A toilet that won’t flush can be a frustrating and unsanitary issue for any homeowner. One of the most common causes of a toilet not flushing is a full septic tank or failing drainfield. However, if your toilet is not clogged, it may be caused by a different issue.
In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why your toilet won’t flush and what you can do to fix it.
Water Level in the Tank
One of the first things to check when your toilet won’t flush is the water level in the tank. If the water level is too low, the toilet will not have enough pressure to flush properly. You can adjust the water level by adjusting the float in the tank. The float is the plastic or metal ball that sits on top of the water in the tank. To adjust the float, simply turn the adjustment screw clockwise to raise the float or counterclockwise to lower it.
Another common cause of a toilet not flushing is a problem with the flapper valve. The flapper valve is located in the bottom of the tank and is responsible for releasing water into the bowl when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper valve is not working properly, it may not be releasing enough water into the bowl to flush the toilet. To check the flapper valve, simply lift the lid off the tank and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If the flapper valve is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
A third cause of a toilet not flushing is a problem with the fill valve. The fill valve is responsible for refilling the tank with water after each flush. If the fill valve is not working properly, it may not be refilling the tank with enough water to flush the toilet. To check the fill valve, simply lift the lid off the tank and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If the fill valve is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Another cause of a toilet not flushing is a blockage in the drain line. The drain line is the pipe that carries waste water from the toilet to the septic tank or sewer line. If the drain line is clogged, it may not be able to handle the amount of water that is being flushed into it. To check for a blockage in the drain line, you can use a plumbing snake or a plunger to try to clear the blockage. If the blockage is severe, you may need to call a plumber to clear the drain line.
Problems with the Septic Tank
Finally, another common cause of a toilet not flushing is a problem with the septic tank. If the septic tank is not working properly, it may not be able to handle the amount of waste water that is being flushed into it. This can cause the toilet to not flush properly. To check for a problem with the septic tank, you can have a professional inspect the tank for any signs of wear or damage. If the septic tank is damaged, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
Septic Tank is Full
Check the inspection pipe for your septic. It should be above ground and you should be able to see if the septic tank is full. If it is, call a septic tank pumping company. This can cost between $250 to $500 depending on where you live.
The Drainfiled Needs Replacement or Repairs
If this doesn’t solve the problem, then most likely the drainfield needs to be repaired or replaced. Problems with the drainfield arise usually when it starts to rain heavily and the drainfield can’t handle the extra load. This is expensive; it can cost around $5,000 for repairs to $10,000 or more for replacement.
A drainfield for a septic system, also known as a leach field or leaching bed, is an area where the treated wastewater from the septic tank is dispersed into the ground. The drainfield typically consists of a series of trenches or beds that are dug into the soil and filled with gravel or crushed stone. These trenches or beds are connected to the septic tank by a series of pipes.
The drainfield is typically located in a flat, open area away from any structures, and typically on the side of the house opposite to the septic tank. The size of the drain field will depend on the size of the septic tank, the number of people living in the home, and the type of soil in the area.
A typical drain field will have a series of trenches or beds, each one several feet wide and several feet deep. The trenches or beds are typically lined with a layer of gravel or crushed stone to help with drainage and to prevent the soil from clogging the system. The pipes that connect the septic tank to the drain field are typically buried several inches below the surface and are covered with soil or gravel.
The drain field is designed to allow the wastewater to slowly seep into the soil, where it is naturally filtered and purified by bacteria and other microorganisms.
More signs that the drainfield is the reason for the toilet not flushing are:
- Standing water around the septic
- Increased plant growth around the septic area
- Pungent odors around the area of the septic.
If you are lacking the resources to hire someone to fix the problem, you can do it yourself. You may have to hire some equipment and replace the pipes.
YouTube has a lot of resources available. Here are some of our favorite videos on the subject:
Restoring A Septic Drain Field: First Steps (Least Vs. Most Expensive)
$200 Septic Drain Field Repair for Beginners
In conclusion, if your toilet won’t flush and it’s not clogged, it could be caused by a variety of different issues. Some of the most common causes include a problem with the water level in the tank, a problem with the flapper valve, a problem with the fill valve, a blockage in the drain line or a problem with the septic tank. By identifying the cause of the problem and taking the appropriate steps to fix it, you can have your toilet working properly again in no time. It is always recommended to hire a professional plumber to inspect and fix the problem.