In case your toilet uses a chainless flushing mechanism and has a toilet flapper, then it probably uses a lever to control the flapper during a flush cycle.
The lever in a chainless toilet flapper looks like an arm that is attached on the toilet flush handle from one end and a rod on the other end. The rod is then attached to the toilet flapper.
The lever works like a conventional chain mechanism. However, the lever shouldn’t be too short too long. The lever can break or crack over time. If that happens, you’ll need to replace it. Replacing a toilet lever arm is quite easy.
In case your toilet comes with a button rather than a flapper, then it’s probably using a pressure-assisted mechanism for flushing. Poor flushing may result from issues with the toilet tank or water from the supply line.
You can easily fix most toilet problems yourself unless the toilet tank is cracked. You may not require any tools when doing most toilet tank repairs.
Replacing the Toilet Lever
Some toilet designs don’t have a lift chain flapper mechanism. They usually have a lever arm that raises a circular disk whose role is to seal the hole at the bottom of the tank during a refill.
The disk opens up upon activating a flush mechanism to allow water to flow through rapidly. However, the seal may bind and this will demand using more force when pushing the toilet flush handle.
The seal may bind as a result of a bent or broken lever arm. The lever arm is often made of plastic. Thus, it can bend or even break over time.
Luckily, the lever is inexpensive. You can easily find a replacement from most local hardware outlets.
To replace a damage lever arm, first open the lid covering the toilet tank. Next, locate a nut that secures the toilet handle onto the toilet tank.
Once you locate the nut, unscrew it. You can easily unscrew it by hand. In case it’s too tight, use a pipe wrench to loosen it. The nut is typically reverse-threaded.
Thus, rotate it in a clockwise direction to unscrew it. Once done, unhook the end connected to the flapper. Next, remove the handle assembly by pulling it out. Once done, insert the replacement handle assembly.
To fix it, start with sliding the nut on the handle. Next, hook the other lever end onto the toilet flapper rod. Use your hand to tighten the plastic nut by turning it in a counterclockwise direction.
Pressure-Assist Toilet Flushing
Certain toilet designs employ a pressure-assist mechanism for flushing rather than using a chain mechanism. Pressure-assist toilets don’t use a flapper.
Instead, the toilet tank is sealed and employs air pressure to flush the toilet bowl contents. Air gets compressed over the water within the sealed tank as it refills. Pressure-assist toilets use a button mechanism rather than a handle for flushing.
Once you press the button, a valve will open and allow water to flow out rapidly. Since the water within the toilet tank is highly pressurized, it flushes the toilet bowl contents down the waste pipe.
Toilets that use a pressure-assist mechanism come with more advantages of conventional flapper toilets. However, the main shortcoming of these toilets is that they’re loud.
Troubleshooting Poorly Flushing Pressure-Assisted Toilets
If your toilet is pressure-assisted and is flushing poorly, it’s most probably lacking enough water pressure from the toilet supply. In this case, start with troubleshooting the likely problems.
First, disconnect the toilet water supply. Then check the water pressure. Sufficiency water pressure should fill a bucket (one gallon) in less than a minute. Check the toilet inlet tubing for any debris that may be obstructing the smooth flow of water.
Next, check for any issues with the toilet tank air intake in the tank. The toilet tank air intake is a very small aperture that goes through a vertical tubing attached onto the tank from the top.
You can put some little water (spoonful) through the hole to flush it. The water will get sucked through the aperture. In case it’s not sucked in, remove the cap by unscrewing it. You’ll find a screen after removing the cap.
Clean it to clear any debris. Replace the screen if it looks damaged. Once you try these fixes, ensure the armature that is attached to the button that flushes the toilet is actually pushing the rod onto the flush mechanism cartridge. Adjust the armature if necessary.
In case these fixes fail to solve the poor pressure issue, detach the actuator. Next, pull out the cartridge. You’ll find some O-rings upon removing the cartridge. Replace them and also replace a cracked or damaged.