How To Fix Push Button Toilet Flush Problems (Stuck or Not Working)

It isn’t unusual for a toilet’s movable parts to break down and need replacing; in fact, it is expected after extended use, but toilet problems still cause a lot of inconveniences.

While it’s easier to overlook a cracked cover, you won’t have the same luxury with a malfunctioning flush button, so which push button toilet flush problems should you expect?

The push button in your toilet can stop working entirely, get stuck, or get loose after using it for a while. These problems stem from different reasons, including clogs, low water levels, blocked inlet holes, and a warped flapper.

While some issues may require a professional touch, before going down that route, try correcting the problems yourself. To aid your quest, continue reading the post to learn how to adjust a push button, fix a front push button, and get an overview of different push button toilet flush.

How to fix a front push button toilet flush

Push Button Toilet Flush Problems (Causes & Solutions)

In a hurry? here is a quick summary of the common push button toilet problems, probable causes and the recommended solutions.

 ProblemProbable CauseRecommended Solution
1. Stuck push button toilet flushThe float closes too fast, bad button mechanism, or a faulty flush valvePosition the lever diagonally to lower the water speed. Replace the button mechanism, lever, or flush valve
2. Loose push button toilet flushThe tightening screw is looseTighten the screw
3. The push button toilet flush isn’t workingSplit bellows or worn-out plastic tubesRemove the tub and cut a bit of it, then reattach it. Put in new bellows.

1. Stuck Push Button Toilet Flush

Your toilet push button can get stuck, causing the water to continue trickling. When this happens, you will undoubtedly push it again to see if the action will resolve the problem, thinking it’s just jammed, and while that could be the issue, sometimes it isn’t.

You will have to find the cause if the problem persists. These include:

a) The Tank Is Filling Up Too Quickly

If your toilet fills up too quickly, the float will close too early, causing the water to keep running. To diagnose this problem, you will need to remove the tank cover, press the push button and watch how quickly the water fills up while the system drains.


Lower the water speed by turning the shut-off valve into a diagonal position.

b) Broken Lever

The toilet lever can break, and you must find a solution for it to have a functional toilet. To confirm the issue, slightly lift the toilet cover and peek inside; don’t remove the lid entirely to avoid damaging the rod.


Replace the broken lever with a new one.

c) Push Button Toilet Flush Mechanism Problems

Your toilet’s button mechanism may be damaged, causing the push button to be stuck. If you suspect this, take off the toilet cover and push the button several times to see if the rod moves too. Taking time to examine the internal mechanism of your push button toilet will help uncover the issues.


Replace the button mechanism if the rod is worn-out or does not budge when pushed.

d) Damaged Flush Valve

If the button mechanism and the lever are in excellent condition, you will need to examine the flush valve. Put a wide stick into the port of the flush valve, then push it down, and if it does not flush, you have a damaged flush valve.


Replace the flush valve.

Damaged Flush Valve

2. Loose Push Button Toilet Flush

You may feel that the push button is loose when you try to flush the toilet. While the toilet could still drain the waste even with a loose push button, you may exacerbate the problem if you wait too long to fix this problem.  

A loose tightening screw likely causes this issue.


Tighten the screw underneath but be careful not to break or crack anything.

3. The Push Button Toilet Flush Isn’t Working

Your problem is much worse if the push button does not work entirely since that means not using the toilet or resorting to clearing the waste by pouring a bucket of water down the toilet bowl. This problem is commonly caused by split bellows or worn-out plastic tubes.

a) Split Bellows

The tiny plastic bellows can crack or split because of wear and tear. You must push the button after removing the lid to confirm this problem, and to be entirely sure, get the bellows from a toilet with a similar flush mechanism and fit into the malfunctioning toilet.


Replace the crack or split bellows.

b) Worn-out Tubes

The plastic tubes attached to the spigot may harden over time, leading to leakages upon pushing the button.


Remove the plastic tube, cut off about 10mm of it, and then form a new tube by reattaching it. Make sure it is airtight.

Push button toilet flush sticking

Types of Push Button Toilet Flush

Push button flushing mechanisms come in different forms.

1) Single Flush Buttons

This system is usually found in older toilet models and uses the same amount of water during every flush, with a single flush using up to twelve liters.

Single Flush Buttons

2) Dual Flush Buttons

You will find dual flush buttons in modern toilets, and they are designed with two buttons, one for a full flush and the other for a half flush. A full flush uses more water and is mostly used to drain solid waste.

Dual Flush Buttons

5. Pneumatic Flush Button

It’s also called an air-operated push button and usually goes on top of the cistern. It is considered more efficient.

Pneumatic Flush Button

4. Cable-Operated Button

Unlike pneumatic flush buttons, cable-operated buttons can be fitted on the cistern’s side, top, or front.

How To Adjust Push Button Toilet Flush Valve

You can adjust your push button toilet flush valve if it does not flush solid waste efficiently.

Here is what to do:

  • Remove and place the toilet lid on a safe, stable surface.
  • With your fingers, turn the turn that secures the threaded white rod counterclockwise. You do not need to adjust the blue rod because it opens the smaller flush valve, which flushes liquid waste.
  • Place the toilet lid back, test the button, and readjust the blue rod as needed until the toilet flushes efficiently.


Follow the same procedure to adjust the blue rod.

How Do You Fix a Push Button Toilet That Won’t Flush?

If cutting and reattaching the plastic tubes or swapping the bellows does not make your push button toilet flush again, then you will need to change the entire flushing mechanism.

Here’s how to do so:

1) Cut Off Your Toilet’s Water Supply

You must stop water from flowing into the toilet first. While this may mean not having water throughout the house, the action may also affect just the toilet if it has a shut-off valve.

Cut Off Your Toilet’s Water Supply

2) Open the Toilet Lid

You must remove the cistern lid to reach the flushing mechanism. Some lids have screws attached to them that you need to turn counterclockwise to unscrew, while others lift easily.

Carefully remove the toilet lid and detach the refill tube. After that, place the lid in a safe place, remove the button after undoing the nut holding it and clean the hole’s rim to prepare it for the new button.

Open the Toilet Lid

4. Remove the Entire Cistern

First, flush the system to empty the toilet tank before detaching the entire cistern. Usually, two screws attach the cistern to the wall, so you will need to unscrew them and then undo the wing nuts under the cistern.

You’ll also need to disconnect the pipe supplying water to the toilet tank.

Remove the Entire Cistern

5. Take Out the Old Flush Valve

Remove the doughnut-shaped rubber gasket, detach the back nut securing the flushing system using grips, and then remove the metal clamp. Next, take out the old flush valve.

6. Install the New Flushing Mechanism

  • Take out the doughnut shower the unfasten the nut with your hand.
  • Move the seal up, ensuring it sits tightly at the unit’s bottom.
  • Place and secure the flush valve through the toilet cistern.
  • The metal clamps go in next, then harden the nut by hand or with grips.
  • Place the new (if reusable) or old doughnut gasket.

7. Put the Toilet Cistern Back

Slide the bolts head back into their place, then secure the tank to the bowl by tightening the wing nuts. Ensure the cistern is secured to the wall by tightening the screws you unscrewed earlier.

Push button toilet flush Replacement

8. Attach the New Button

First, ensure you position the fill valve properly. Next, take out the plastic nut, put the replacement push button into the hole, secure the nut, and then join the new mechanism and the button.

9. Test the System

Restore the water supply and flush the toilet severally to ensure the new installation works perfectly.

Final Remarks on Push Button Toilet Flush Problems

Push buttons are more aesthetically appealing, efficient, and sanitary than the old-fashioned handle flush. However, they can develop problems that you must troubleshoot and fix. Luckily, you can DIY most push button flushing mechanism problems, but you can always call a professional if the issue is beyond your capabilities.

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