If you’re having trouble getting your toilet to flush, and don’t want to resort to the bucket and water method, check these four components are working as they should:
The float ball
Your cistern should be full of water. If it isn’t draw your attention to the big plastic ball, known as the float ball.
There to control the level of water in the tank, ensure that the float ball isn’t touching the side of the tank preventing the water from rising. If you need to move it, gently bend the flat rod. While doing so check that the rod isn’t broken, and ensure that the float ball itself isn’t leaking.
The flapper valve
Found at the bottom of the tank, the flapper valve lifts open to let water pass through into the toilet bowl.
Pull up the flapper valve to allow the water to flow out. If this works as normal then the problem isn’t with the valve itself, but likely the connection between the handle and the flapper valve.
Pull the handle to flush and assess whether it feels too loose or too tight. You can adjust the mounting nut as required. While you’re inspecting the handle give it a clean and keep an eye out for limescale that may have caused stiffness.
The chain runs from the lift arm down to the bottom of the tank where it lifts the flapper valve.
Check that it’s in good condition by looking for breaks and bends. If it’s bent out of shape you should be able to bend it back easily, however if it’s broken you’ll need to replace it.
If it feels too tight you’ll need to loosen it as there should be around half an inch of slack. You can adjust this by hooking the chain in a different place in order to get the right tension.