3 Tricks for Fixing a Slow Running Toilet
Do you have a slow-flowing or running toilet and are concerned you might need a toilet repair? A common cause of a slow running toilet is an obstruction in the bowl’s rim, where water is discharged. Toilets with this problem can quickly accrue deposits because the flush leaves parts of the bowl unwashed.
Figure out where the problem is:
Fill a bucket with a gallon of water and pour it quickly into the bowl. If it flushes slowly, you probably have a drain clog issue instead of deposit build up and it might be time to consider calling a toilet repair expert.
If your toilet flushes more slowly over time without backing-up, it is likely due to mineral deposits in the holes under the rim or, if you have one, the jet hole might be clogged.
The majority of toilets in a home drain into the same waste line, so if all of them flush slowly at the same time, there is probably an obstruction in the main line, not an individual branch line. You may have to talk with the family about what they are flushing down the toilet and call a plumber.
Tricks for Fixing a Slow Running Toilet
For slow water delivery and/or water that doesn’t evenly wash the bowl, you want to take a toilet brush and a pumice stone to clean the bowl, paying special attention to the area under the rim. There are small holes which dispense water into the bowl and they can get clogged with mineral deposits from your water. Cleaning them can be difficult and if necessary, use a pick such as the bent end of a wire coat hanger to clear the holes. Try not to scratch the porcelain, as this can encourage deposits to quickly form again. A small make up or dental mirror can help you see what you are doing under the rim. Brush the bowl and rim again and flush to see if it worked. If it did, you’re done. If not, try our other tricks.
Check the jet hole, which is the small hole near the bottom of the bowl. It serves to provide the suction to empty the bowl. In a normal flush, just as the bowl fully empties you hear a “glub” noise which is the sound of an air bubble because there is no more water to suck out. Next you want to check the jet hole for obstructions. First use a plunger to force out water to allow easier access to the jet hole. Now insert a finger into the jet hole and feel around for an obstruction. Go slow and be cautious because there could be sharp edges. You may find a small object that gets pushed up against the jet hole which can partially block it every time the toilet is flushed. No obstruction? One more trick to try.
If you want to exhaust your options before calling for toilet repair you can try one of the numerous lime, calcium, or hard-water deposit removers (like CLR) or even white vinegar. These products will need a longer “soak” period (try overnight) and follow-up with the coat-hanger pick. You may need to do this a few times to fix the issue.
If you are still dealing with a running toilet it may be time to call a professional plumber in Phoenix like Plumbing Masters at (602) 296-1127.