If your toilet is not flushing properly such as having difficulty completely flushing waste or clogging easily you may have low water pressure or a low toilet water level. In many cases there is a simple fix to increase toilet water pressure to increase the flushing power of your toilet.
In addition to reducing the number of clogs and failed flushes you’ll also be reduce the number of flushes needed, potentially saving water at the same time.
Sometimes the problem of no water pressure in toilet flushes is due to water usage elsewhere in the building. Go and do a quick check around your home for running water from faucets, dishwashers, washers, hoses, and other sources that might be sapping your water pressure. Ever notice how sometimes in the shower the water flow drops low and gets cold? It’s usually due to water being drawn rapidly from the water line elsewhere.
Once you’ve insured all other sources of water use are minimized try flushing the toilet. If the toilet still seems to have low water pressure the and flush seems weak, you’ll need to get into some plumbing and go inside the toilet.
Before going into the toilet tank, locate the toilet shut off flow valve. This shut off valve is usually located under the toilet connected to a small water line. Turn counterclockwise to open the valve a little more. Do not open all the way as this could cause a leak. Flush again and if the pressure remains low proceed to the next step.
Lift off the toilet tank cover. Be careful as some toilets use solid ceramic or porcelain which can be heavy and easily broken if dropped. Look for a large rubber ball or oval shaped item connected to a metal or plastic arm. Trace this arm back to the internal water valve (a small pipe sticking straight up inside the toilet tank.
Take a small screwdriver and turn the screw right where the arm meets the pipe. Watch as you turn and the floater itself will raise or lower with the arm. Raise a few notches. Look at the inside of the tank and you’ll see discoloration which is the water line. Adjust the arm screw until the bottom of the floater is just below the water line mark.
On some toilets there may be no arm and instead a floater connected right onto the water valve pipe. With these designs you’ll want to gently squeeze a spring-based clip next to the floater and slowly move the floater up until it is just below the water line mark.
Leaving the tank lid off, flush the toilet. You’ll see the water rush out the bottom of the tank and fresh water pumped in from the water valve pipe. Wait a few minutes, as the floater raises it will reach the water line and trigger the shut off inside the water pipe.
What you have effectively done is increase the water pressure and flushing power by adding water to the toilet tank. If the floater is too low the shut off activates too soon and you have low water level in the toilet. You may need to adjust the floater level a few times to get the right water pressure amount. Do not adjust it so the floater bottom is above the highest water mark as this can cause overflowing.
Note that if the water seems to keep running without stopping and the floater hardly moves, the flap and seal at the bottom of the tank may be the problem. Reach down and lift the flap and gently readjust it so it fully covers the hole in the bottom of the tank. If the flap is torn, cracked, or missing the bottom seal it should be replaced.
Once the floater is adjusted and the low toilet water level has been corrected you can replace the toilet tank cover. Keep in mind this adjustment increases water usage a little as the toilet will use more water per flush but less flushes to complete the job.