How to Fix a Toilet That Won’t Flush (Updated March ’20)

It doesn’t get much worse than a toilet that won’t flush. Clogs are one thing, though an unflushable toilet may seem a bit harder to fix. With the right set of knowledge; however, this doesn’t have to be the case. In this article we’ll take a look at several of the main issues that cause a toilet to stop flushing in the first place, as well as the most simple solution to each problem. After diagnosing your toilet, the rest is a breeze. Let’s get that toilet fixed once and for all.


This is the most common cause of flushing issues in toilets. In fact, it is one of the major causes of all toilet-related issues. The main problem here is that you really don’t always know when your toilet is clogged. Even if you haven’t use it recently and even if it doesn’t seem clogged, this is not always the case. The best method of figuring out whether or not this is the root of your issue is to go through trial and error. By going through all of the standard techniques of unclogging a toilet, you can get a pretty good idea as to whether or not it’s clogged in the first place. If a plunger, a snake and a bunch of some sort of liquid plumbing agent doesn’t make a difference, you can be fairly (though perhaps not one hundred percent) sure that your toilet isn’t clogged. Before going through these steps; however, take a look at the next section. You might find the answer is a lot more simple than you think.


This solution is so simple it might sound too good to be true. Often times, toilets are rendered unflushable because something in the back as become dislodged. Fixing it may sound like a fairly complex ordeal, though this couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s what you’ll want to do.

Open the lid covering the back portion of your toilet. Upon doing so, you’ll come across a bunch of mechanical parts you’ve never seen before. Not to worry, you won’t have to worry about most of these parts. Instead, look for a chain of some sort. The chain in question should be very thin, slightly thicker than what you’d expect to find on a necklace.

You’ll also notice a rubber stopper which regulates your toilet’s flushing mechanism. Once you see it, lift it up. If water rushes through the hole it was protecting (or if it is already in an upward position and there is no water in the toilet), you can be sure you’ve found what you’re looking for. You should also see the aforementioned chain connected to this stopper. If it isn’t, simply connect it by slipping the chain through the stopper’s designated hole. If the toilet has no water, you’ll notice a rubber flotation device in the toilet which you can simply pull up on. Upon doing so, water will rush back in. Once it is filled up to the point where the flotation device stays in an upright position on its own, the problem has been solved.


If you’ve tried both of the above solutions to no avail, be sure to read through them again and make sure nothing went wrong in the process. If you’re sure the job was done correctly, your only option may be to call a plumber. After fixing your toilet, they can likely tell you what went wrong in the first place, ensuring you may prevent the issue from happening again.

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