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Toilet Cistern Is Not Filling
The toilet cistern or toilet tank not filling up is a frequent issue for homeowners. It can be quite a problem when you realise that your toilet tank rarely has enough water to flush properly. So, flushing your toilet more than once could be necessary to eliminate the bowl contents. This article explains why there is often insufficient water in your toilet and suitable solutions. Read on to learn more!
Reasons Your Toilet Tank Is Not Filling Up
The shut-off valve
If your toilet tank isn't filled even a little bit, the initial step is to check whether the shut-off valve is closed. It's located on the wall behind the toilet, so rotate it counter clockwise to unlock it.
A push-pull valve can be seen on specific toilets. Turn off the water supply to the toilet and turn the valve handle.
The water supply line is clogged
When there's an issue with the line of water supply that connects to the toilet, the tank will fill up, though slowly. If the leak isn't fixed, the tank will begin filling slower as time passes. This is something a plumber must look into immediately.
Leaks that are not noticed can destroy flooring, drywall, and other structural components. In addition, they could also result in expensive costs for water. Sometimes, clogs are created within the water supply line and cause the tank to fill slowly. To check this:
- Turn the supply line off the wall, typically under the toilet tank.
- When the water supply is switched off, disconnect the supply line from the toilet and point it toward an empty bucket.
- Switch your water back on. If the water is flowing out in a tidal flow or does not come out, there's a high chance that the line has a blockage.
- If there's no obstruction or blockage, it may be caused by a leak within the supply line for water or the pipes. A plumber can inspect for leaks and other tests to determine what's wrong and the best way to address the issue.
Float ball adjustment
A float ball, also known as a cylindrical float, is installed inside your toilet. Float balls are usually found in older toilets, while float cups are used in more modern bathrooms and are considerably smaller.
If your toilet cistern is not filling up, the float ball within the toilet cistern may be the primary reason. When the water level in the tank is at the ideal level, the float ball aids in stopping the flow of water through the shifting of the floating arm. This prevents further inflow to the tank of water.
If the toilet float's setting is too low, the tank's water level will be too low. If, on the other hand, the toilet is not set at a sufficient level, the water level will rise and cause an overflow of the tank and then flow into the toilet bowl through the tube that soaks.
How to adjust the toilet float
- The water supply is switched to the toilet by shutting off the shut-off valve at the bathroom's rear. If the toilet has a pull or push valve, turn it clockwise and pull it out.
- Hold the lever down for a long enough time that the toilet is flushed, and then remove most of the water.
- Take the lid off the toilet and store it somewhere safe.
- Verify whether you own a float ball or a floating cup.
- When the valves for filling are equipped with a float ball, it is necessary to search for a screw in the area where the float arm joins the valve for filling. Rotate this screw clockwise with a screwdriver to increase the level of water within the tank for the toilet.
- Find a long plastic screw that is attached to the float inside the float cup. To increase the level of water within your tank for toilets, make it turn clockwise using the screwdriver.
- Don't over-tighten the screws when making adjustments. Turn off the water supply till the level of water is about a half inch below the overflow pipe.
- Replace the lid of the tank of your toilet.
- If this does not work, you might need to replace the floating ball. The reason a float ball can float is the fact that it's hollow inside. As time passes, a float can have holes or cracks which allow water to enter. A hollow float ball filled with water won't flounder very well.
Adjust the toilet valve
A fill valve can be found within the tank and is usually located on the left. It's the component of the toilet that releases fluid back into the tank following flushing. It is linked to the fill tube as well as the toilet float.
After flushing the toilet, the float is moved to the tank's base, which allows the fill valve to open. As the water starts to fill in the tank, it is moved upwards gradually until it is filled. The refill tube pumps some water into the bowl via the overflow tube to stop the sewer gases from escaping into the bathroom.
If the fill valve in your toilet is damaged, the tank won't fill with water. The fill valve usually doesn't let the toilet fill up with water due to an accumulation of dirt in the water supply, or it is too old, and the seals have worn out.
If the fill valve in your tank is new and you think there is a blockage that could prevent water flow into your tank, it is possible to fix it. A slow filling of the toilet could evidence this.
How to adjust the toilet fill valve
- Shut off the water to the toilet.
- Clean the toilet.
- Using one hand, grasp the valve's shaft to the bottom. Then, use your free hand to give the fill valve cap 1/8 and turn counter clockwise to take it off.
- Examine the holes in the valve seat for any debris.
- Place an empty cup on the valve for filling to prevent splashing water, and then wholly open the supply of water towards the toilet. The pressure of the water should push any waste out.
- After the valve has been unblocked, place the cap back on the fill valve.
If you've got a worn-in fill valve, it is best to replace it. Fill valves are relatively inexpensive, and often it makes sense to replace rather than repair them. Replacing a fill valve is also relatively simple.
How to replace the toilet fill valve
- Switch off the water to the toilet.
- The toilet should be flushed, and then hold the lever until you remove as much water as possible.
- The supply line connects to the toilet tank by a coupling that you must turn counter clockwise to disconnect. You can do this using only your hand, not using a wrench.
- Then, take off the lock nut, making it turn counter clockwise.
- Take the refill clip off the tube that is used for overflow—lifting the valve for filling.
- Clean the area in which the new valve for filling will be placed.
You can adjust the fill valve's height. Fill valves can be adjusted to suit various size tanks. To alter them, grab the top portion from the valve, and turn the threaded section on the bottom clockwise, increasing the valve's length. The ideal position for the cap on the fill valve should be three inches above the lid of the tubing overflow.
- Insert the fill valve, then fix it using the locknut.
- Make sure to reconnect the power line.
- Connect the tube for refilling onto the tube that is overflowing.
- Make sure that you open the water supply to the toilet.
- Adjust the amount of water in the tank for the toilet, if necessary.
Low water pressure
If you are experiencing issues with your cistern not filling up aside from a defective fill valve, the most likely reason is that the water pressure is not high enough. What can cause low water pressure? Rusty and leaky pipes are the most common reasons for low water pressure in houses.
Sometimes there is a problem with the way the water lines are arranged. This is usually the case in older homes. When water doesn't flow efficiently, it is likely due to low pressure in the water. When this happens, you'll need to replace or repair the pipes. While it might appear to be costly toilet repairs, it's well worth it in the long term.
A faulty trip assembly
The handle you use to flush your toilet can be known as the trip lever. Trip assembly refers to the piece inside the tank connected with the handle on its outside. A critical reason your toilet may not be filled with water after flushing could be due to your trip assembly.
The toilet may not flush and fill correctly if the trip assembly isn't appropriately positioned, damaged, or bent. Sometimes chains that link the trip assembly and the flapper fail. To address this issue, remove the lid and inspect your trip assembly.
If you find it is the case that your trip unit has been damaged, bent, or worn out, it is the right time to consider replacing it. Only through replacing the entire trip assembly will you resolve this filling issue.
The overflow tube
The toilet overflow tube is a tube that runs through the centre of the toilet tank and carries excess water into the bowl of the toilet to prevent the bowl from overflowing. While it's not usually the case, the overflow tube may break, which can pump the water from the tank out into the bowl of the toilet.
This could be why you are dealing with a toilet that isn't full, but the water is flowing. Overflow tubes aren't hard to repair. You only need to remove it from the base of the flush valve and insert an alternative one. Make sure the flow tube you purchase is of the appropriate dimension.
The toilet flapper
If your toilet doesn't seem to be filling and the water is flowing, it may be a problem related to the flapper. This is the mechanism made of rubber in the bottom of the tank, which is pulled upwards as you flush your toilet. The flapper lets the water from the tank flow into the toilet bowl, which flushes the toilet. After the flapper has settled in place after flushing, it seals up the tank time, allowing it to fill with water.
Lift chains are used to connect the flapper to the handle on the toilet. A one-and-a-half-centimetre slack in the chain is preferable. The flapper will fall off if the chain is too tight or connected to an additional tank part. Ultimately, the toilet won't fill and will continue to run constantly. If the end of the chain is hanging loosely in the toilet tank, it could cause an issue.
It could get into the flapper's hole after flushing and cause the flapper to seal appropriately. Then, you'll be left with a toilet that doesn't stop running and will not flush. Furthermore, minerals such as calcium and other debris from the water can build up under the toilet's flapper and around the flush valve hole. This causes the flapper not to shut properly, leading to running toilets and empty tanks.
Resolving the issue using water to flush the flapper and flush valve is recommended. If the flapper on your toilet is damaged, the flapper could permit a tiny amount of water to leak out of the tank and into the bowl. This can make your toilet go through an endless cycle of filling up, then draining, and filling up again, creating the impression that the toilet isn't fully filled. It is possible to determine if the flapper is the cause of the issue by examining it for cracks or growth of fungus.
How to replace the toilet flapper
- Switch off the water supply. The shut-off valve can be found behind the toilet's cistern; turn it clockwise.
- To get rid of as much water as possible, flush the toilet and keep the lever in place.
- Take off the toilet cover and put it in a secure place.
- Lift the flapper from the overflow tube by taking off the pegs and holding it in place.
- Make sure to thoroughly clean the region where the flapper being replaced will be installed.
- The pegs must be connected to the overflowing tube and install the flapper.
- The chain for lifting should be linked to the handle arms.
- The toilet should be turned on to supply water.
- Check that your toilet tank isn't overflowing and that the tank isn't leaking.
- Replace the lid of the tank for the toilet.
Waste line blockages
A blocked sewer drain could be why the toilet does not fill up with water after a flush. The sewer vent pipe is blocked and could likely be the reason for the low water levels in the toilet bowl. This line of sewers is accountable for removing waste gases from the toilet after it is flushed. The water level is affected if there's no airflow in this line.
Some possible reasons for blocking include the nests of birds, leaves, dead rodents, branches, or other debris that makes its way to your roof. For this problem, you should employ a professional plumber or try to remove the debris with a plumber's snake.
Bricks or mortar in the toilet cistern
Some people place small blocks or other large objects inside toilet cisterns to ensure water flow. This isn't good for the safety of your toilet, and if you've done similar things or used a heavy object, you must eliminate it as soon as possible. This is most likely to be the cause of the tank's deficiency of flushing water. In this way, the toilet's cistern could be blocked. It is possible that, consequently, the tank may also be affected.
Pay Attention To Serious Plumbing Issues
Several issues can affect your toilet cistern and stop it from filling up as well as it should. A properly functioning toilet is as important as other bathroom features, such as a water heater or comfy bath mats. If you follow the guidelines in this article with care, the toilet cistern should be filled with water within minutes. If you're still struggling to pinpoint the reason your toilet tank isn't filled fully, then seek professional assistance.
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Tropical Coast Plumbing's team of experienced plumbers are here to offer you the best in residential and commercial plumbing solutions. Whether it be gas plumbing, emergency plumbing, blocked toilets, hot water installation or general plumbing, our plumbers know how to get the job done right.