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theboomboomcars 05-20-2008 08:06 PM

Toilet only half flushes
Usually when we flush our toilet it only lets about half the water out of the bowl, but occasionally it will completely flush. I don't know hardly anything about toilets so I don't know what the culprits may be.

It seems to me that there may be a blockage in the pipe some where, but it doesn't ever back up and it will some times flush all the way. Any tips or suggestions would be great.


glennjanie 05-20-2008 08:50 PM

Hello Josh:
Typically, you have a low flush volume toilet which the government mandated would be limited to 1.6 gallons per flush, so it cuts off quickly to conserve water. You may need to hold the flush lever down to use the whole tank of water.
Mine are by American Standard and the flapper tower falls back in place no matter how long you hold the lever. It usually flushes well but not on those occasional heavy or loose stool loads. In those cases I must flush twice but the water is there in the tank and will go ahead and clear the bowl.
Still it is more than sufficient on the first flush when its only urine. So I don't mind the double flush at times.

rachael24 05-21-2008 07:18 AM

Mine usually does the same thing...I just flush twice. The government toilets seem to have trouble flushing completely.

handyguys 05-21-2008 08:17 AM

The problem can also indicate an adjustment of the chain that connects the handle to the flapper is required. Open the tank lid and look. If you have some extra chain between the end of the handle and the flapper (inside, bottom, center) try making the chain a bit longer. If that doesn't help, try making the chain a little shorter. A little fiddling make solve your problem. The Handyguys did a podcast on some toilet troubleshooting. Give it a listen at

theboomboomcars 05-23-2008 11:01 PM

Thanks for the replies. Flushing twice doesn't help, the stuff that floats just floats. Holding down the handle doesn't help either.

Thanks for the link handyguys, I'll have to read through it when I am more awake.

handyguys 05-27-2008 09:21 AM

My response was a solution to a half flush problem like when the flapper closed before draining the entire reservoir tank.

based on your last post I would suspect something else. I would suspect you have clogged jets. Most toilets have jets under the rim of the bowl and one jest before the trap in the bottom. Use a coat hanger wire and ream out the jet holes. They are likely clogged with mineral deposits (from hard water) or maybe caused by certain cleaning/freshening products.

This is a simple thing to try/check.

The problem could also be caused by back pressure downstream. Try cleaning the jets with the wire hanger and report back. If that doesn't solve you issue I have a few other things you can check.

theboomboomcars 07-15-2008 06:16 PM

Sorry for the delay, but life gets busy sometimes.

I tried cleaning the jets with a hanger, but I didn't have much luck. My wife came across a tip that suggested to pour some water down while flushing, and it flushed every time when we did that, so we decided to just get a new toilet. We put that in, much easier than I thought it would be when we started, and haven't had a problem since.

Thanks for all the help and info.

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