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The Home Depot

Why Does My Toilet Flush Twice?

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > Why Does My Toilet Flush Twice?
Why Does My Toilet Flush Twice?

If there is anywhere in your house that you want things to, er, go smoothly it’s in your toilet. Potty problems can cause a mess or end up wasting water. So when there is a problem, it’s best to get it fixed right away.


A toilet that flushes twice even though you’ve only intended for it to flush once can be confusing. However, we can help you solve your problem. Stop scratching your head and start reading this handy guide.

  1. 1. How your toilet works.

    We’ll start with your toilet bowl. This is the water-filled receptacle for whatever you, um, deposit. There is a siphon attached to the bowl that helps keep it filled with water and acts as a path for toilet waste to take out of your home. Your toilet tank provides the power you need to move waste through the siphon and out through your plumbing. When you flush your toilet, several gallons of water exit your tank and floods your bowl to move the waste away. When you flush your toilet, the handle pulls a chain. That chain is connected to the flush valve. The flush valve, which usually covers a hole, is lifted. That allows water to come flooding into the tank. Ever opened up your toilet tank and noticed a kind of floating ball in there? That gives your toilet the signal to refill. A valve turns out to let in more water when that floating ball falls. When the ball floats to the top of the tank, the water turns off.

  2. 2. Old toilet

    As you see, there are lots of moving pieces that work together to ensure your toilet works the way it should. However, if your toilet is really old any of these mechanisms could begin to fail you. If you have an older toilet, inspect all of its parts regularly and replace things that appear worn out or broken.

  3. 3. When the problem is with your flapper

    Your flapper helps seal water inside your tank until it needs to be released. Have you recently replaced your flapper? If so, that could be the cause of your problem. It could be that you have the wrong flapper for your toilet. Or, your flapper could be loose or malfunctioning. Make sure you check your flapper at least once a year to make sure it’s still in good working order.

  4. 4. Other causes

    There are other parts of this system that could be failing, too. It could be your flush lever chain or your flush valve. The flush lever chain is also called the lift handle. It lifts the flapper when the toilet needs to be flushed. The flush valve moves out of the way so that water can flow out of the tank.

  5. 5. Too much water

    Your tank could be feeding too much water to the overflow pipe. Normally, when you flush, water flows into the toilet bowl through the main valve. A little water might also come in through the flow overflow pipe. Your toilet has a small tube that leads from the float valve to the overflow pipe. If that feed sends too much water, the bowl will overfull then “flush” again to get rid of the extra water.

  6. 6. When to call a pro

    If you can’t get to the bottom of this problem on your own, you should probably call in a plumber to repair your toilet. You don’t want to ignore the problem because you could be wasting a lot of water – and that could affect your wallet. Also, whatever the problem is won’t just go away. A pro can figure out what’s wrong and fix it quickly.

  7. 7. Keeping your toilet tip-top

    To make sure your toilet stays running smoothly, don’t try to flush trash or other debris down your toilet. Open up the tank every once in a while and inspect the contents to make sure everything is in good working order. Inspect the outside of your toilet for leaks or cracks. Doing this will increase the likelihood that you catch problems before they start.

  8. A double flushing toilet is annoying, but it’s not the end of the world. Take the steps necessary to get to the bottom of the problem. And if you can’t figure it out yourself, there is no shame in calling in a pro. The faster you pick up the phone and call a plumber, the faster you ditch your annoying problem.

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