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Toilet Won’t Fill With Water: What Should You Do?

We face toilet tank problems very often. Sometimes, when the flapper valve is bad, ghost flushes happen. However, the main problem starts when you notice the tank isn’t filling enough water. 

What to do when your toilet won’t fill with water? 

There are two things you can do to fix a toilet that won’t fill. You have to replace the fill valve or flapper valve to get rid of it. Mostly these valves are the reason for the toilet not filling. But the good news is, you can fix it yourself with the proper guidance.

This is only the gist of the solution. If you’ve got a minute, find out more on how to get your toilet fixed. So, let’s dive into the details! 

Why Is The Toilet Tank Not Filling Water?

First, let us take a look at the reasons responsible for this problem-

The water level in the tank is supposed to stay at ½ inch height. Now, if your toilet tank isn’t filling up, your fill valve isn’t working properly. 

Another common problem for the flush is a faulty flapper valve. You can check directly by opening the cover of the tank. A bad flapper valve is also responsible for ghost flushing every 5 mins. So, you must fix it as soon as possible.

Pour food colour or dye tablets into the tank. Now check if the dye tablet moves into the bowl without flushing. If it does, you have a bad flapper. You may also want to increase the GPF on your toilets meanwhile. 

How To Fix A Toilet That Won’t Fill? [Step-By-Step Guide]

It’s time to answer your most wanted question. Previously we’ve mentioned, there are two ways to fix this problem. You can replace the flapper. If that doesn’t work, you need to replace the fill valve.

Why wait? Let’s begin with the old flapper valve-

Replacing The Old Flapper Valve

Replacing the old flapper valve is the only solution to this problem. There are 4 steps to fix the toilet tank. 

To begin the operation, you only need two tools-


  • New flapper valve
  • Sponge towel

If you have the tools, let’s get your toilet tank fixed-

Step 1: Turn Off The Water Supply

First, turn off the water supply valve that is below the toilet. Flush out the remaining water in the tank. Use your sponge towel to soak the remaining water from the tank. 

Step 2: Remove The Old Flapper Valve 

Open the cover of the tank. The flapper valve is attached to the overfill pipe. Now, remove the old flapper valve. Start with the left portion and then the right. Then remove the chain from the toilet handle and pull it off. 

Step 3: Replace It With New One

After pulling the valve off, you need to clean the sealed area with your towel. Then, set the new valve in the overflow tube. Connect the valve’s hand with the ports. Adjust the chain with ½ inch slack and attach it to the arm.

If you’re looking for the best durable flapper valves, we have some suggestions for you:

Product 1 
Product 2 

Now you have your flapper, let’s fix it!

Step 4: Check for Leaks       

Turn on the main water valve and fill the tank to check for leaks. Make sure there is a ½ inch gap between water and the overfill pipe. 

Otherwise, there could be huge problems. And they may vary within different kinds of toilets. Such as- you may face problems if you have a wall hung toilet as well. In that case, the fixing process would be different compared to normal toilets.  

Apply flush and check if the flapper goes up and closes it smoothly. If you still see it’s leaking, take help from a professional plumber. 

Replacing The Old Toilet Fill Valve

If you’ve changed the flapper valve and the toilet still won’t fill with water. The next thing you can do is try and replace the fill valve. So, this step is for you-

The fill valve is connected with the water supply line. You can locate it in the toilet tank. Use flush to see if the fill valve is hissing or not. If it’s hissing, you have a faulty fill valve. Now, just like fixing a broken toilet handle, you’ll have to get right into it. Or else it’ll be a disaster.

In this case, replacing is the best solution for this problem. But first, you need some tools to fix it.    


  • New fill valve 
  • Refill Tube 
  • One lock nut
  • A refill clip
  • Sponge towel 
  • A small bucket
  • Flush hose pipe

If you’ve found all the required tools, let’s begin-

Step 1: Turn Off The Water Supply Valve 

Turn off the main water supply valve by the toilet. Now, if there’s any water in the tank, you have to drain off that water. Soak the extra water with the sponger towel    

Step 2: Remove The Lock Nut

The next step is, place a bucket under the shut-off valve to catch the additional water. Remove the water line by turning the connector nut. Now, remove the lock nut by turning it clockwise. 

Step 3: Remove The Old Fill Valve

Start by removing the refill clip from the overflow pipe. Then remove the old fill valve from the tank. Lift it straight and the old valve will be removed.     

Step 4: Replace The Old Fill Valve With A New One

Take the new fill valve and adjust its height. Hold the fill valve in the middle and rotate the bottom of the valve clockwise. Set the new valve in the tank and screw the connector nut. Tighten it up with your hand until it’s tight. 

Step 5: Attach The Refill Clip

Set the new flush hose pipe into the refill port at one end. Attach the other end with the refill clip. Then, attach the refill clip to the overfill pipe. Make sure the water goes in the overflow pipe. 

Step 6: Adjust The Water Level

After making sure there are no leaks, you have to make one more adjustment.         

If you see the water is over the overfill pipe, adjust it. Turn the bottom of the valve clockwise to do it.

Make sure there is a ½ inch gap between the water and the overfill pipe. If you see the water level is lower, turn the bottom of the fill valve anti-clockwise. After adjusting the water level, flush again to reset it. Remember, do not use a wrench to tighten the nuts.

That’s how you replace a flapper valve yourself!  While you’re at it, why not clean the toilet seats a little? Especially if you notice any black spots in the toilet seat.


Question: How much does it cost to buy a new fill valve?

Answer: It cost’s around 60-120 dollars per new fill valve. The cost depends on the quality of the product. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional before you buy it.   

Question: How long does the fill valve last?

Answer: Generally it lasts about 5 years. If you stay in a hard-water area, it will last 2-3 years. You have to replace the fill valve after using it for this amount of time. These valves are not very expensive. You can also fix it yourself.  

Question: How long does a flapper valve last? 

Answer: Flapper valves last around 2-3 years. If you’re staying in a hard water area, it will last less. The reason is, hard water contains bacteria which the rubber of the valve absorbs. So it will not last more than 1.5 years.


That’s a wrap-up. Now you can solve the problem if the toilet won’t fill with water. We have explained the reasons and a complete guideline for fixing it. We hope we have helped you with your problem.

Good luck with fixing your toilet!