It can be frustrating when your toilet is draining slowly. It's hard to know if it's caused by a blockage or by something else. Knowing how to identify and repair these issues will keep your toilet from being an unpleasant, unsanitary mess.
You Have Hard Water
This isn't one people normally think of, but if you have hard water, it may be the reason why your toilet is draining slowly. Minerals can build up in your plumbing and create a partial blockage. To help get rid of a potential blockage caused by minerals, you can put a few cups of vinegar in your toilet tank and bowl, leaving it for a few hours to remove any mineral deposits. If mineral deposits were your issue, your toilet should flush and drain well.
Your Flapper Is Damaged
In your toilet tank there's a small piece of plastic or rubber called the flapper. The flapper is responsible for holding and releasing water when you flush. If your flapper is damaged you may hear the toilet run or your toilet will drain very slowly. If your flapper appears to be damaged it's every inexpensive to pick up a kit at the hardware store and replace it.
Sometimes it's a simple issue that the chain attached to the flapper is too long. When you flush with too long of a chain the flapper isn't able to open completely and the water trickles through. To fix this, tighten the chain a little bit and perform a test flush. When you push the flush lever down the flapper should open completely and then close comfortably with no slack in the chain.
Your Vent Pipe Is Blocked
In order for your toilet to flush correctly it relies on the water leaving to create a vacuum and suck the contents of the bowl out. One of the unsung heroes of the vacuum creation process is the vent pipe. Your vent pipe outlet is typically found on your roof. If this pipe gets blocked, the water leaving the bowl can't leave effectively, so the vacuum to flush doesn't get formed. To fix this issue, you'll have to venture to your roof and remove any debris that may be blocking the vent pipe.
Ask A Plumber
If you try these things and aren't able to diagnose why your toilet is draining slowly, think about asking a residential plumbing contractor. Plumbers can diagnose these issues fairly quickly, and they can fix the issue if you're uncomfortable doing it yourself.