When Toilets Don’t Flush Properly


Plumbing solutions to problems can often be diagnosed over the phone when speaking to a client, but it always pays to have a look at the problem to ensure no other underlying issues could be causing the problem.


In this instance, a new client rang me to tell me that both of his toilets weren’t working properly. Both the cisterns weren’t supplying enough water to flush the effluent away and it would take 2-3 flushes to clear the toilet bowl. I asked what the water did when it entered the bowl and he described it running around the pan. My next question was how old were the toilets, to which he advised the toilet pans were as old as his house but he had a plumber replace the cisterns to the pans 3 years ago. This information gave me the answer to his problem.


I explained that 3 years ago, Brisbane and most of Australia had a water crisis because we were in drought and there was a push to make fixtures and taps water efficient. All dual flush cisterns became 3 Litre half flush/6 Litre full flush and new toilet pans had to be manufactured to accommodate less water to wash the waste away.


Unfortunately, to save money, this client only replaced the cisterns to the old toilet pans and the pan was not suited to the water efficient cistern.  This pan was suited to the old 9 Litre full flush/ 4.5 Litre half flush. The new toilet bowls/pan have been re-moulded to suit a 3L/6L flush.

I thought that maybe I could alter the filler valve in the toilet cistern to fill it with more water but after lifting the lid, the water level was at it’s maximum so a new toilet suite would have to be installed to fix the problem.

When toilets don’t flush properly there is either a blockage or not enough water is being flushed into the pan.

Have you ever had this problem in your home?