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We recently had our bathtub removed and a full shower installed. A city plumbing inspector did some work downstairs and since then whenever we flush our toilet it sounds as though it is flushing right except there is no longer a swooshing sound at the end of the flush and there are remnants of toilet paper left behind. Any easy possible solutions would be appreciated, as we would rather not have to get the city plumbing department involved again. Thank You.

  • What is the water level like, in the tank? Is something clogging it's evacuation? – vn. Jan 18 '16 at 9:33
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Definitely, snake the toilet to confirm he didn't flush something bad or leave his rag in that was used to plug sewer gases out until his work was done. Some guys shove their rag in & out of sight to then forget about it.

Depending on the setup the shower could have cleared the rag from the shower & right into the toilet elbow. If you do hit something mushy with the toilet snake immediately or in a couple or few feet, then it's likely his rag. If it's not in the toilet itself, then the toilet has to be removed in order to retrieve it...So it doesn't get caught somewhere else where it can't be removed easily.

If you aren't comfortable with that &/or don't have a new toilet seal on hand, then absolutely get him back ASAP to fix whatever he did.

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There are multiple possible causes for a toilet that is not flushing completely:

  • the water level in the tank is not high enough (common)

remove the tank lid and inspect,the recommended water level is often marked on the inside of tank, either on the tank wall or on the overflow tube. Adjust your fill valve (ballcock valve) to attain the proper water level.

  • the flush valve (the thing that raises to allow water to flow out of the tank and into the bowl. This is sometimes a flapper thing, sometimes a ball on wires/chain, sometimes a peculiar proprietary mechanism) is maladjusted/worn/damaged (common)

remove the tank lid and inspect the flush valve for damage and ensure it is connected and aligned properly. Observe it's behavior whilst flushing, it should not drop down to the closed position until a significant amount of the tank water has drained to the bowl. Try manually holding it up to see if the flush improves, if it does this is an indication it is closing too early.

  • there is a partial obstruction in the toilet trap (common)

if neither of the above apply, one would suspect a partial obstruction. You would then need to aquire a toilet auger and use it to clear the toilet trap.

  • a partial obstruction in the drain line downstream of the toilet trap (less common)

this is not common as the pipe downstream of the toilet are typically large (3"-4" diameter). This could require removal of the toilet and snake/rod by professional or well equipped DIY'er.

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  • I had a problem where the fill tube was not properly connected (and aimed into) the overflow tube. This caused flushing problems. – Pigrew Feb 17 '16 at 19:52

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