A toilet that won’t flush down fully, or a slow flushing toilet, often means a blockage has developed in the wastepipe, stopping water from travelling through cleanly. It’s important to fix this problem straight away, as blockages can put unnecessary pressure on pipes and cause longer-term plumbing problems. Besides, a smoothly flushing toilet makes for a much more pleasant bathroom for everyone.
Luckily, it’s not hard at all to clear a toilet whose flush is slow using our tips below. Here’s how to fix a slow flushing toilet in four easy steps:
- Turn off the toilet’s water supply and flush to minimise the amount of water in the bowl. This will make it much cleaner and easier to remove the blockage in one piece. Now is a good time to put on some gloves, too.
- Use a rubber plunger to remove large blockages. Hold the plunger with both hands, ensuring the rubber cup completely covers the entrance to the wastepipe. Plunge in and out rapidly to create a vacuum and drag the blockage out of the pipe. Have a bucket ready to scoop out whatever was stuck in there.
- Remove any remaining grime by applying some Domestos bleach under the rim and allowing it to work its way down the toilet bowl. The bleach will work to breakdown stubborn dirt and any remaining blockage you may not be able to see.
- For a more serious blockage, you may also want to use a specialised toilet blockage product. These contain ingredients intended to break down solidified blockages, and their thick consistency clings to it to help pull it away from the sides of the pipes. Bleach is a powerful chemical; so be sure to follow instruction on the bottle, wear rubber gloves, keep doors and windows open for good ventilation, and prevent the drain cleaner mixing with any other cleaning products.
Your once slow-flushing toilet should now be working perfectly – but how do you keep it that way? Here are a few handy tips to help keep toilet problems to a minimum.
- Provide a small pedal bin by your toilet for the disposal of sanitary items, cotton wool, toilet roll tubes and more. Nothing should be flushed down the toilet except toilet paper (and your own waste), and being able to throw away old tubes conveniently stops them being stashed around the toilet and accidentally falling in.
- Keep any shelves or windowsills around your toilet clear. It can be easy to knock things into the toilet and if they drift down the wastepipe they can cause a blockage.
- Clean your toilet regularly with a product containing limescale remover such as Domestos Zero Limescale. Built-up limescale can come loose and contribute to blockages.