No matter what toilet type you choose, getting the most out of the unit is important. Sometimes the core features don’t provide enough performance to justify the price. A strong flush is the biggest reason to prefer one toilet over the other, so if it’s lacking in that area then you have to make a change. Can a few modifications change the way a toilet operates? The answer is a surprising yes, with many of the changes requiring little to no experience. With a couple of changes, you can save a lot of money in exchange for a little time.
How Do I Improve My Toilet’s Flush?
Why Is A Strong Flush Important?
A strong flush gets waste down the first time and keeps it from coming back up. This prevents you from having to do double or triple flushes. Each time you press the lever to clear the toilet, water is reintroduced to the bowl. Having to flush twice adds up, and makes weak toilets a less desirable choice. Cleanliness of the bowl is also tied to the strength of the flush. Even if it gets rid of waste on the first try, you may be forced to press the lever again to fully clean the bowl. This is just a small sample of how a strong flush can affect multiple parts of a toilet’s effectiveness. Here are some other things to look out for when you have a toilet with weak flushing potential.
Higher Maintenance– You can expect the maintenance to go up by at least double. Drop-in tablets will dissolve quickly, even if they are rated for months of use. This is a direct result of that figure being tied to the amount of flushes a toilet goes through during the cleaning period. Users will either have to invest in more tablets or adjust by cleaning the toilet more often.
Holds Up The Bathroom – Homes with a single bathroom being shared by multiple people suffer the most when the flush is weak. It forces you to stay in the bathroom to see things to an end while others wait. This is an uncomfortable feeling that should never be forced on anyone.
Floods Are More Likely – And this is the big one. You can’t guarantee that waste will go down the hole the same way every time. Each trip to the bathroom is different, and no two flushes are the same. When there isn’t enough power behind the flush and things go down awkwardly, there is a small chance that it will come back up after a failed attempt. Watching this in real time is not a pleasant experience, particularly for guests!
More Difficult To Repair – Any toilet can have problems, yet there is a higher chance of more difficult problems if the flush is weak. Blockage issues caused by weak flushing means that the issue will most likely return in the near future. In homes where one toilet is used by multiple people, the odds of a malfunction are increased substantially.
How Do You Make The Flush Stronger?
There are multiple ways to make your toilet flush stronger without hiring a professional. Only a basic amount of experience is needed to complete any of these modifications. Of course, some of these mods can only be done on specific types of toilets, usually a good gravity-feed toilet. While pressure-assisted toilets will have completely different makeups and are already maximized for top flushing power.
If your toilet is older, check to see whether something is partially clogging it. Similarly, how quickly your bathroom sink gets rid of water depends on the buildup of shaving cream and toothpaste over the years; water that used to go down quickly now takes its time. The bathroom sink isn’t fully clogged, it’s only partially clogged. The gunk that is sticking to the pipes has to be cleared out before the sink will suck down water like it is new. With a toilet, you can find out if it is clogged by pouring a gallon of water into the bowl. If it struggles to flush, then you have a partial clog. Use a plunger or snake to clear the pipes.
A vinegar soak is another option to improve flushing power, but is a lot more proactive than checking for a partial clog. Open the tank lid and remove the fill hose if it is present (will vary by model). Carefully put a funnel in the overflow tube, filling it with a quart of white vinegar. Take a break, and in a couple of hours, put everything back as it was and flush the toilet. The first flush may look weird, but afterwards you’ll see a major difference in power. This is a quick but gentle way to remove buildup in your toilet and pipes and improve the toilet’s flush.
Take a quick look at the water level inside your toilet tank. There is a good chance that it needs to be reset after years of use. This is a simple matter that comes with two different solutions: for ball float models, turn the screw clockwise to raise the water; if you have a toilet with a cylinder float valve, use the clip on the float and adjust it so that the water is at the appropriate level. For both solutions, the water needs to be one inch below the overflow tube. This is the ideal measurement for most models and will guarantee you the most powerful flush.
Clogged rims can be an even bigger problem than partially clogged pipes. The water that comes out of the rims helps to clean the toilet, filling the bowl with fresh water. Although it doesn’t handle the heavy work, the water that comes out of the rims does aid in pushing down waste. It is all about the force at which it comes out, so if this is compromised then your toilet isn’t operating at full flushing power. The flushing process is a group effort, with the rims playing a minor but important role in the process. To clean clogged rims, run a toilet cleaning brush underneath it to get rid of any problems. Most modern toilet brushes come with a rim brush already built into the scrubber. Make it a point to keep the brush stored or clean as it will be introduced to a lot of bacteria.
As a last resort (if none of the above methods work), try replacing the pipes that connect to the toilet. There is a good chance they are old and haven’t been replaced in over a decade. This is easy to spot when you have a newish toilet but old looking pipes. A small change in this area could improve the flush power by double. Changing pipes is close to intermediate territory, but isn’t too bad if you stick to a small section.
A few adjustments here and there make a big difference to the consistency of a flush. Keeping these tips in mind will prolong the life of a toilet while keeping everyone in the household happy. Then you can also read our guide to choosing a new toilet here.