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Three Reasons Your Toilet Won’t Flush

You press the handle down – nothing happens. You press it again –  a slow trickle. You press it a third time and hold it – it swirls slowly but doesn’t go all the way down. You’ve got a problem on your hands. See below to find out why your toilet isn’t flushing and what can be done to fix the issue.


  1. The Handle Is Too Loose: if the handle is too loose, you won’t be able to execute a proper flush. To tighten it, simply remove the tank lid and look for the nut on the inside of the tank that’s connected to the handle. Turn it counterclockwise until the handle is tight.
  2. The Lift Arm Is Bent Or Broken: the lift arm is the piece that attaches to the lift chain which raises and lowers the flapper valve during a flush. If the arm is bent or broken, it may not pull the chain far enough to open the flapper when the flush is initiated, or lower it back over the hole upon completion. The result? Your your toilet won’t flush properly. If this is the case, replace the lift arm right away.
  3. There’s Too Much Slack In The Lift Chain: if the lift chain is too long, the lift arm won’t be able to raise it far enough to initiate the flush. Make sure the lift chain doesn’t have too much slack – aim for about a half inch of slack for a proper flush.

Still can’t get the toilet to flush after running through the checklist above? It could be a more serious problem that requires the knowledge and expertise of a skilled plumber. That’s where we come in! Give the experts at Levine & Sons a call at 1-888-538-4631 and we’ll get things flowing in a hurry.

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