When your toilet isn’t flushing properly, it can be both frustrating and inconvenient. However, many common flushing issues can be diagnosed and fixed without needing to call a plumber. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you troubleshoot and resolve the most typical problems that prevent a toilet from flushing correctly.

My Toilet Won’t Flush Properly, What Should I Do

Steps to Fix a Toilet That Won’t Flush Properly

Step 1: Check the Water Level in the Tank

  • Inspect the Tank: Remove the lid from the toilet’s tank and look inside. The water level should be about one inch below the top of the overflow tube. If the water level is too low, your toilet may not flush properly.
  • Adjust the Fill Valve: If the water level is low, adjust the fill valve. Most fill valves have a float that controls the water level; adjust it by turning the adjustment screw or sliding the clip along the rod.

Step 2: Inspect the Flushing Mechanism

  • Flapper Check: Make sure the flapper (the rubber piece at the bottom of the tank that lifts when you flush the toilet) is not worn out or warped. If it is, water can leak from the tank into the bowl without flushing.
  • Handle and Chain: Check the flush handle and the chain connecting it to the flapper. If the chain is tangled or the handle is loose, it may not lift the flapper correctly. Adjust the chain length so that it has just a little slack when the handle is at rest.

Step 3: Unclog the Inlet Holes

  • Clear Mineral Deposits: Mineral deposits can clog the small inlet holes under the rim of the toilet bowl, affecting water flow. Use a small mirror to inspect these holes, and clear them with a piece of wire, a small brush, or a commercial descaling product.

Step 4: Verify the Flush Holes and Syphon Jet

  • Check for Clogs: Ensure that the main flush hole and the syphon jet at the bottom of the toilet bowl are not blocked. A blocked syphon jet can severely impact the flushing power of the toilet.
  • Cleaning: You can clean these holes using a small wire or needle to remove any blockages.

Step 5: Test the Flush

  • Flush the Toilet: After making adjustments, flush the toilet to see if the problem is fixed. This will also help in verifying if the tank refills to the correct level.
  • Listen for Unusual Noises: Any odd noises during the flush or refill might indicate issues with the fill valve or other internal mechanisms.

Step 6: Look for Leaks

  • Check for External Leaks: Make sure there are no leaks between the tank and the bowl, or from the toilet base. Water on the floor or continuous sounds of water can indicate a leak that needs attention.

Step 7: Call a Professional Plumber

  • Persistent Problems: If you’ve tried these steps and the toilet still isn’t flushing properly, it might be time to call a professional. Some issues, especially those related to the internal plumbing or deep clogs, are best handled by a plumber.


A toilet that won’t flush properly can usually be fixed with some simple adjustments or minor repairs. By following these steps, most homeowners can diagnose and fix common issues. Remember, regular maintenance and prompt attention to problems can prevent bigger, more expensive issues down the line. If the problem persists after you’ve tried these solutions, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber to ensure your plumbing remains in good working order.

Is your toilet not flushing correctly? Don’t let a minor inconvenience turn into a major problem! At Pinpoint Plumbing, we specialise in fast and efficient toilet repairs to address any issue, from blockages to leaks. Save yourself the stress and potential cost of ongoing problems with our expert plumbing services. We offer a wide range of solutions, including eco-friendly and low-flush toilets that not only fix your current issues but also improve your home’s efficiency. Serving areas in and around Western Sydney, we’re here to ensure your toilet repairs are done quickly and correctly. Call Pinpoint Plumbing today and say goodbye to your toilet troubles!