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Fixing a Double Flushing Toilet

Updated: Jun. 24, 2019

The rinse holes may be the reason you need to double flush

FH01APR_DOUFLU_01-2Family Handyman
If your toilet doesn't flush as well as it used to, there's a good chance that lime deposits are building up in the rinse holes and slowing water flow. Removing the lime should fix the problem.

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Clear the lime from the toilet

Photo A: Rinse holes

Clean the rinse holes.

Photo B: Plug holes

Seal the rinse holes.

Photo C: Dissolve deposits

Remove lime deposits.

If your toilet worked well in the past and you live in an area with hard water, chances are the rinse holes around the bottom of the rim have become clogged with lime deposits. Clear rinse and siphon holes are crucial for complete flushing action. Even though the water from the tank will eventually find its way into the bowl, high water volume on the first surge is important for good flushing. There has to be a “critical mass” of water for solids to be flushed.

As a first step, ream out the rinse holes with a bent coat hanger (Photo A). To do a thorough job, dry the bottom of the rim, then roll up paper towel “ropes” and seal them against the bottom of the rinse holes with plumber's putty pushed against the bottom of the rim (Photo B). Then seal the siphon jet hole with another glob of putty and pour a bottle of lime remover into the overflow pipe (Photo C). Let it sit for at least eight hours to allow the lime remover to dissolve deposits. Remove everything and flush the toilet several times.

Required Tools for this Project

You may want rubber gloves

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Lime remover
  • Paper towels
  • Plumber's putty
  • Wire coat hanger