Sometimes your toilet can be a helpful fixture in your home, while other times it can be a confusing device that holds many problems. If you are one of the many people who is having problems with your toilet tank not filling up, this can be extremely frustrating.

This issue can be quite annoying, and the first sign you may notice is that you need more than one flush in order to clear the bowl. 

If you think you may be able to fix this problem on your own, then you will need to figure out the problem first. The most common problem is that your float ball is not working properly. All you need to do to fix this is to bend it upwards a little bit and you should fix the problem.

Check the Float Ball

When your toilet tank is not filling properly, the most common issue is that the float ball is having some trouble. The float ball is supposed to sit above the water in the tank and stops water coming in when the water gets to the right height.

Since the float ball moves the float arm to block more water from coming in, if there is not enough water in your tank then the float ball is most likely too low. There is an incredibly easy fix to this problem, and that is to simply bend the float arm upwards.

The final step after that is to make sure that the ball moves up, and water flows in. If this does not occur, then you may need to replace it.

Low Water Pressure

Even though your toilet may not have any problems, low water pressure may be the cause of the tank not filling properly. If this is what is happening, then you do not need to replace your toilet. Instead, you will need to look into your piping system. 

Whether you have old, leaky, or rusty pipes, all of these are reasons for your water pressure being low. Since older houses typically have bad piping, you may have experienced these issues in other areas of your home. 

If you have experienced low water pressure in the shower or sink, along with your toilet tank not filling up, then you may want to call a plumber.

Adjust the Flapper Chain

Also known as the flush valve seal, the flapper chain seals the drain hole between one flush to another. Typically the flapper is the cause of your toilet running, but if it does not open wide enough, then you may not get a complete flush.

The reason this occurs is due to the flush rod being too long. Another option is that the chain is too long. You might be able to fix this problem by adjusting the link on the chain. 

It should be just long enough to have a bit of extra slack when the flapper is closed. Since you want to avoid the chain becoming tangled, make sure there are no extra links on the chain. Do not leave more than one inch of extra links. 

Finally, put the lid back and check if the flush rod is hitting the lid when you pull the lever. If that occurs you will need to adjust the chain again, and bend the rod down slightly.

Replacing the Flapper

Sometimes adjusting the flapper is not enough. If the flapper is worn out, then you will need to replace it instead. Make sure to use an exact replacement or you may run into issues. The best way to find a perfect replacement is to remove the old flapper and go to a home improvement store

Be aware that some flappers have a ring on them. This will go over the tube. Other flappers are more simple and only need to snap over the flush valve. If you cannot find a perfect replacement then you may be able to find something similar. Worst case, purchase a “universal flapper”. This is very cheap and may solve your problem. 

Note: unless you flapper is considered an “adjustable flapper,” do not purchase this type of flapper.

Adjust the Fill Valve

If you check the float ball and it is not the problem, then you may need to adjust the toilet fill valves. The toilet fill valves help to add water to the toilet between flushes. This happens by controlling the amount of water that comes in. Toilet fill valves use float arms to function. 

How to Adjust the Fill Valve

  1. Take a flat head screwdriver
  2. Remove the toilet cap lid
  3. Find the fill valves on the left side
  4. Raise the fill valve by turning the adjustment screw clockwise (you should see more water fill in)
  5. If there ends up being too much water, turn the screw counter-clockwise, this will lower the fill valve
  6. Check to see if the water fills properly when you flush the toilet

Note: If your tank has adjusted cylinders instead of float arms, then the valve will still be on the left side of the tank. If you would like to increase the amount of water needed to flush, slide the float clip on the side. If it is allowing too much water in, then slide it down.

Replace the Trip Assembly

The part of the flush handle that connects to the tank is also known as the trip assembly. Sometimes, the trip assembly can cause problems with your flush cycle by blocking itself.

To see if this is the case, begin by opening the lid. The trip assembly may be broken, bent, worn out, or degrading. If this is the case, then you definitely need to replace it. 

To find a trip assembly that matches the one you are looking for, bring your old one to the hardware store and try to find an exact match.

Damaged Fill Tube

The fill tube connects to the overflow tube. It essentially is the reason that your toilet becomes filled. If the fill tube disconnects from the overflow tube (looks like a vertical tube), then it will shut off the water flow before the tank fills with water.

This is an easy fix as long as you can recognize it. All you need to do is connect it to the overflow tube and you should be good to go. If it looks worn out, then you may need to check for damages, and then replace it.

Related Questions

Can a cracked toilet bowl cause my toilet tank not to fill?

Although this is incredibly rare, cracks on the lower part of the toilet bowl can occur. If this does happen, then you may see water on the floor. It may make you think there is trouble with the toilet tank when in reality it is just a cracked bowl.

Can a clog cause my toilet not to fill properly?

Yes, if you have a clog in your pipes then your toilet may not fill properly. The best way to unclog your toilet is to either plunge it or check your sewer vent.

Where is my sewer vent located?

Your sewer vent will run from your bathroom and through the roof. If this becomes blocked you will need to climb on the roof and dislodge whatever is inside.