How To Fix A Slow Draining Toilet


Do you find yourself having to flush your toilet two or three times to avoid leaving nasty “presents” behind for the next person who uses it? A slow draining toilet can be the source of much bathroom frustration – fortunately however, it is usually not a difficult problem to fix.

Here are a few steps you can take to help you fix the toilet and get things moving again:

Determine what the problem is

To do this, take a large bucket (at least a gallon), fill it with water and pour it quickly into the toilet bowl. If the toilet flushes normally, you know the issue has to do with water flow. On the other hand, if it still flushes slowly, the cause is a blockage which may or may not be possible for you to fix on your own.

For Water Flow Issues

One simple reason why there might be problems with your water flow is that there may be an obstruction in one of the holes that releases the water. If you notice that the water isn’t “washing” the bowl like it should, then give your bowl a good cleaning – especially under the rim.

Using a mirror and bent wire coat hanger you can inspect the holes under the rim and clear them of any debris.

For a deeper cleaning, use a lime and calcium remover. Remember though to never mix household cleaners as this can be extremely dangerous!

If a cleaning does not solve the issue, look inside your tank to see if the mechanism requires replacing or adjusting. These parts are typically inexpensive and simple to replace for the average do-it-yourselfer.

For Blockage Issues

The simplest way to address a blockage is with rubber toilet plunger. In order for the plunger to work, there needs to be enough water in the bowl to completely cover the cone. If the water level is too high however, you risk it spilling over onto the floor when you press down on the plunger – if this is the case, remove some of the water with a bucket before you begin.

Put the plunger and place and pump it up and down a few times. After the last time, yank it up and see if the water flows properly down the drain.

Failing this, you can try using a plumber’s snake which works to clear the blockage when you push it down the drain while twisting in a clockwise direction. If you do not have a plumber’s snake, do not try to substitute other tools or objects as these could damage your pipes and make the problem much worse!  

Knowing when to call a plumber

Many people are hesitant to call a plumber because they think it will be too expensive or they feel that they should be able to fix the problem themselves. But if you have tried the above steps – or are not comfortable doing them yourself – and still have a sluggish toilet, it is best to call in the professionals at A. McKenna Plumbing.