Picture this: You’re doing your business in the bathroom at your friend’s house. Everything’s going great, but when you push down on the lever to clear the waste, the toilet flushes but poop stays. Oh, crap! (pun intended)
Now you have to sit there and wait for the tank to fill up so you can attempt a second flush, but the stubborn piece of poop still won’t budge. At this point, you’re asking yourself, ‘OMG, why is this happening to me?’
In this article, we narrow down the potential culprits behind the insistent presence of poop in the bowl post-flush and explore some possible solutions.
Why Toilet Flushes but Poop Stays After a Flush
We’ve all been there in your home or someone else’s. The toilet flushes but poop stays in the bowl.
It’s one of the most common bathroom problems many people face, and tends to happen at the most inopportune times.
There are several possible causes for this issue, which we explain below.
The Toilet Is Clogged
If a toilet doesn’t flush completely, it’s probably clogged.
The toilet may be clogged with too much toilet paper, a foreign object, or a buildup of waste material.
This can prevent the poop from being flushed out of the trap or the drainpipe.
Low Water Pressure
Another possible cause is low water pressure. In other words, the toilet has insufficient water pressure or volume to flush the poop effectively.
A toilet will have low water pressure if the water level in the tank is too low, the flapper valve is leaking, the chain is broken, or the inlet holes are blocked.
If this is recurring and you’re sure the toilet or drainage system is not the issue, the problem could be your poop.
Perhaps you have a health issue making your poop too hard, sticky, or buoyant to be flushed easily.
This can happen if you have a low-fiber diet, a high-fat diet, dehydration, or certain medical conditions.
What To Do When Toilet Flushes But Poop Stays
It can be very unpleasant and frustrating when you flush the toilet but the poop doesn’t go down the drain.
So, what do you do when that happens? Below, we review some possible solutions to help you deal with this problem.
Unclog the Toilet
The first thing you should do in this situation is try to unclog the toilet. You can remove the clog using a plunger or a drain snake.
If you don’t have access to a plunger or drain snake — or they don’t work — you can also use a chemical drain cleaner to dissolve the blockage.
You can try the Drano Max Gel Clog Remover to blast gunky clogs such as toilet paper, soap scum, or hair.
However, be careful not to use too much chemical drain cleaner — or use it too often — as it can damage your pipes.
Alternatively, you can apply homemade solutions such as hot water and dish soap, which lubricate the clogged pipe and allow the lodged debris to slide down more easily.
You may also use baking soda and vinegar to create a chemical reaction that breaks down the clog.
Fix Low Toilet Water Pressure
Low water pressure could also be a problem when a toilet doesn’t completely flush.
There are several possible causes of low water pressure in a toilet, such as low water level in the tank, faulty valves, or blocked siphon jets in the bowl.
To fix toilet water pressure, you may need to adjust, clean, or replace some of your toilet parts (depending on the cause).
Start by checking the water level in the tank and ensure it’s at least an inch or two beneath the overflow tube. You can raise the toilet water level by clockwise turning the screw on the fill valve.
If that doesn’t work, the issue is probably a faulty component. Check if the flapper valve, the chain, or the inlet holes are working correctly, and replace or repair any faulty components.
Finally, check if there are any blockages in the siphon jets around the rim of the bowl and clean them.
Make Some Dietary Adjustments
When the toilet flushes but poop stays, the problem isn’t always mechanical.
None of the above solutions will work if your problem is health-related, which is often the case with sticky poop.
Sticky stools don’t flush easily, often needing multiple flushes to go down the drain.
If you notice that your poops are sticky, your diet is the most likely culprit. For instance, a fat-rich diet slows digestion, leading to sticky, harder stools that may be tough to flush. You may also be constipated.
To avoid sticky poop, you may want to change your diet and lifestyle. Here are a few examples of adjustments you can make:
- Limit your intake of fatty foods, including certain dairy products, pastries, fatty meat, and fried food. These foods can slow down your digestion and make your stool stickier.
- Eat more fiber-rich foods like whole grains, lentils, beans, seeds, and fruits and vegetables. Fiber can bulk up your stool, making it softer and easier to pass.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help your stool move more easily through your digestive system.
- Avoid foods that contain gluten if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and certain other grains. It can damage your intestines and prevent you from absorbing fats properly.
- Avoid foods that contain lactose if you have lactose intolerance or difficulty digesting milk products. Lactose is a sugar present in dairy products. It can cause sticky stools, diarrhea, gas, and bloating if you lack the enzyme to digest it.
Some over-the-counter medications or supplements can help with fat digestion or stool softening.
For example, you can try laxatives, stool softeners, digestive enzymes, or bile salts. Talk to your doctor before taking any medications or supplements to ensure they are safe and suitable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Poop Not Flushing?
If your poop is not flushing, there may be a few possible causes. In most cases, this issue stems from problems with the toilet or sewer pipes.
However, it’s also possible that a health issue or poor diet is making your poop sticky and tough to flush.
How Do You Flush Poop When Flush Is Not Working?
If your toilet is malfunctioning right after a poop, you’ll have to flush it manually to eliminate the waste in the bowl before you start looking for the problems.
For instance, you can try pouring a bucket of water into the toilet bowl to flush the stubborn poop.
How Can I Make My Toilet Flush Stronger?
There are several possible ways to improve the flushing power of your toilet, depending on the cause of the problem.
Remove clogs, fix low water levels, and clear mineral buildup in the jets.
No More Oopsie Poopsies
Poop that doesn’t go away when you flush can be frustrating and embarrassing.
Now that you understand why your toilet flushes but poop stays and how to fix it, you can swiftly deal with this unpleasant situation and avoid any awkwardness.
Wayne J. is a writer and editor for Mybeautifulhaven.com. He is happy to put in the time and effort to conduct thorough market research to identify common issues faced by households concerning their plumbing systems and other household fixtures. His passion is to help you solve the most pressing issues you are facing in your home and recommend the best products available on the market.