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How to Fix a Slow Draining Toilet: Do-It-Yourself Solution

how to fix a slow draining toilet

One of the most common plumbing problems people come across is how to fix a slow draining toilet. If you've ever had the unfortunate experience of hearing your toilet running for long periods of time, don't worry.

You're not alone! Many people have experienced this problem and it doesn't take much to fix.

If you're reading this, chances are you've got a clogged toilet and need some help!

This blog post will give you all the information that you need to repair a slow draining toilet and end your bathroom worries once and for all.

What is a Toilet?

A toilet is a plumbing fixture used for the disposal of human waste. The toilet flushes waste away by using enough water to move it through a sewer system or septic tank.

Toilets can be classified as either low-flush or high-flush. Low-flush toilets use less than 1.6 gallons (6 liters) of water per flush, while high-flush toilets use more than 1.6 gallons (6 liters).

The most common type of toilet in the United States is the gravity-fed, low-flush toilet, which uses about 0.5 gallons (1.9 liters) of water per flush.

How Does A Toilet Work?

Toilets work by using a simple principle of physics known as hydrostatic pressure. When you flush a toilet, the stored water in the bowl is released and flows down into the drainpipe.

This sudden release of water creates a vacuum in the bowl, which causes air to flow into the bowl through the hole in the bottom known as the "trap."

The trap is filled with water, which forms a seal that prevents sewer gas from entering your home.

The incoming air pushes the waste and water down the drainpipe and into the sewer system or septic tank.

What is a Slow Draining Toilet?

If you've ever had a toilet that takes a long time to drain, you know how frustrating it can be. A slow-draining toilet can be caused by a variety of things, from a clogged sewer line vent to a build-up of sediment in the pipes.

No matter what the cause, a slow-draining toilet is an annoying problem that needs to be fixed.

Other causes of a slow draining toilet include:

  • A problem with the septic tank
  • A leak in the toilet tank
  • Damaged or worn out parts in the toilet

What Causes a Slow Draining Toilet?

A slow draining toilet can be a major nuisance. Not only is it inconvenient, but it can also lead to odorous bacteria increase and unsanitary conditions.

There are a number of potential causes for a slow drain, but the most common is a build-up of tissue paper, hair, and other debris in the pipes.

Drain Blockage

If your toilet is draining slowly, there's a good chance that the drain is blocked. While there are a number of potential causes for this, drain blockage is one of the most common.

Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult to fix. In many cases, you'll need to call a professional plumber to clear the blockage.

Low Water Level

One potential cause of a slow-draining toilet is a low water level in the bowl. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including evaporation and leaks.

A low water level means that there is less water to flush waste and debris down the drain, which can lead to clogs.

In addition, a low water level can also cause build-up on the sides of the toilet bowl, which can further impede draining.

If you suspect that your toilet is slow-draining due to a low water level, it is important to take steps to correct the problem.

Mineral Buildup

Another potential cause of a slow-draining toilet is mineral buildup around the rim. Over time, minerals can build up in the pipes and create a blockage.

This is often the case in older homes with outdated plumbing. If you think that your toilet is slow-draining due to mineral increase, it's important to have the problem professionally addressed.

Faulty Flapper Valve

A common issue that can cause a toilet to drain slowly is a faulty flapper valve. The flapper valve is located at the bottom of the tank and is responsible for sealing the tank after each flush.

When the valve becomes damaged or worn, it can fail to seal properly, allowing water to slowly leak out of the tank. As a result, the water level in the bowl can drop, causing the toilet to flush less efficiently.

In some cases, faulty flapper valves can also cause ghost flushing, where the toilet flushes on its own even when it hasn't been used.

How to Unclog a Slow Draining Toilet (DIY)

A slow draining toilet can be a major inconvenience. Not only is it slows down your daily routine, but it can also lead to unpleasant odors and even sewage backup.

While there are a number of potential causes of a slow drain, the good news is that there are also a number of ways to fix the problem.

However, by using this method, you can usually fix a slow draining toilet yourself.

Hot Water And Liquid Soap

One simple fix that can often clear a slow-draining toilet is hot water and liquid or dishwashing soap. The hot water will help to break down any paper products that may be causing the blockage, while the soap will act as a lubricant and help to dislodge the obstruction.

Simply pour a gallon of hot water into the bowl and add a cup of liquid soap. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before flushing; if the toilet drains more quickly, the problem has been solved.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

baking soda

If you have a slow draining toilet, baking soda and vinegar can be a quick and easy way to fix the problem. First, pour a half cup of bicarbonate of soda into the toilet bowl.

Then, add a half cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then flush the toilet. The baking soda and vinegar will break up any clogs in the drain and help to improve the flow of water.

This method is safe for both septic systems and plumbing, and it is an effective way to unclog a slow draining toilet.

Enzyme Cleaning Products

Enzyme-based cleaners are designed to break down organic matter, making them an ideal choice for unclogging a slow draining toilet.

Simply pour the cleaner into the bowl and let it sit for the recommended amount of time. The enzymes will break down any blockages in the drain line, allowing the water to flow freely.

Most enzyme cleaners are safe for both septic systems and plumbing, and they are a gentle way to unclog a slow draining toilet.

Baking Soda And Hot Water

One simple way to fix a slow draining toilet is by using baking soda and hot water. This method is effective because the sodium bicarbonate will help break down any buildup in your pipes, while the hot water will flush it all away.

To do this, simply pour a cup of bicarbonate of soda into your toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes.

Then, pour a pot of boiling water into the bowl and wait for the water to start draining. If it doesn't seem to be working, you can try repeating this process a few more times.

Using a Toilet Plunger


If you have a plunger, you can use it to unclog your slow draining toilet. The plunger will create suction and help to break up any blockages in the drain.

To use this method, simply place the plunger over the drain and push and pull it up and down. Be sure to use enough force to create suction, but not so much that you break the plunger.

If the plunger doesn't seem to be working, you can try using a toilet auger. This is a tool that is specifically designed for unclogging toilets.

Do you have a slow drain toilet in your home or business? Check out our toilet repair services

Plumbing Snake

A plumbing snake is a tool that can be used to clear a clogged drain. It consists of a long, flexible rod with a coiled end that can be inserted into the drain.

The snake is then turned to break up the clog and allow it to be flushed away. If you have a plunger and it isn't working, you can try using a plumbing snake.

  1. First, take off the toilet tank lid and try flushing the toilet to empty the bowl.
  2. Then, find the hole in the bottom of the bowl and try to push the snake.
  3. Turn the snake handle clockwise until you feel resistance. This means that you've hit the clog.
  4. Continue turning the handle until the clog is freed and water starts flowing through again.

If you can't find the hole, look for a small access panel on the side of the toilet bowl. Once you've found it, insert the plumbing snake and follow the same instructions.

The Wire Coat Hanger

metal cloth hanger

If your toilet is still slow to drain after you've used a plunger and a plumber's snake, there's one other do-it-yourself trick you can try.

It's called the wire hanger trick, and it just might be the solution to your problem.

Here's how it works:

  1. Get a coat-hanger and straighten it out.
  2. Feed the coat-hanger into the toilet bowl, moving it around until you feel resistance.
  3. Once the coat-hanger is in position, start twisting.
  4. Keep twisting until you've made at least three twists.
  5. Pull the coat-hanger out of the toilet bowl.
  6. Flush the toilet to see if the water is draining any faster.

If the coat-hanger trick doesn't work, your last resort is to call a plumber. But before you do that, make sure there isn't anything blocking the drain pipe.

Call Our Emergency Plumbers - 24h Plumbing Pros

If you're having trouble fixing your slow draining toilet, it might be time to call in a professional. 24h Plumbing Pros is here to help. We have a team of experienced plumbers who can quickly diagnose the problem and find a solution.

Don't let a clogged toilet ruin your day. Call 24h Plumbing Pros and we'll take care of it for you. We're available 24 hours a day, so don't hesitate to call us any time, day or night.

Keep the Toilet Seat Down

Toilet seats are often left up, and objects can fall into the bowl and cause a blockage.

To prevent this from happening, make sure to keep the seat down when you're not using it.

This will help keep your toilet from draining slowly.

What to Do When Toilet Water Rises Then Draining Slowly?

If the water in your toilet bowl rises and then falls very slowly, this is an indication that your toilet is clogged.

When a toilet is clogged, it means that there is an obstruction preventing water from flowing through the drain.

The first thing you should do if your toilet water rises and then slowly drains is to try to remove the obstruction yourself.

If you are unable to do so, you will need to call a plumber. Plumbers have the tools and experience necessary to clear even the most stubborn clogs.

In the meantime, you can flush your toilet several times to try to clear the obstruction manually.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a slow draining toilet fix itself?

Unfortunately, a slow draining toilet will not fix itself. If you notice that your toilet is draining slower than usual, it's important to take action right away. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

How to fix a slow draining bathroom sink?

The first thing you should do is remove any debris that might be blocking the drain. This can be done with a plunger or a plumbers snake.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the different ways to fix a slow draining toilet, you can decide which method is best for your needs.

If you have a toilet plunger and some patience, you may be able to clear the clog yourself.

However, if the clog is severe or you don't feel comfortable plunging the toilet, it's best to call a professional plumber. Whichever route you choose, be sure to act quickly to fix the problem.

A slow draining toilet can cause a major backup in your plumbing system, so it's important to take care of the issue as soon as possible.

With a little knowledge and some elbow grease, you can get your toilet flowing smoothly again in no time.

About The Author:

Scott Reyes, our proficient Managing Editor and a true plumbing aficionado with over 10 years of dedicated expertise. With an in-depth understanding of the plumbing industry, Scott is your go-to source for all things plumbing-related. His wealth of experience ensures that our content is not only informative but also a reliable resource for your plumbing needs. Dive into Scott's articles to tap into his extensive knowledge and insights.
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