How to Fix a Draining Toilet: A DIY Guide

fix a draining toilet

Most people around the globe pay little attention to small plumbing issues in their homes. This results in excessive damage and that too being in terms of money and time.  If these issues are addressed in the first place, they may be even sorted by any non-technical person.

On average, if you take care of the plumbing issues initially, you can reduce your water bill by a fraction of approximately 40 %. A slow draining toilet might not look like a serious issue, but it will ultimately turn out to be.

In this brief article, we will go through the reasons for drainage and possible solution to fix a draining toilet. Firstly, we should learn about the working of a toilet tank.

How does a Toilet Tank Work?

The toilet tank stores a specific amount of water and then releases it when needed. Once you need the water to clean the bowl, you just press a so-called button on the tank. The water pours out of the tank through the opening at the bottom of the tank. This water is used to clean the flush and take away the waste to the sewer line.

A toilet fills valve which is responsible for filling the tank with water. This is also known as the “ballock”. It can be found on the left side if you look upside down. When the water level rises above a certain level in the tank, this valve stops the intake of water into the tank.

On the other hand, it is also responsible to release water when needed. Whatever the design of this valve might be, you need to press it down or pull it to get the job done. If you open the lid of the tank, you will easily understand the working philosophy of the water tank. Let’s have a quick go through the possible reasons for a draining toilet.

Causes of a slow draining toilet

The possible causes of a slow draining toilet are listed below:

Low Water Pressure:

If your toilet tank has low water pressure, the water level in the tank has likely gone below a reasonable scale. There are a few possible reasons that can end up decreasing the water level in the tank. Broken tubes, cracked tanks, and damaged valves are a few prominent ones. Quite often, you need the help of a professional to fix these issues.

Blockage in the Drain:

This is a very common issue and everybody deals with it someday. There is a simple test to confirm any clog in the drain. Take a gallon of water and put it into the bowl of flush and observe if it rises abruptly, then there is a blockage in the drain.

On the other hand, if the water sinks or stays the same, the problem is in the toilet tank. In either case, you have to hire a professional plumber to fix the issue.

Blockage Due to Minerals and Sediments:

If the toilet bowl drains slowly despite none of the above issues being found, you need to check one last thing. The slowness may be due to the clustering of minerals along the sides of the jet holes that surround the rim of the toilet bowl. In the next section, we shall check the possible solutions to a slow-draining toilet.

How to fix a draining toilet

How to fix a draining toilet?

Some of the homeowners back their repairing skills and knowledge about the parts of a toilet tank. They try to fix their issues themselves. We recommend that if you are not 100% sure about your repairing issues, do not stick your head to that.

The reason is that you will end up doing more bad than good. If you still feel you are good at it, here are a few guidelines about “how to fix a draining toilet” that might help.

Fill Tube Issue:

The fill tube of your toilet tank is responsible for transferring water from the tank to the bowl whenever needed. Sometimes, the fill tube is unclipped or damaged, then the toilet drains slowly. As a result, the tank is filled with water and the valve is shut off.

Consequently, the water pressure will reduce. You can check if this tube is simply detached or if it is damaged. If detached, you can fix it yourself otherwise you have to hire a plumber to install a new one.

Damaged Tank:

Sometimes the problem is not as simple as you think. The toilet might be draining slowly because of a cracked tank. It is a rare event but might happen. You will see water pouring out of the bottom of the tank. Some people apply some sealing agents to fix the issues however, it is not a permanent solution.

You ultimately have to replace the tank of your toilet once it is damaged. Hence, it is recommended to replace the tank in the initial stages to be on the safer side.

Blockage of a Sewer Line Vent:

A sewer line vent is used to provide fresh air to ease the drainage of water through the pipe.  Sometimes, anything that fits into this vent can cause a blockage of air through it. Resultantly drainage problems are faced.

This issue can be fixed by checking the vent all the way through to remove any substance in it. If you are unable to do that, you can call a professional plumber to do it for you.

Clogging of the Drainage:

Some objects cause the clogging of drainage and as a result, the flow of water is disturbed through the line. Sometimes due to carelessness these objects reach the flush and block the way of water. In this case, you have to do the plunger work to smoothen the flow of water. This process may take some time depending upon the severity of the problem.

Water and dishwashing soap can also be used for unclogging. You can pour in some hot water that might help streamline the flow of water. Be careful with this method if you have an old washroom flush that might crack with the hot water. Put the dishwashing soap in the tank and after it settles down, flush the water. This will help dissolve the unwanted obstacles.

Other Solutions:

Some of the other solutions may be fixing a draining toilet.

  • The fill valve may get damaged and might need to be replaced.
  • Clustering of minerals might need to be cleaned up on jet holes with the help of a cleaner.
  • If all these solutions seem to be ineffective, call a professional plumber to fix the issue.


This information guide helps you learn about the toilet tank and its different parts. The working of the toilet tank and possible issues that can cause the slowness or clogging of the drain as well as the possible solutions to these issues are also covered.

After reading this informative material, you will be able to fix draining toilets and for complicated issues, you can find the right man to fix them.

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