Not Enough Flushing Power in the Toilet

Written by steven symes
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Not Enough Flushing Power in the Toilet
Several factors will diminish a toilet's flushing power. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A toilet that does not flush with much power may indicate a problem with one or more of the toilet's parts, leaving the toilet more vulnerable to clogging. Before contacting your plumber, try some remedies to increase your toilet's flushing power, whether it is a regular toilet or a low-flow model.

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Deposit Buildup

Just as with the aerators on your faucets and shower head, your toilet can also become clogged with hard water deposits, leading to diminished flushing power. When you push down on the toilet handle, water exits the tank and flows into the bowl through a series of small holes that sit just below the rim of the bowl. As the hard water deposits build, the water comes through these holes with less force and less volume. Use the end of a wire hanger to clear each hole in the toilet or a small wood dowel to avoid scratching the porcelain.

Acid to Clear Deposits

Instead of using a dowel or hanger to clear the hard water deposits from the holes in the toilet's bowl, or if you have used a hanger or dowel and the toilet still flushes weak, clear the deposits out using muriatic acid. Before you begin, ensure that you have enough ventilation in the bathroom by opening a window or running the bathroom's fan. Mix one part muriatic acid with 10 parts of water in a bucket, then pour half of the bucket down the overflow tube in the toilet's tank so you do not dilute the acid with the water already sitting in the tank. Let the toilet sit for at least 30 minutes, allowing the acid time to eat away at the deposits. Pour the other half of the bucket down the overflow tube, and wait another 30 minutes before flushing the toilet.

Low-Flow Toilets

The first generation of low-flow toilets, which were made between 1994 and 1997, by design have less flushing power than toilets made before 1994 and even low-flow toilets made after 1997, according to plumbing expert Tim Carter. If you are not sure what year your toilet was made, carefully remove the toilet tank's lid and set it gently aside. Look at the sides of the tank for a stamp, which will indicate the year the toilet was manufactured.

Low-Flow Fixes

If your low-flow toilet does not flush with enough power, implement some workarounds to increase the toilet's flushing power while still retaining the benefits of using less water per flush. Install or have installed PVC pipes instead of using the old cast iron pipes to provide water to your toilet. When your toilet needs a new part, forgo the aftermarket parts and opt for parts made by the toilet's manufacturer, helping to ensure the toilet operates optimally.

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