Q:

What causes a slow-running toilet?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Plumbing Masters, the most common reasons for a slow running toilet include clogged holes along the inner rim of the toilet, malfunctioning parts and clogged vent or sewer lines. Plumbing Masters recommends testing the toilet to determine the cause of the problem.

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Full Answer

To determine whether a slow running toilet is caused by blocked sewer or vent lines or if the problem is located in the toilet itself, Plumbing Masters recommends pouring a large bucket of water into the toilet by hand. If the toilet flushes quickly using a bucket, the problem may be clogged holes along the rim of the toilet. These holes along the inside rim of the toilet allow water to flow in. When minerals are present in water, they can become blocked, significantly reducing the amount of water allowed into the bowl. Cleaning the holes will solve the issue of a slow running toilet.

If the toilet drains slowly while pouring a bucket of water in the bowl, the problem may be a clogged sewer or vent line. According to TOTO, signs that the vent line is clogged includes a slow flush that leaves materials behind. Gurgling sounds may also be present with a clogged vent line. According to Popular Mechanics, damage from tree roots causes clogs in the sewer line and a gurgling sound when the toilet is flushed. Pipes may need to be professionally cleaned with a high pressure cleaning system when roots block the sewer line.

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