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Despite decades of engineering advancements, the occasional toilet flushing problem hasn’t been
solved. Fortunately, this problem can often be addressed quickly by figuring out why the toilet won’t flush and utilizing the proper fix.

Here are a few basic DIY tips for fixing a toilet that won’t flush.

Check the Water Shut Off Valve
Before you check anything else, make sure the water shut-off valve is on all the way. Sometimes, friction caused by a vigorous cleaning or a nearby object pushing against the valve can move it into the off position, preventing water from flowing into the tank. If the valve isn’t on all the way, it only leaves a flush or two before the water level ends up too low for the toilet to function correctly.

Clogged Pipes
A clogged toilet pipe is the most common reason toilets don’t flush properly. Clogging is usually caused by attempting to flush too much toilet paper and other items like hair, wipes, feminine hygiene products, etc. Using a toilet plunger, perform short, quick “plunges,” ensuring that you don’t let air enter the plunger cup, breaking the suction. You could also use a toilet auger, inserting the end into the toilet’s drain hole and moving it around.

Still nothing? Check Inside the Tank
Carefully remove the toilet tank lid and check to see if the flapper (shaped like an inflated balloon) is causing the backup. If the flapper looks damaged or warped, replace it. Also, check the lift chain to ensure it’s attached to the lift arm correctly and the flapper is located at the base of the flush valve. Adjust or detangle the lift chain as needed. If necessary, adjust the length of the lift chain for a more suitable connection, leaving sufficient length so that the flapper can completely close.

Toilet Still Won’t Flush?
If your toilet still isn’t flushing, it’s time to call a professional. Hiring a plumber doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a costly bill. There are plenty of minor issues an experienced plumber can address without a lot of hassle or financial strain.