The water in the back end of the toilet doesn’t meet the water line. Can it stay an inch below and still function correctly?

Every time we flush, the bowl only goes down about 1/2 way leaving most of anything in the bowl. I’ve tried boiling water, baking soda, vinegar, plungers, I even went out and purchased a snake. Our last resort was Liquid Plumber, all of which had zero affect.

Can a toilet just stop working?

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    Not sure what you mean by "the back end of the toilet"...you mean the back part of the bowl or the tank? Sometimes, somebody (like kids!) will throw something in the toilet like a toothbrush or a toy that causes an obstruction. The other reason could be the float/filling mechanism in the tank is failing and not filling the tank completely. That's about the only moving part in a toilet that needs occasional replacing. Remove the tank lid and make sure it fills completely. If not, you may need to replace the float/valve assembly, easy to do, cost at a big box store is about $20. Jul 22, 2021 at 22:43

2 Answers 2


Toilets are designed to flush properly and completely when the reservoir/cistern/tank is filled to the design height/level/volume. When you leave the level lower than its design height you reduce the volume and water-column pressure of the flush water.

In the "old days" when toilet tanks had a lot of water (like up to 3-5 gals.) this wasn't usually a big deal. Currently most toilets are designed to "save water" by utilizing less flush water, leading (IMO) to some toilets that barely flush effectively. Any reduction of flush water in these can lead to partial or ineffective evacuation of bowl contents. You need to raise the water level to its design height.

If you have ineffective flush performance with the water at the design height, then the most likely problem would be a partially obstructed toilet bowl outlet path.

Experiment by filling a bucket with plenty of water and dumping it quickly into the bowl, to see if it flushes.


You don't give history, but slow toilets can have several causes. It could be the float is not allowing enough water into tank. It could be a sticky flapper that quits opening all the way and can get sucked closed before all the water flows into the bowl.

My biggest adversary has been the wax ring between the stool and the pipe. One style has a self centering plastic funnel that reduces the size of the opening into the sewer pipe. (The wax ring is upside-down in link). That funnel is completely not needed and slows the flow. A wax ring without the funnel is cheaper.

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