Why Won’t My Toilet Tank Fill Up With Water – 6 Simple Solutions


It’s a common issue for the toilet tank not to fill up even though the water in your home is running. It takes a maximum of three minutes for it to fill up. If for some reason it takes longer, it’s a sign of a problem that you’ll need to fix.

Thankfully, there are simple solutions to fix your toilet tank not filling up. Continue reading to find out how you can identify the problem and apply the right solution.

Change the Toilet Flapper

Sometimes, you’ll encounter a toilet problem that the water won’t stop running after you flush. This will prevent the tank from filling and can also lead to wasting a huge amount of water. If this happens to you, it’s likely time to change the toilet flapper.

Toilet tanks have a component at the bottom called the flapper. It seals the opening between the toilet tank and the toilet bowl. Whenever you flush, the flapper is supposed to lift and allow the water to flow to your bowl.

In most cases, it will stop working simply because it’s old and worn out. The good news is that it’s very easy to fix. This is how you can do it.

First off, you’ll need to rotate the shutoff water supply valve. This will turn off the water to the toilet. In case there is still any water in the toilet tank, you will need to drain it by holding the flush handle down.

Now, all you need to do is locate the flapper at the bottom of the tank and replace it. It’s usually found at the bottom center and is connected to the trip lever by a small metal chain. Remove the flapper and get ready to install the new one you bought at your local hardware store.

Put it in the same position as your old flapper. Make sure there are no gaps so the water remains in the tank. Connect the chain of the flapper with the handle lever. Each ear of the flapper should also be connected with the pegs of your flush water valve.

Once you replace the flapper, flush the toilet a few times to ensure it’s working properly.

Replace the Toilet Float Ball

It’s easy to see the toilet float when you open up the toilet tank. It is also referred to as the float valve. There might be an issue with this component if your tank is taking too long to refill or your toilet won’t flush. In some cases, it may also cause your toilet to run continuously.

This is an issue you might experience every once in a while. The fix you can apply is pretty simple. The first step you should take is shutting off the water and draining the toilet tank. After you do that, remove the toilet lid.

There are two different types of toilet floats. The most common one is the ball-and-arm float which has been used for decades. Newer toilet tanks can have a cylinder float, also referred to as a fluid master.

It’s easy to determine which type of float you have. Do you see something resembling a plastic ball inside your tank? If so, you have a ball-and-arm float. What you’ll need to do next is gently bend the float arm that is attached to the float ball or the float cup. This way, you’ll be able to determine whether the float ball is waterlogged.

It’s normal for the ball to develop pinholes after a while and get waterlogged. All you’ll need to do to fix this issue is replace the float ball with a new one.

Fill Valves Issue: Replace the Toilet Fill Valve

The toilet fill valve is a component that controls the flow of water into the tank. In case your tank doesn’t fill properly, it may be due to the fill valve not functioning. This component is mounted on the left side of your tank.

Like with all the previous fixes, to replace a faulty fill valve you will need to empty the tank completely. You can get most of the water out by flushing. Any remaining water in the tank can be removed with a sponge.

Replacing this component is not a hard task. You can begin by grabbing an adjustable wrench and disconnecting the supply tube found on the bottom of the fill valve tailpiece. Now reach down to the bottom of the tank to remove the mounting nut.

Toilet fill valves come with a rubber washer that you will need to slide onto the bottom flange of the tailpiece. This rubber component plays an important part in preventing leakage.

After you prepare the fill valve for installation, make sure you insert the tailpiece through the same hole at the bottom of the tank where you removed the mounting nut. The water outlet of the valve needs to face the overflow tube. Once you’re done with this step, thread the new mounting nut to the component.

The next step is all about reconnecting the water supply to the valve. Replacing the toilet’s fill valves doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and will help your tank refill with water.

Change the Toilet Water Supply Line

Does your toilet tank fill up with water extremely slowly? A leak in the water supply line may be the reason for this. If you don’t fix the leak, the refill process will gradually become slower.

Apart from ensuring that the tank fills up quickly, it’s important to fix any leak in the supply line to avoid damage to structural elements. Keep in mind that leaks can also lead to increased water bills.

To change the supply line, you’ll first need to locate the shut-off valve. It is found underneath the toilet. Now simply use your hand to turn it clockwise until you can’t anymore. By the time you’re finished turning the valve, it should stop the flow of water in the line.

Now flush the toilet to get out most of the water left in the tank and use a sponge to remove the rest. Once you’ve finished doing that, grab a bucket because the next step might get messy.

There’s a nut attached to the water supply. You’ll need a vice grip to loosen it. You will also have to loosen the nut attached to the tank. Place the bucket underneath the tank before loosening the nuts to catch any excess water.

Attach a new supply line and use vice grips to tighten the nut. Once the new line is attached, tighten the bullock nut to the bottom of the toilet tank with your hand. Finally, turn the shut-off valve counter-clockwise and your issue should be resolved.

Replace the Overflow Tube

As the name suggests, an overflow tube is a component that is designed to prevent the water in the tank from overflowing. It’s a big tube located in the center of the tank.

All things have an expiration date, and so does an overflow tube. After a while, it may crack and just keep sending the water from the tank into the bowl. This will prevent the tank from filling up.

So, what should you do if you have a cracked overflow tube? You should simply replace it with a new one. Just make sure that they’re the same size. This is arguably the easiest solution on this list. Here’s what you need to do.

Start by shutting off the water to the toilet. Drain any remaining water in the tank. Remove the bolt attached to the flush valve at the bottom of the tank. Replace the overflow tube with a new one, place the bolt back and tighten it. That’s all you have to do for this easy fix.

If changing the overflow tube doesn’t help you solve your problem, you may need to replace the entire flush valve.

Replace the Toilet Flush Valve

The flush valve is made up of the overflow tube, trip lever, tank-ball or flapper, and flush valve seat. It also contains a lift rod or chain that connects the flapper to the trip lever.

When you activate a flush cycle, the flush valve allows the water to go from the tank to the bowl. In case there’s a problem big enough that requires the whole flush valve to be replaced, here’s how you can do it.

Turn off the water to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve clockwise. Remove all remaining water from the tank and disconnect the water supply tube from the tank.

Next, you’ll need to disconnect the flapper chain from the float arm of the trip lever. Remove the refill tube attached to the overflow tube. Use a slotted screwdriver to remove the bolts attached to the bottom of the tank.

Remove the tank from the bowl and place it on a firm surface. Unscrew the locknut that’s attached to the flush valve. Use the same process in reverse to attack a new flush valve.

When you’re finished putting all components in their place, flush the toilet to test whether the tank will now fill properly.

Smith Edwards

Smith Edwards is a licensed plumber and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years.

Recent Posts