family plumbing awareness

family plumbing awareness

What Does It Mean If The Toilet Tank Won't Drain?

Patsy Peterson

Toilet tanks typically do their job without much intervention from homeowners, but when something goes wrong, it quickly becomes obvious. If you've noticed that your toilet tank isn't draining into the toilet bowl or is draining very slowly, chances are you have an issue with your plumbing that requires attention from a professional. Here's what's probably going on and what you should do about it.

The Mechanism

If you haven't taken a good long look at the way the inside of your toilet tank works, then here's a refresher.

Toilet tanks rarely develop problems because they only handle water. A small plunger raises when you flush the toilet, allowing the water to drain out of the tank and into the bowl. When you release it, the plunger seals the hole again, allowing the toilet tank to fill up with water for the next usage. However, when something gets in the way of the hole, it can cause a toilet tank to drain slowly or not at all.

How It Can Slow Down

As stated, nothing should be going through your toilet tank except water, and at the most, a toilet cleaner that activates whenever you flush the toilet. That's the sole limit of what should be going down your toilet. So unless you have a child or a prankster who has purposefully put something in the toilet bowl and flushed it, chances are you have a natural problem that needs fixing.

What's meant by this is that the plunger itself that allows the toilet to drain and fill may be the problem. Most of these plungers are made out of rubber or similar materials that can withstand exposure to water for a very long time. But nothing is fully permanent, and if a plunger is in use for many years, it can start to fall apart. This means that shreds of rubber could have ended up going down through the toilet tank and may have clogged up the exit.

What to Do

In this instance, there's not much that a homeowner can do. Standard tools like plungers won't do any good at clearing the blockage, so it's best to call a plumber for help.

Your plumber will run a snake or other tool down the toilet to determine if there's a blockage. If there is, they'll either break it up and flush the toilet repeatedly to ensure that it's no longer in the way, or they'll extract it from the hole. In either situation, your toilet should immediately start to run correctly.

From there, if it's determined that the plunger was the problem, the plumber will replace that for you as well so that it no longer falls apart and slows down your toilet. Contact a plumber in your area for more information.

This is a minor issue that can be fixed very quickly by a plumber. If you're concerned about it happening again, ask them for their recommendation on how often you should change out the plunger in your toilet bowl.


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family plumbing awareness

Keeping your home's plumbing system in good working order is a family job. Have you taught your kids what should never be flushed down the toilets or poured down the drains? Do your kids know what to watch for to know that there is a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed? If your kids know what to look for, they will be less likely to contribute to making a minor plumbing problem more serious. This blog will show you things that you should teach your kids so that everyone can work together to protect the entire plumbing system in your home.