Why is There No Water in My Toilet Tank? & How to Fix?

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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why is there no water in my toilet tank

An empty toilet tank is a serious concern for most people. You can’t flush the toilet when the tank is empty. Why is there no water in my toilet tank anyway?

Several tank components, such as the fill valve, float mechanism, and trip assembly, can get damaged and prevent the water from entering the tank. A damaged flapper and overflow tube can also send all the water out. To solve this dilemma, you need to repair or replace all the damaged parts and increase the water pressure in your place.

Continue reading to learn how to troubleshoot and solve an empty toilet tank below. But first, let’s determine the causes.

Common Causes of No Water in a Toilet Tank


There can be several reasons behind an empty toilet tank. However, the ones listed below are the most likely culprits:

  • One of the reasons your toilet isn’t filling up is a misaligned fill valve, which is responsible for filling the tank with water.
  • The float ball and the arm could also be the culprits of a toilet tank empty issue, especially when your toilet uses the old float ball mechanism.Over time, the float ball and the arm wear out and get out of position. Likewise, a broken trip assembly can get in the way of your tank filling correctly after flushing.
  • External factors can also affect the water-filling performance of your toilet tank. For instance, low water pressure can hinder the water from reaching your toilet.

Other possibilities could be a loose flapper valve, a damaged overflow tube, or a closed shut-off valve.

Troubleshooting and Solutions


A toilet not flushing is truly a bummer in the morning. Here’s how to fix the no water in the toilet tank problem.

1. Adjust the Fill Valve


The first thing to check when you have no water in the back of the toilet is whether the fill valve is out of position. One tell-tale sign of this being the case is a low water level in the toilet bowl.

For toilet adjustment, here’s what you need to do:

  • Locate the screw on top of the fill valve near the float
  • Turn the screw clockwise to let more water enter the tank. You should see the float cup rising and the water level increasing. Keep twisting the screw until the refill water is just an inch below the tip of the overflow tube.

Check the water level after the adjustment. If the water level is too high, turn the screw counterclockwise.

  • Try to flush the toilet once you’re happy with the water level.

Some toilets may have a fill valve without an adjustment screw. In this case, you’ll have to raise or lower its float rod:

  • Hold the float with one hand and the brass rod with the other.
  • Gently bend the float rod to raise the water level, which should also be below the overflow tube’s tip.

2. Check the Float Mechanism


Sometimes, a simple adjustment or replacement of the toilet float mechanism can solve your issue of no water filling in your toilet tank.

Check whether the float ball rises when you bend the float arm upward. If the ball doesn’t rise, then the arm is faulty. This means you’ll have to replace the whole float mechanism by following the steps below:

  • Turn off the water supply and drain the tank.
  • Disconnect the toilet fill valve from the water supply line and pull off the rubber tube that connects it to the overflow pipe.
  • Place the new fill valve in place and tighten its lock nut. Connect its rubber tube to the overflow pipe.
  • Turn on the water supply until the tank is full. Turn the adjustment rod or raise/lower the float rod to make sure the water level is one inch below the overflow tube’s tip.

3. Reposition or Replace the Trip Assembly


To see if a displaced trip assembly is why a toilet won’t flush, ensure its lever (or chain, in the case of older toilets) isn’t raised so high that the flapper can’t close properly. Should this be the case, let the lever/chain drop slowly so the flapper can seal the tank’s flush valve.

You’ll need to replace the entire trip assembly if the part is broken or bent. All you have to do is loosen the old trip assembly inside the tank and insert a new one. To provide more durability, opt for a brass trip assembly.

4. Replace Flapper Valve


The flapper valve located beneath the tank can get worn out and lose its seal over time. When it does, water leaks from the tank and the toilet bowl won’t hold water. To allow your tank to retain water for flushing, replace the flapper valve. [6]

  • Choose a rubber valve over a metal one because it offers a more water-tight seal. Rubber also doesn’t develop rust and corrosion, unlike its metal counterparts.
  • To install, remove the old flapper by unclipping it from the handle lever and unhooking the chain. Position the new unit over the drain.
  • Connect the flapper to the handle lever and chain. Make sure it seals the flush valve properly.
  • In some cases, the chain gets caught under the flapper valve whenever you flush. If this happens, shorten the chain or get it away from the flapper.

5. Check Water Supply


In some cases, low water pressure is the main reason why there’s not enough water in the toilet bowl and tank. Check your water pipes and look for leaks. It’s crucial during cold weather because the low temperature and snow can put stress on the pipes.

The toilet supply line could also be closed in the first place. In this case, locate the shut-off valve and ensure it’s open. If it’s closed, turn the valve counter-clockwise to open the water all the way.

6. Replace Overflow Tube

When your toilet water won’t go down, then there’s likely a leak in the tank. More specifically, a damaged overflow tube can cause water to leak from the tank to the bowl. The best solution for this problem is to replace the damaged overflow tube or that long plastic tube connecting the bowl to the tank.

  • First, unscrew the bolts of the old overflow tube inside and underneath the tank.
  • Install the new one and tighten the bottom with a gasket to create a watertight seal.

Watch how to replace an overflow tube in this video:

7. Replace the Toilet


When you need to replace all components of the tank and bowl, then it’s wiser to replace the entire unit. Upgrade your old toilet to a better unit that uses more durable tank parts. The most long-lasting toilets typically use a rubber flapper and a brass trip assembly.

Some of the best toilet brands are Toto, American Standard, and Kohler. The replacement parts are easily accessible, so fixing them will be fast.


Hopefully, you know how to solve the problem of “Why is there no water in my toilet tank?” at this point. Having some damaged parts in the toilet tank can also result in a toilet bowl not filling with water. Before you call a plumber, try to troubleshoot the problem yourself and apply the necessary action.

Let us know your favorite solution in the comment section below. You can also share this article with your friends for guidance.

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