toilet flushYour toilet’s flushing power is one of those things you take for granted. You don’t realize how much it matters until you’re standing in the bathroom, flushing more than once, or uselessly pushing the handle.  There are some simple ways to get better performance, both by increasing the water flow and increasing the water pressure in your toilet. Plus, by getting a better flush from your toilet, you can actually help prevent larger problems down the road.

1. Open the Water Valve

Somewhere near the base of your toilet or near your bathroom wall is a little valve that allows water to flow back into the tank. Sometimes flushing trouble starts when you accidentally tighten that valve, or a curious toddler gets a hold of it. So simply check that the valve is all the way open. Remember, turning left loosens and turning right tightens.

2. Clean the Rim

When you clean the toilet bowl, it’s easy to skip the underside of the rim. Plus, you can’t see it, so you can’t tell when it needs a deep clean. However, the water actually enters the bowl from little holes in the rim, so if the rim has calcium build-up, it can block the flow of water.

You can check the rim using a small mirror. If you find it needs cleaning, apply some heavy-duty cleaner, the kind made to remove calcium build up or soap scum. If you have a less powerful cleaner, you’ll just have to scrub more. Afterwards, flush the toilet and watch as the water flows in faster.

3. Clean the Tank

Another often-forgotten spot to clean is the toilet tank. If calcium builds up here it can affect the water pressure and flow. Cleaning it out is simple, here’s how:

  • Step One: Turn off the water valve and flush the toilet, to empty the bowl.
  • Step Two: Pour in vinegar, or a vinegar solution with equal parts water, all of the way up to the water line.
  • Step Three: Leave the vinegar for 20 to 30 minutes. It will eat away at anything that has built up in the tank.
  • Step Four: Turn the water valve back on, and flush the toilet a few times to clear out the vinegar.

4. Adjust the Float

When you were cleaning the tank, you might have noticed that the water line was a little low. If you’re mechanically minded, you’ll be able to adjust the float so that the water will rise higher in the tank. This increases the water pressure in the toilet.

There are many different types of floats in modern toilets. You may find a lever, a ball, or a cylinder with a clamp or valve. Turn valves to the left to open them. Open clamps, raise them, and close them again. You can always see if it worked by flushing the toilet, the water should fill higher.

If your toilet still isn’t flushing to your satisfaction, it’s possible you have a clog within the plumbing, or a mechanical problem. Contact us at Simpson Plumbing and we can tell you if you have a problem, or simply need a new toilet type. You can get pressure-assist toilets that have very powerful flushes.