It’s an absolute pain to have a toilet that isn’t functioning as it should, so chances are if you’ve got a slow draining toilet, you’re looking to remedy that as soon as possible. There are several useful methods for fixing a slow draining toilet depending on what the problem is. Try these nine solutions for how to fix a slow draining toilet, and perhaps you’ll get your toilet back to functioning normally in no time.
1. Use a plunger
If your want to understand how to fix a slow draining toilet, you may just have a partial blockage that needs a good plunging. Before going into any of the more intricate or difficult methods, try this one out. It may be just the trick you need to get your toilet back in tip-top shape.
2. Call a plumber
Before you try any other method in the list, you could just call a plumber to help you figure it out. Make sure to give them as much information as you have about the issue to save time, and let them know what methods you have and have not tried.
3. Fixing the flapper
The flapper is that little piece of rubber connected to a chain that sits at the bottom of your toilet tank. This mechanism is what keeps the water in the tank and lets it out when needed. If the chain is not tight enough, however, the toilet will not flush properly.
In the case of a slowly flushing toilet, perhaps the chain is too long, and the flapper is not lifting up enough or for long enough. To adjust the chain, simply unhook it from the arm at the top of the toilet and connect it to a different loop in the chain.
4. Flushing out debris
If your tank is slow to fill up, it could be a problem with debris that has built up over time. This is a common issue, and a relatively easy fix. Simply remove the top off of the fill valve. This is done by holding onto the main body of the fill valve, and twisting the cap off. In the bottom of the cap there is a seal which can collect debris over time. Clean this off by using a soft brush and water and scrape any remaining debris off with a screwdriver if necessary.
5. Replace the seal
If cleaning the seal doesn’t work, the seal may need to be replaced. It is an easy fix that doesn’t cost much. To change the seal, simply pop the old one off using a screwdriver and place the new one on. However, if it is not the only part of the fill valve that is looking worn out, it may be better to just replace the entire part.
6. Replace the fill valve
Replacing the fill valve is still not an extremely expensive fix. For under $30 you can replace the entire part, ensuring that all components are running properly. This part should be fully replaced every four or five years anyway, to ensure your toilet continues to function effectively.
7. Flushing out the toilet
Using a few fairly common ingredients, you can flush out your toilet to dislodge any debris or residue. First pour a bucket of hot water directly into the toilet bowl, followed by a toilet-friendly drain cleaner. Follow the directions on the bottle for the correct amount.
Next, pour CLR or dish soap into the overflow pipe in the tank of the toilet. Wait ten minutes, then flush the toilet. If you originally try with dish soap and it doesn’t work, you may want to try a second time with CLR as it can be slightly more effective in some cases.
8. Check the toilet wax ring
The toilet wax ring is used to pull waste down the sewage pipe and block the smell of sewage from coming up. This part is typically meant to last the lifetime of the toilet, however it may need to be replaced from time to time. If you smell the sewage, that’s a good sign that replacing the wax ring will solve your problem.
9. Muriatic acid
This is a more extreme measure and can be very dangerous if not done properly. Empty the toilet as much as possible by turning off the water and flushing, then using a sponge, plunger, or other method of removing the rest of the water.
Use some kind of clear plastic to completely cover the bowl of the toilet, then use a plastic funnel to pour the acid into the overflow tube located in the tank of the toilet fast enough that it gets where it needs to go, but be sure not to spill. Cover the overflow tube with a piece of plastic and secure it. Wait for an hour then test it. Repeat the process as necessary. Do not use this method if you have a septic system.