Why Do I Have To Flush My Toilet Twice?
There are several reasons why you are having to flush your toilet twice:
- A problem with your toilet flapper
- A clog in your drain pipe
- Toilet bowl rim holes are clogged
Let's go over each one of these situations.
Problem With The Toilet Flapper
The most common reason you have to flush your toilet twice is that there is a problem with your toilet flapper. Because the flapper is normally made out of rubber, it can certainly deteriorate over time. This would certainly cause it to malfunction.
The solution is to simply replace the toilet flapper. Just follow these steps:
- Turn off the water to the toilet by shutting off the valve located on the wall near the base of the toilet. Turn it clockwise to shut it off.
- Then - flush the toilet and hold the handle down until almost all the water in the toilet is gone.
- Remove the old flapper.
- Replace it with the new one that you purchased at the hardware store.
- Turn the water to your toilet back on by turning the valve counter clockwise.
We recommend that you bring your old flapper to the hardware store so that you can replace it with the correct type and size flapper.
Clog In Your Drain Pipe
There are 4 ways that you can try to unclog your toilet's drain pipe.
- Plunger. Keep a plunger in every bathroom. The best types of plungers are the ones with a flange (they honestly work the best). Some people use the plunger and the clog is released, some people flush the toilet and immediately (I mean immediately!) begin plunging and this removes the obstruction.
- Baking Soda and Vinegar. If it happens that you do not have a plunger. Just drop one cup of baking soda into the toilet bowl. Wait a few minutes and then slowly pour two cups of vinegar into the toilet bowl. The combination will cause bubbles to erupt (hence the reason to pour "slowly"). Once you've finished pouring the vinegar, wait another few minutes and then flush. Hopefully this trick worked.
- Toilet Auger. As we said earlier - be very careful when using an auger (aka drain snake) in your toilet. You could end up causing more damage. If you're not sure of yourself using this tool or you think the clog may actually be too far down the drain pipe - give us a call. Read more about how to use a toilet auger.
- Soapy Hot Water. Another little hack you can use if you don't have a plunger is to pour hot water in a toilet bowl that has liquid soap in it. You want to put about a teaspoon of either dish soap or shampoo into the toilet bowl and then heat the water on the stove (but do not let it get to boiling) - pour it carefully into the toilet bowl. Wait a few minutes and then flush.
If any of these solutions do not work then we recommend you call in a plumber to assess and fix the problem.
Toilet Bowl Rim Holes Are Clogged
These rim holes in your toilet bowl can get clogged with mineral deposits - it's very common. The solution is to clean them.
- Mix one part bleach to 10 parts water.
- Remove the toilet tank's lid and pour this bleach solution directly into the overflow tube in the tank. It will be easier to do this with a funnel.
- Wait about 5 minutes and then flush the toilet.
- Use a mirror to inspect each of the rim holes in the toilet bowl and if they need to be cleaned - do so with a piece of wire. You should wear disposable rubber gloves to do this.
- Once any gunk is removed - use a commercial toilet bowl cleaner (or your own baking soda and vinegar cleaning solution) to clean under the rim.
- Make another batch of the one part bleack to 10 parts water solution and pour it down the overflow tube in the tank.
- Wait another 5 minutes and flush the toilet.
This procedure should completely clean out any bacteria and mineral deposits that were blocking those rim holes.
If you do not want to use bleach you can replace the bleach plus water solution with Distilled White Vinegar and instead of waiting 5 minutes, wait at least 2 hours or overnight before you flush.
How Can I Make My Toilet Flush Stronger?
If you don't have a low flow toilet but are wanting to try to get as much flush power as you can from your toilet:
- Make sure the toilet bowl rim holes are all cleaned out.
- Make sure there is not too much slack in the chain connected to your toilet flapper. The chain should only have about 1/4 inch of slack.
- The chain from the flush handle to the toilet flapper should be vertical, not slanted.
- You must have the right amount of water in the toilet bowl otherwise it won't flush properly. If you notice that your water level in your bowl is low - read on for information how to correct this.
Low Water Level In Toilet Bowl
- Low water level is normally caused by a leak in your Fill Valve.
- A leak in the fill valve causes a reduced water pressure as the water flows from the Fill Valve into the Overflow Tube.
- The solution is to replace the Fill Valve.
If you have any questions or problems with your toilets, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.