Why is My Toilet Draining Slowly?
You’re used to your toilet giving off that definitive roar when you flush it, but now there’s only the slightest whimper as the water goes down the drain. Yep, you’ve got a problem, and you need to figure out why your toilet is draining slowly before the problem gets worse.
Understanding the importance of a quick flush
To understand why you should care if your toilet flushes quickly, you have to understand how a toilet works. When you flush your toilet, the flushing action triggers an influx of water from the tank into the toilet bowl before traveling down the main waste line. The speed with which this water travels actually creates the suction required for the actual flush.
And the slower this water moves, the more ineffective the flush — and the larger your problem becomes.
Common reasons for a slow-draining toilet:
- Obstruction in the pipes. When a toilet is slow to flush, the natural response is to reach for the plunger. In many cases, this is the right course of action. A firm seal with the plunger can often dislodge this obstruction, but if the problem persists, it may be something else.
- Mineral deposits in the toilet tank. Is the tank filling completely with each flush? Over time mineral deposits will build up in your tank, and if the buildup is severe enough, the float can close earlier than it should. If this appears to be the case, simply clean the area to remove the buildup. You may also have to replace a couple of parts.This may include the flapper, as mineral deposit accumulation can hamper the seal your flapper provides. Fortunately, replacing your flapper isn't too expensive.
- Problem with the flushing mechanism. Open the bowl to check the flapper — the rubber piece located on the bottom of the tank. If the flapper is not sealing tightly, or if the chain connected to the flapper is broken, it will affect your flush.
If your problem doesn’t appear to be based on any of these possibilities, it’s time to call an experienced plumber. A professional plumber can help troubleshoot your problem and get your toilet back to normal as quickly as possible.