10 Reasons Why Toilet Swirls But Won’t Flush

Many people complain that they can see swirling of water in the toilet bowl after pressing the handle, but it does not flush the waste material into the drain pipes properly.

Toilet swirls but won’t flush because of faulty toilet handles, chains, low-flow toilets, narrow pipe size, blocked vent pipes, insufficient water, clogged rim jets, poor installation, bad overflow or float valve, p-trap clogging, and worn-out flapper seal.

The problem ranges from low water pressure to insufficient water for flushing. Poor flushing can make your bathrooms dirty because of poop residues and make them smell bad.

Reasons Solution
Faulty toilet handle and chain Replace the chain or tighten the handle screws
Low flow toilets Shift to high-flow toilets
Pipes size Add pipes having 1.5 inches width
Blocked vent pipes Use sieve covers
Insufficient water Install water pumps
Clogged rim jets Pour vinegar through the overflow valve
Installation and design issues Keep toilets above the ground
Bad overflow and float valve Replace overflow and float valves
P-trap clogging Use commercial cleaning solutions
Worn-out flapper seal Clean or replace flapper seals

Faulty toilet handle and chain

The toilet handles, and chain engages the flapper seal for flowing of pressurized water. These become faulty and disturb the pressure and flow of water.

The handles can become faulty when their mounting screws get loose, and you cannot press them properly. In addition, the chains are made up of metal material that can corrode and break easily.

In addition, these can also break because of frequent pressing of the handle for a longer time. The water cannot move into the bowl with proper pressure when the chain length is not accurate for the opening of flapper seals.

Open the lid of the water tank and replace the broken chains with new ones of the accurate size that can engage the seals for water movement.

Moreover, it is also necessary to tighten the screws of the press handle.

Low flow toilets

The low flow toilets are common on household levels in this modern era to limit water waste. The most common cause of wasting water is frequent flushing during the day.

The low-flow toilets cannot create a higher pressure for water movement to remove the hard poop from the traps and bowls.

The low water pressure can only create a swirl on the bottom of the bowls, and you can see poor flushing of waste materials.

Replace the low-flow toilets with high-flow ones because of their more effective flushing properties.

These designs can remove the solid waste from the traps to the draining lines.

Pipes size

The water and waste material from the bowl cannot move into the sewage system when drain pipes are narrow and cannot hold the large supplies.

Most people do not know their size and add narrow pipes, which cause clogging issues and create poor flushing.

The swirl of the pressurized water develops, but it cannot empty the bowl properly. Sometimes, pipes can also become narrow from lime scale and solid waste build-up. You should take help from the plumber and experts to re-install pipes.

The average size of drain pipes should be 1.5 inches wide, so they can hold a large amount of water and allow their forward movement.

Use the unclogging reagents to break the solid waste and mineral build-up on the internal lining of pipes.

Blocked vent pipes

Vent pipes are connected to the plumbing system for water movement in different fixtures. The water in the traps does not allow the outward movement of sewage gases, which can create smells.

Sometimes the vent pipes can get clogged, and it does not allow the outside movement of the air in the plumbing system.

The air entrapped in it causes a restriction in the flushing and movement of water. So you can see the swirling movement of water with pressure, but it stays in the bowl.

The air clogs these draining lines, and water cannot move through them. In addition, the vent pipes are on the roof, and dust leaves residues, and insect nests can easily clog them.

Inspect the venting lines and use the sieve covers to restrict the entry of foreign objects into the plumbing venting pipes.

Insufficient water

The insufficient water in the tank cause decrease in pressure and a poor flushing mechanism. Sometimes there is not enough water in the tank to properly remove the waste material.

The issue comes due to their installation at different locations of your home. You cannot face any issue with low water in tanks when toilets are on the ground floor or in basements.

You often face swirling problems with the ones installed on your house’s upper floor. The water from the plumbing lines moves slowly against the concentration gradient.

Use water pumps on the second floor to redirect the flow. The water pumps suck the water from the plumbing lines and allow the filling of tanks.

Clogged rim jets

The rim jets are present on the lower bottom corners of the toilet bowls. These are also called inlet hoses, which allow water movement.

Sometimes these can get clogged and do not supply sufficient water for flushing. You can see swirls on the bottom, but insufficient water does not help remove the waste and large poop.

These rim jets or inlet hoses can get clogged due to dirt, improper maintenance, cleaning issues, and the growth of bacterial colonies.

You can fix it by flowing the hot water and vinegar from the overflow valve. The vinegar and boiling water move through this hose and break the bacterial growth and limescale build-up.

Installation and design issues

Poor toilet flushing is due to poor designs and incorrect installation. Sometimes these are present close to the ground, and water cannot flow through the bowl with high pressure.

The pressure increases when water moves from some height and flushes the solid waste in the bowl. In addition, the potential energy is also less when these are installed closer to the floors.

The problem also comes when drains do not have proper slop for the steady movement of waste material. Instead, keep them slightly above the ground surface to increase potential energy and create pressure.

Bad overflow and float valve

The overflow valve controls the water movement and drains the excess water into the bowl. The cracks can develop in the overflow tubes with water, and it causes slow water drip in the toilet.

The float valve allows the filling of the tank, and it shuts off when the cistern is filled to its marked level. These two valves become faulty and cause poor flushing problems.

You cannot get enough pressure for flushing, and only a swirl is created on the top of the bowl.

Open the lid of the cistern and check the functioning of these valves.

P-trap clogging

The water and waste content cannot move forward into the draining lines and keep floating in the bowl. You can hear the swirling sound, but the waste cannot flush properly.

The issue comes from the clogging of P-traps that can restrict water and waste product removal. The issue comes when you flush the tissues, toilet paper, and Q-tips in the toilet.

Clogging causes water to swirl but cannot remove the waste correctly. In addition, these materials are difficult to break and cannot easily travel into the draining pipes. Therefore, it is necessary to unclog the traps for proper water movement.

You can use the plunger and toilet augers to unclog it and remove foreign items. However, I prefer commercial unclogging solutions because of their effectiveness and the little effort to use them.

Worn-out flapper seal

The flapper seal is present on the lower side of the toilet cistern to control the water supply. The press handle engages the chain to open the flapper seal and water movement.

Sometimes these seals can get clogged and do not open fully, decreasing the pressure. Limescale, minerals, and fungus can clog the flapper seals, and these cannot open properly.

The cracks in flapper seals come over time, and it causes the seeping of water into the bowl. Therefore, it cannot remain in the tank and cause poor flushing.

Remove the fungus and minerals build-up from these seals. It is also better to replace them when you see any cracks.

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