If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your toilet siphon jet very often.
But if it’s not clean, your toilet won’t flush properly.
In this article, I’ll show you how to clean your toilet siphon jet in just a few minutes using a few simple tools and supplies.
What Is A Siphon Jet and How Does It Work?
Most people don’t know about the siphon jet because of its location. The siphon jet is a small hole located inside the toilet bowl. It faces the toilet trap way in the toilet bowl.
When you flush, the water enters the toilet bowl and is separated into two channels – siphon jet and inlet holes.
The siphon jet receives most of the water. The siphon jet doesn’t carry out any siphoning effect by itself in the toilet bowl.
Instead, it jets this water forcefully into the toilet trap way, which triggers the siphoning effect.
The siphon effect pulls the wastes into the trap way and down into the drain pipe for a powerful flush.
Depending on the toilet design, the toilet trap way can be U-shaped, S-shaped, or inverted-P-shaped. Whatever the shape may be, siphon jet is effective in flushing away wastes.
Watch this video to better understand how a siphon jet works.
Why does Siphon Jet Get Clogged?
Being a small hole, the siphon jet can get clogged over time due to the following reasons:
This is usually the major reason for a clogged siphon jet, especially in households with a hard water supply issue.
As you use your toilet, calcium, lime, and other mineral deposits in hard water will gradually accumulate around the jet. Over time, this accumulation will form a clog on the siphon jet.
If you don’t use your toilet always, bacteria and mold can accumulate around the siphon jet.
If this continues, the bacteria and mold will eventually form a clog over the siphon jet.
Dirt and Debris
If you leave your toilet dirty always, dirt and debris from waste will begin to stick together around the siphon jet.
With time, this will form a larger buildup capable of clogging the siphon jet.
Due to its size and position, the siphon jet can quickly get dirty and blocked when it’s always left dirty.
However, clogging due to dirt and debris will rarely happen if you always flush your toilet immediately after use.
How Do You Know If It’s Clogged?
A clogged siphon jet is not the only reason for poor flushing. However, you can know if the poor flushing is due to a clogged siphon jet by using these methods:
Check the Flush Pressure
Do you have enough water in your toilet tank but your toilet doesn’t flush properly or entirely? This is a sign of a clogged siphon jet.
You’ll only notice water going down the bowl from the rim jet and not from behind the bowl.
The water from the rim jets alone will not produce enough pressure to drain the toilet effectively. A clogged siphon jet will usually lead to weak flushing.
Check the Water Level in the Bowl
The siphon jet helps lower the bowl’s water level by pushing excess water into the trap way.
Did you notice that the water level in the bowl remains high after flushing? Or that the water level takes a long time to lower?
It’s another sign that the siphon jets are clogged.
Thoroughly Inspect the Toilet Siphon Jet
Due to the location of the siphon jet, you may need a mirror and a pair of gloves to achieve this.
Flush your toilet and check the siphon jet if it’s blocked. You can use your finger to check if it’s blocked or use a mirror to view the hole.
Also, check if there are stains and discolorations around the siphon jet.
Gray stains or rust discoloration is an indication of mineral buildup while dark or orange discolorations are caused by bacteria.
This will help you to know the actual cause of the clog.
How to Clean Siphon Jets?
If after trying the methods above, you’re sure that the siphon jet is clogged, here’s how to clean it. The following steps present an effective way to clean the siphon jet.
To effectively clean the siphon jet, you need the following tools and materials:
- White Vinegar
- Baking soda (optional)
- Bleach Solution (one part of bleach to ten parts of water)
- A pair of latex hand gloves
- L-shaped Allen wrench – 3/16in.
- Toilet brush
- Spray bottle
How to Clean Up Mineral Buildup
We’ve shared a couple of methods below. Follow the one that feels comfortable to you-
You would need white vinegar for this process.
- Heat about 360 grams of white vinegar in a suitable container to about 120°F.
- Turn off the water supply valve to stop water from entering the toilet tank.
- Flush your toilet to drain the tank. Hold the flush lever/button for a few minutes to ensure that the toilet tank is empty.
- Use a plunger to remove water from the toilet bowl.
- Remove the toilet tank lid and keep it safe.
- Look into the overflow tube and make sure that it’s empty.
- Using a funnel, gently pour the heated vinegar into the overflow tube. You may wish to add some baking soda to it.
- Leave the toilet for some hours without flushing (overnight is better). The vinegar will find its way into the siphon jet.
- Return to your toilet and use the L-shaped Allen wrench to poke the siphon jet. The clog should break off.
- Spray some vinegar on the outside of the siphon jet from inside the toilet bowl and leave for about 30 minutes.
- Use a toothbrush to scrub the outside of the siphon jet. Use a mirror to check that you have properly cleaned the siphon jet.
- Turn on the water supply valve and fill the tank with water.
- Replace the lid and flush your toilet.
- Repeat the scrubbing and flush several times afterward.
To prevent the subsequent occurrence of mineral buildup in the siphon jet, pour white vinegar into the bowl periodically and leave it overnight.
You can also use muriatic acid to clean up mineral buildups within the siphon jet.
- Pour a cup of muriatic acid into the overflow tube. It will find its way to the siphon jet.
- Leave your toilet for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- You may need to spay some muriatic acid on the surface of the siphon jet.
- Use the L-shaped Allen wrench to remove the clog from the siphon jet.
- Use a toothbrush to scrub off any remaining stain on the outside of the siphon jet.
How to Clean Up Bacteria Buildup
The process of cleaning up bacteria buildup follows the same steps in method 1 above.
You only need to use a bleach solution for this process instead of white vinegar. To prevent the subsequent occurrence of bacteria buildup, clean the toilet bowl with a bleach solution every week.
Be very careful when handling muriatic acid, as it is a very corrosive substance. Wear gloves and goggles when using this chemical.
Work in a well-ventilated area when using chemicals such as muriatic acid or bleach solutions.
If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, it’s best to call a professional plumber.
How to Clean Up Dirt and Debris
Either of the two methods above will remove dirt and debris from the siphon jets as well.
Most importantly, always flush your toilet immediately after use to prevent dirt and debris from building up around the siphon jet.
If the clog from dirt and debris isn’t too stubborn, you can try a few regular flush before using any of the methods. If after 5 to 7 flushes, the clog doesn’t remove, then utilize the methods I’ve described above.
Ways to Prevent Siphon Jet from Clogging
The best way to prevent siphon jet from clogging is to clean your toilet regularly. Clean the inside of the tank always and flush immediately after use.
There is nothing special you need to do to prevent the jet from clogging up. Still, here are the tips as many of you were asking this from me-
- Use your toilet regularly.
- Don’t flush wet wipes or too much toilet paper.
- Once in a while, dump a bucket of hot water (not too hot) into the toilet bowl.
- If you only have access to a hard water supply, you should install a water softener. This will reduce the amount of mineral content in the water.
- Once in a while, pour some liquid dish soap into the overflow tube. It can help dissolve calcium deposits around the siphon jet.
- Ensure that your toilet’s flushing mechanisms are working properly.
- Don’t dispose of sanitary products in the toilet bowl.
If you are facing the siphon jet clog issue despite following these tips, try these-
- Pour some warm white vinegar into the toilet bowl and leave it overnight every 15 days.
- Periodically, leave some bleach in the overflow tube.
A clogged siphon jet can be a real pain. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also cause your toilet to flush inefficiently.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to clean a toilet siphon jet and prevent it from clogging up again in the future.
I hope the article helped you solve the issue and educated you in the right direction to prevent any future buildup in the jet opening.