly are a sanitation hazard.

Continue reading to discover why your toilet might not flush and how to fix it.

Possible Issues and Solutions

  • Blocked Toilet
    A blocked toilet is most often caused by people flushing the wrong type of things down the toilet, including non-flushable wipes, paper towels, too much toilet paper or even things like toys if you have young children. A blocked drain or toilet is the most common toilet issue that plumbers come across.
    A toilet auger or plunger is the best way to clear a blocked toilet. You may need to repeat using one or both tools until the toilet flushes again. You can also use hot (but not boiling) water, which can loosen some blockages.
  • Broken Flush Button
    When a toilet stops flushing, people may be surprised to know that the problem could be with the flush button. Is the flush button sticking or not going down all the way? Does nothing happen when you press it? It could mean that the button mechanism has become disconnected and needs to be reattached.
    If you have a toolbox on hand, you can reattach the flush button.
  • Enough Water
    Toilet water can be found in the cistern. Make sure that there is enough water (it should be just below the overflow tube). If there is not enough water, it could be why your toilet isn’t flushing.
    It is also possible for the overflow tube to crack and leak water into the bowl, which can also stop your toilet from flushing.
    Check that the water shut-off valve is turned on. The valve can be found jutting out from the wall. Turn it counterclockwise and wait a few seconds before flushing the toilet.
  • Check the Flapper
    The flapper is the seal for the flush valve, which controls the way the water flows into the toilet bowl. If the flapper is broken or damaged in some way, it won’t be able to close and stop water from releasing into the toilet, which results in a running toilet and a low water tank level.
    Issues with the flapper can mostly be resolved by buying a new one at a hardware store. Follow the installation instructions, and your toilet should be as good as new.
  • Clogged Inlet Holes
    The water flows into the toilet bowl via small inlet holes that are located on the underside of the toilet rim. Sometimes, these little holes can become blocked, which will only allow the toilet to be flushed a little but not fully. Some signs of clogged inlet holes include a slowly draining tank and water flowing straight down from the toilet rim.
    Use a toothpick, toothbrush or a piece of wire to clean the inlet holes and remove any buildup or blockages. Alternatively, you can pour bleach and water into the overflow tube in the toilet tank and then flush the toilet after letting it sit for a few minutes.
  • Issues with the Drain Line
    If there are multiple blocked drains in the home and your toilet isn’t flushing properly, it could mean that you have a drain line problem. A drain line moves waste to the septic tank. It can become blocked due to waste buildup or tree roots growing inside it.
    The best way to resolve a drain line problem is to call a professional. Blocked drain plumbers will be able to clear the drain line and allow all the pipes and drains to work efficiently again.

While a non-flushing toilet may seem like a huge ordeal, try not to panic! There are quick, easy solutions that you can try to resolve the issue yourself. Our plumbers are also always on hand to offer their assistance if nothing seems to be working.

Sydney Emergency Plumbing offers residential, commercial and industrial plumbing solutions and services to customers across Sydney. With over 30 years of plumbing experience, our friendly and reliable plumbers pride themselves on always providing high-quality services – from clearing blocked drains to installing a new water heater. We specialise in 24/7 emergency services to ensure we’re always on hand to fix plumbing emergencies.

Call us at 1300 115 429 or visit our website: to learn more.

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