Toilet not flushing strong Or all the way: Easy Fixes

It can be annoying when a toilet doesn’t flush well as it will leave residues in your toilet. Fixing flushing problems takes a bit of know-how. In order to troubleshoot strong toilet flushes, you need to know what’s causing the issue. Here are a few common causes of a weak flush.

You will need gloves and goggles to do this work. We also recommend towels, buckets, and workshoes. Toilets can be dirty and it is always a great idea to wear some old clothes when you work on them. 


Check the flushing system

Check the flush to see if it is working properly. Maybe there is some dirt between the two parts. You shouldn’t push a flush too hard or deep as it can break. Just check if it is working properly and it is connected correctly. 

If your flush is made out of plastic, it is possible that someone pushed it too hard and that it is broken. Repairing a flush itself is quite straightforward.

Toilet tank troubleshooting

Check if there are leaks around the toilet tank. This can be done by looking around and using your hands to see if you feel wet spots. It is possible that a small hole leaks some water and this can reduce the power of the flush.

It is possible that some dirt has gathered in the toilet tank and this is slowing the water down.

Standing toilets can be opened by taking the lid of the tank. Sometimes you can just lift the lid. In other instances you might have to remove the flush button before you can do this.

Hanging toilets have to be opened by taking the flush panel off. 

First, shut off the water supply by closing the valve. Once this is done, we can empty the tank and make sure there aren’t any leaks. Next, clean the tank, the bottom of the tank, and the bowl.  

First, check the toilet bowl for any clogging and remove any that you find. Next, clean the toilet flapper with a brush. The flapper lets water flow from the tank into your bowl. It is also possible that the chain on it has broken. For hanging toilets, it is possible that a plastic part has broken. 

 Finally, check the washers, seals, and rubber gaskets in the valve for any leaks and replace any parts that have worn out. If your troubleshooting doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace the toilet valve.

If the toilet tank is leaking, you can try to seal it up again. In most instances, it is better to replace this part though. Cracks can get bigger if they aren’t repaired.

Toilet  water supply

Check if the toilet tank fills well when you flush. The toilet tank should hold about 1.6 gallons for newer toilets and about 7 gallons for older toilets. Check if the water supply line is not leaking and if it adds enough water to the tank.

The valve next to the toilet should also be open. If it is halfway open, it can slow the water flow to the toilet.

It is possible that there is not enough water pressure or no water is being added to the tank. Check if all the valves are open and if the water pump is working properly. A lot of people use rainwater to flush the toilet so check if your tank is clean if this is the case in your installation. 

The amount of water that has to be in the tank can be adjusted so check if the system that regulates this is working properly.

Toilet tank of a hanging toilet after the wall panel has been removed. The green and white sticks are the flushes. Image by PlumbingInstantFix, all rights reserved.

Also, check if the water supply pipe is not leaking. You can do this by feeling the area around the pipe to see if you feel moisture. You can also use a moisture meter or infrared camera. Detecting leaks is not always easy to do and plumbers have special equipment for this. 

The toilet bowl is dirty

After a few years, it is possible that dirt accumulates inside the toilet bowl. This makes it harder for water to flow and it is possible that it won’t flush in certain parts of the bowl. To fix this, we can try to use a small prying tool under the toilet bowl rim.

Toilets have a lot of connections. It can be quite difficult to remove them. Image by PlumbingInstantFix. All rights reserved.

Be careful when you do this as toilets can be fragile. If this doesn’t work, you will probably have to remove the toilet to get it properly cleaned or replaced. If you have hard water, it is possible that scale is building up. You can use vinegar to remove this. 

Removing a toilet is not an easy task as you have to make sure that the rubber rings are properly connected again. Toilets are quite fragile as well. For most people, it is best to contact a plumber to get this fixed. 

Once the toilet has been removed, we can inspect it to see if there is dirt or another problem. In most instances, it is possible to remove a lot of dirt with small brushes.

It is also possible that the toilet is flushing properly but there is a problem with the drains. We have discussed clogs before HERE.

If there is a clog in the toilet drain, it is possible that the toilet backs up and that water won’t flow away. This is often quite easy to fix with a plunger but sometimes more advanced tools such as water jets and cameras are needed to fix the problem. 

The toilet is not installed correctly.

It is possible that the toilet is not level or that it is missing pieces. This can affect how well the toilet flushes. Sometimes plumbers use parts of different toilets together and this can cause problems if they don’t fit well. 

Most modern toilets have 2 buttons. The biggest button should provide more water and create a stronger flush. If this is not the case, it is possible that there is a problem with the connections inside the toilet. If the tank got pushed around, some parts can break or move and this can cause issues when you try to flush. This is especially true after an earthquake. 


If your toilet is causing a strong flush, you’ll need to troubleshoot a few potential causes before you can fix the problem. First, clear any debris from the toilet tank. Also clean the tank, the bowl, and the siphon tube. If your troubleshooting doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace the toilet.

A plumber can help you with this as well.