Toilet Flushes but Poop Stays: 10 Common Causes and Fixes

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One of the most common plumbing issues most homeowners face is “toilet flushes but poop stays.” It is a lingering problem that emanates from the inability of the toilet to flush properly.  The fact is that a functional toilet should pull waste down the closet with nothing left floating. If this doesn’t happen, it becomes a frustrating issue that leaves you confused.

There are many reasons why your toilet won’t flush properly. It may be because your toilet drain is clogged, a faulty water tank, low water pressure, or even the design of your toilet. The good news is that it is easy to fix this problem. You can either get in touch with a professional plumber or try it yourself.

This article will explore the common causes as well as simple solutions to this issue.


Toilet Flushes but Poop Stays


Common Causes of Toilet Flushes but Poop Stays

There are many factors responsible for the inability of your toilet to flush properly. We will go through them in great depth in this section.


Your Toilet Drain is Blocked

A clogged toilet is most likely the reason for this issue. A clogged toilet is when there is a blockage in the toilet bowl or drain pipe, sometimes causing a backup of the waste content. When you frequently use your toilet, there is usually a buildup of toilet paper. calcium deposits, hard water, dirt, dust, and other debris. These deposits can restrict the pipe where there is the passage of waste.

As this occurs, wastewater won’t move easily out of the toilet bowl, as this will cause a blockage.  When the drain is blocked, even slightly, it will cause the toilet not to flush properly. This can result in the poop staying in the toilet bowl even after flushing. If you observe closely, you may see the toilet bowl getting filled with water and then struggling to drain properly when you have flushed.


Solution (s)

Here are some simple solutions to the clogged toilet drain issue:

  • Utilise a toilet plunger. It is a tool with a suction cup at the end that is used to unblock clogged drains and toilets. All you need to do is keep plunging.
  • Another suggestion is to use a drain auger or toilet snake. Push it into the toilet bowl and turn it to get rid of the clog.

If these don’t resolve the issue, you can get in touch with a professional plumber to carry out an inspection to detect the reason for the clog.


Your Rim Jets are Clogged 

Another reason for the toilet not flushing properly is clogged rim jets. The rim jets are openings found in the toilet tank and help facilitate flushing by allowing water to pass through them. When the rim jet is clogged, it can restrict water flow, leading to flushing problems.

And when there is not enough flow of water from the tank to the bowl, it will not produce enough pressure to flush the waste down the drain. One of the major causes of a clogged rim jet is the buildup of calcium deposits resulting from hard water. Other causes are debris and mould.


  • You can attempt cleaning up your rim jets by using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.  This is usually effective for ensuring proper flushing and water flow.
  • Another method is to use a chemical treatment to dissolve the accumulation of hard water. You can use toilet bowl cleaner or grime remover.


Faulty Water Tank

If there is no problem with your rim jet, then it is likely that the cause of the issue might be the water tank. This implies that a part of your water tank may be broken, resulting in a problem with your toilet flush valve.



Here are some solutions:

  • Check the chain and flapper to see if they are working without hitches. When these parts are faulty or broken, they may not be able to provide adequate water flow to push the waste down the bowl.
  • If there are issues with the flush mechanism (floating ball, flapper, or chain), it is important to carry out fixes or toilet replacements to get it working properly.
  • Don’t have the knowledge or expertise to make the necessary fix? Get in touch with a plumber.


Low Water Level or Pressure

To effectively get rid of waste, there must be adequate water in the toilet bowl. As a toilet is flushed, the waste in the bowl is forcefully pushed down the drain due to the impact of water pressure and gravity. If there isn’t adequate water, it will hamper the force and flow required to flush the waste.

This may result in the “toilet flushes but poop stays” issue. Also, low water levels are responsible for low pressure. This implies that the water won’t have enough flow rate and momentum to force the poop into the drain.



  • To fix this, you will have to raise or adjust the water level in your toilet tank.
  • A lot of toilets today feature a component known as a float that helps you control the flow of water into the tank. You can improve the process of flushing by raising the float to allow an adequate flow of water into the tank.


Toilet Design

Toilets are available in a wide variety of designs. This implies that some toilets may be better at getting rid of waste than others. For instance, newer, modern toilets are efficient at this because they are well designed and are equipped to thoroughly flush waste with less water.

Some of them come with sleek surfaces that minimise clogs and a dual flush button to help you select the appropriate flush. This is why installing a modern, newer toilet with a better design is recommended. Their water-saving features make them very functional.

By purchasing them, you can reduce your monthly water bill while doing good for the environment.


Flush Length is too Short

Some toilets usually have short flush lengths. In other words, the valve turns off immediately after being activated, forcing water into the bowl for a short time. Although this can curb water waste, it is a cause for concern, particularly if the content in the bowl is large.

A short flush length isn’t sufficient for waste to be completely disposed of from the bowl. This will lead to improper flushing and, in a worse-case scenario, clogs.



  • One way to get around this issue is to hold down the flush lever for an extended period of time. This will enhance the flushing process, causing a lot of water to get into the bowl. By doing this, you will dispose of waste efficiently.
  • Alternatively, replace your old toilet with one that has a longer flush length. Newer, contemporary toilets feature a dual-flush that has two flushes. Extended flush for solid waste and a shorter flush for liquid waste.
  • This is highly beneficial if you desire better handling of the way your toilet uses water, allowing seamless disposal of solid waste. You can be confident that each flush won’t leave any poop floating around. A longer flush duration leads to better flush performance and waste removal efficiency.


Outdated Plumbing system

Another reason for this inefficient flushing issue is that your plumbing system needs replacement or upgrade. This means your toilet isn’t equipped to properly handle water and waste.

If this is the case, a good solution is to get in touch with your plumber for toilet replacement. It is important that you upgrade your current plumbing system with a newer, more modern one that features a larger, wider-diameter flush valve that can dispose of waste efficiently.

They are equipped to cater for more toilet-per-person ratios and can curb problems such as clogs, overflow, and low water pressure.



If you encounter a toilet flush but poop stays in the bowl issue, you don’t need to be scared. This is a common issue that can be rectified with a quick fix. At times, simply flushing one or two times can easily dispose of the waste.

However, you might have to use a variety of tools, like a plunger, to force the waste through the drain pipe. Alternatively, you can get in touch with a professional plumber for a more reliable solution.

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