Why doesn’t my toilet flush like it used to? - Sav-On Plumbing - Glendale, AZ Plumbing and Water Heater Service

Why doesn’t my toilet flush like it used to?

If your toilet’s flush has faded and is leaving waste in the bowl, here are several factors that contribute to this problem.

  • Age of the toilet – As toilets age, they become plugged with scale buildup from the water that flows thru them. This leads to what is known as a “sluggish flush.”
  • Use of toilet tanks cleaners – Particularly the kind that are installed inside the toilet tank. These cleaners/sanitizers plug the holes around the rim of the toilet, leading to the sluggish flush.
  • Low water level in the toilet bowl – A low water level in the toilet bowl makes the toilet seem like it almost wants to flush, but runs out of “oomph” before it completes the flush cycle.
  • Refill tube is not attached to the flush valve – When this happens, the toilet bowl itself does not properly refill, leading to another half flush.
  • Flapper is not staying open long enough to flush the toilet – When flappers get old and degrade, they often don’t stay open long enough for the water in the toilet tank to empty into the toilet bowl.
  • Jet hole at the bottom of the toilet is plugged – The jet hole is often hidden from view, but most toilets have one. The jet hole in the bottom of the toilet emits a stream of water that pushes the debris down the toilet. When the jet hole becomes plugged, the water does not get the flush headed down the toilet, resulting in a flush that just circles the bowl, without going down. (Hence the term, “My life is circling the toilet bowl.)
  • Flush handle is not properly adjusted – In this case, the flush handle doesn’t lift the flapper high enough, or keep it open long enough for a proper flush to occur.


Frequently, toilets have several of these problems that contribute to a faulty flush.

A toilet doesn’t have to be tuned like an expensive sports car, but it does have to have all its components working properly, and in harmony, for the toilet to flush correctly.

At Sav-On Plumbing, we’ve been working on toilets for decades and are familiar with vintage toilets as well as the new high-efficiency toilets. If your toilet isn’t flushing like you think it should, call us. We can restore your toilet’s harmony.


Some other posts you may like:

Repairing a Leaking Toilet!

Things We Have Pulled out of Toilets

Five Tips to Prevent a Clogged Toilet


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