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Easy Solutions for a Slow Draining Toilet

Slow draining toilet can be quite a headache. Not only are they annoying, they can also cause repeated clogging, waste unnecessary water and create unwanted odors. If you have toilets in your home or commercial business than drain slowly and clog up frequently, then take advantage of the following tips listed below.

Low Water Level

One of the first things you need to figure out when you’re trying to fix a slow draining toilet is whether or not the water level in the tank is high enough. If the water level is in your toilet is too low, then you’re going to want to make necessary adjustments to the floater. If you are unsure on how to do this, you’ll want to refer to the owner’s manual. It extremely important that you don’t damage the floater rod in the process. This could lead to other unnecessary problems.

Adjust the Flapper

Another issue that can cause a toilet to drain slowly can be a result of the flapper closing quicker than it typically should. In fact, the flapper in your toilet must raise to a specific level to drain the water in the tank. If you’re having problems, determine what the length is of the flapper chain. By decreasing the length of the flapper chain, more water can flow in and drain the tank at a much faster speed. However, it’s important to remember that your flapper chain will work best if it has a slack of 0.6 to 1.2 cm (¼ to ½ inch) in length.

Clogs and Blockages

If the two reasons listed above are not the cause of your slow draining toilet, then the problem might be a clog. After something gets stuck in the sewer pipe, the vent pipe or even the trap, a blockage will form and result in the slow draining of a toilet. When a situation like this arises, you can either call an expensive contractor or you can try and apply these simple solutions.

First, check the trap by using a large container or a bucket to pour two gallons of water into your toilet. You will need to pour this into the trap fairly quickly. Once you pour the water into the trap, if all you get is a little bit of swirling but no full flush, will want to try plunge your toilet in an attempt to remove the blockage.

If that does not do the trick, then you will want to locate the vent pipe. In most situations, you’ll find this pipe just above the area of the toilet. Once you locate this vent pipe, you can use a plumber’s snake by pushing it down the pipe. Another option is to use an expansion nozzle to blow water through it to force out whatever it is that’s stuck.

Mineral Buildups

Overtime, your toilet’s rim feed holes can get blocked by calcium and other minerals causing a slowly flushing toilet. If this is what’s going on with your toilet, it may be time to it invest in a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner. Follow the steps below to properly use toilet bowl cleaner.

  1. First, it’s important that you completely turn off your water source. This will prevent any unnecessary problems.
  2. Drain the water from your tank.
  3. Locate the flapper and tie it open with a piece of string or twine.
  4. While the valve is open, pour about a cup of toilet bowl cleaner down it and then leave it be for about 60 minutes or a little more.
  5. Once you’ve let your toilet sit for about an hour, take a half cup of your toilet bowl cleaner and mix it with a half a cup of water. Once mixed, take the solution and pour it down the into the flush valve opening. It’s important that you shut the flapper immediately after you pour the solution.
  6. Go ahead and turn your water back on and give your toilet a few flushes. This will rinse your toilet out.
  7. If the drain cleaner you’re using doesn’t seem to help get rid of the build-up, you can also use a small tool such as a screwdriver or a pick to clean it out as well. You’ll need to put some muscle behind it, because as time goes by, the build-up can be quite hard.

Helpful Tips in Preventing a Slow Draining Toilet

Nothing but toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Some people think paper hand towels are fine to flush, but they’re not. In fact, it’s best if you use a thinner type of toilet paper to prevent blockages. If you do find yourself with a blockage, either refer to the section above or call an experienced plumber.

Refrain from pouring grease down your toilet. Pouring grease down the toilet can cause unnecessary build-up which overtime can harden and cause blockage issues. By simply letting your grease harden and be thrown away in the trash, you’ll decrease the chance of expensive plumbing repairs.

Another good tip includes using your drain snake on a regular basis. If you don’t own one, it’s recommended that you invest in one for your own convenience. Using a drain snake will help prevent your toilet from draining slowly or becoming blocked. If you’re willing to spend the money, you can invest in a drain snake with a camera. This allows you to see the inside of your pipes and any blockages that might be taking place.

Pouring drain cleaners down the flush valve opening from time to time is also a good decision. This is another effective way to prevent a slow draining toilet or a potential blockage. Chemicals will not hurt your pipes and therefore are recommended to be used on a regular basis.

The last tip involves updating and replacing old parts and pieces. This includes the flapper, the flapper chain, the float ball, the flush valve and any other part that looks like it may need to be replaced.

Take advantage of these tips on how to fix and prevent a slow draining toilet, and you’ll not only keep your toilet working great, you’ll also save yourself a lot by avoiding the need to call a plumber.

Kevin L. Sharp