As Americans, we take our indoor plumbing for granted. And here in Mohave County, we’re no exception. And since the average American flushes the toilet five times a day, if it’s not working right, it’s a big problem. So if you’re wondering “Why does my toilet run slow?” we’re here with some answers, and what you can do about that slow running toilet.
You May Have a Clogged Toilet
If your toilet flushes partially, but not everything goes down, you may have a clogged toilet. While a clog can result from a buildup in the pipes over the years, many times, a clog is preventable. Common culprits for a clogged toilet include flushing or attempting to flush something other than toilet paper and human waste, including:
- Tampons / sanitary pads
- Baby wipes / Wet wipes
- Paper towels
- Children’s toys
- And more
You may be able to resolve a slow running toilet due to a clog by getting rid of the clog itself. This may mean fishing large items out of the toilet — gross, we know, so be sure to wear rubber gloves. Once you’ve removed what you can, you can try plunging the toilet. Be sure to get a good seal, and put some work into it. If there is a sudden whoosh and the water starts draining quickly, you have succeeded. If the clog remains, you may need to call a plumber.
You May Not Have Enough Water Supply Getting to Your Toilet
Another common reason for your toilet to run slow is you may not have enough water supply getting to your toilet, or you may be trying to flush too soon after another person has already flushed. If it seems like it takes forever for your toilet tank to refill after flushing, you may want to adjust the water valve behind the toilet to increase the flow of water. Do this in increments, because you don’t want the water flowing too fast, just like you don’t want it flowing too slow.
Depending on how old your toilet is, it may have a build-up of mineral deposits such as calcium and lime, as well as rust in the rim feed and jet holes of the toilet bowl. These are the holes under the rim, where the water comes into the bowl when you flush. These deposits can restrict or even block water from flowing into the toilet bowl.
You can use a wire coat hanger or a small pin and poke it into the holes to try and remove any buildup. You may also want to try running a product such as Lime Away or CLR through the toilet to help remove deposits. You do this by pouring a small amount into the overflow tube, and letting it sit for ten minutes or even overnight. Then flush the toilet. This sends the product through the toilet’s pipes and out through the jet holes, removing the mineral deposits.
You can prevent the buildup of future mineral deposits by cleaning the toilet weekly with toilet bowl cleaner and a stiff bristle toilet brush, paying special attention to the area under the rim.
When to Consider Replacing a Toilet
If your toilet is more than ten years old, chances are, it is not as efficient for water usage. You may want to consider replacing an old toilet that uses more than 3.6 gallons per flush with a newer ultra low flow that uses 1.28 gallons per flush. Look for a WaterSense High Efficiency Toilet (HET). Think Energy Star, only for water. You can conserve a lot of water that way!
Also, you may want to consider replacing a toilet if you are having continuing problems with it, where you are having to call a plumber in. The cost of a high-efficiency toilet can be as low as $120 + installation.
Generally, replacing a toilet is not a do-it-yourself job, as it requires heavy lifting in cramped spaces and plumbing know-how. And when you remove a toilet, you never know what kind of issues you are going to uncover.
Call Plumbing By Jake for All Your Toilet Repairs
Call Plumbing By Jake at 928-377-5910 for all your toilet repairs — from clogged toilets and slow running toilets to leaking toilets and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. And of course, we can install a new toilet and haul away the old one. You can also fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you quickly. We serve both residential and commercial clients in Kingman, Bullhead City, Golden Valley, Lake Havasu, and surrounding areas.