It’s a feeling everyone has experienced: You try to flush the toilet and nothing happens.

The key to surviving these moments is to know how to handle toilet issues without needing to call a plumber. After all, fixing a toilet isn’t rocket science.

This article takes a look at a few tips you should keep in mind the next time you encounter a toilet not flushing properly. Keep reading to discover some common toilet issues and how to fix them.

1. The Toilet is Clogged

Let’s start with the most common toilet problem people face. A toilet clog can happen for a number of reasons.

Perhaps someone used too much toilet paper or perhaps an object was dropped into the water and got flushed, but the obstruction was too large to go down. Now when you flush, the water level begins to rise and could overflow onto the floor.

The simplest fix for a clog is a plunger. Let the water level recede enough so that the agitation won’t cause it to splash over, and then use a flange plunger to plunge the clog for about 15 seconds.

Repeat a few times if necessary. Hopefully your effort will free the clog and the water will drain on its own. If it doesn’t, fill a bowl with hot water and pour it into the toilet. This should help to loosen the clog. But if the clog still doesn’t drain, use a snake to clear the blockage.

2. There’s a Problem with the Chain or the Flapper

If you try to flush but notice there’s no pressure on the chain, there could be a problem inside the tank.

Remove the lid and you should see a plastic flapper that covers a hole in the bottom of the tank. A chain connects the handle on the outside of the tank to the flapper, and the flapper lifts to let water flow when you flush.

When you push the handle but the toilet doesn’t flush, remove the lid to see if the chain has disconnected from either the handle of the flapper. If so, it’s an easy fix to simply reattach the chain.

It’s also possible that the flapper has become stuck in the open position, causing the tank to not refill with water.

If either the chain or flapper has broken, the kit will need to be replaced.

3. The Tank Doesn’t Have Enough Water

A weak flush could mean the tank doesn’t have enough water.

Remove the lid. Most manufacturers mark the inside of the tank with a fill line to specify the recommended water level.

If you discover that the water level is beneath this fill line, this is another easy fix. Most toilet tanks feature a small float connected to the fill valve. When the water level reaches this float, the valve will shut off the water automatically.

To adjust the height of the float, manually bend the float arm as much as needed. The water should now rise to the new fill level.

Troubleshooting a Toilet Not Flushing Properly

Nothing’s more frustrating than a toilet not flushing properly. It often happens at the most inconvenient times and needs to be fixed before it causes a mess.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution most of the time. The tips in this article should help make troubleshooting your toilet a breeze!

Click here to learn how to detect a leaking pipe in your home.