You toilet cistern should be able to refill following a flush within two minutes. If yours is taking longer, it may be a sign of a problem– so you’re going to want to try and figure out what the problem is.
When most people experience a problem with their toilet, they call a plumber.
If you’re not confident in tackling minor DIY tasks yourself, then this is probably going to be your best bet.
We at ALK Plumbing and Drainage would be happy to try and solve the problem for you, but if you want to try a few DIY solutions first, then here’s what you need to do.
Toilet Cistern Not Filling #1 – Check The Water Valve
The water valve is how your cistern refills itself, and should ideally be free and clear of debris and foreign objects that may obstruct the flow of water.
However, if you use cistern fragrances (for example), this valve can become clogged, and the tank is slow to refill as a result.
Check the water valve, which is the valve connected to the float; the largest, usually orange item which resembles a hard balloon.
Clear any debris and ensure the flow of water is not obstructed. Tightening or loosening the valve may solve the issue, so experiment and see if this makes any difference.
Toilet Cistern Not Filling #2 – Clear The Fill Line
The fill line connects to the water valve and can develop obstructions that prevent the water from running smoothly. Turn the valve off, and disconnect the line.
You’ll want to have a bucket handy — or just use the sink, if it’s nearby — to pour any trapped water and/or debris out.
It’s also worth having a look into the line itself; if you can see any obstructions, you can remove them with a pair of tweezers.
When you have checked the fill line, reattach it to the valve, making sure the connection is tight and reliable.
A pair of pliers will be helpful for this task, especially as you are manoeuvring in a small space.
When you’re sure the line is attached correctly, turn the valve to the on position, and see how long it takes for the tank to fill.
Toilet Cistern Not Filling #3 – Replace The Fill Line
If you have gone through the ideas above and the situation has not resolved itself, then replacing the entire fill line is the best decision.
You can find spare parts at most hardware stores, or you can contact a plumber to help take care of the issue for you.
If you want to DIY, then it’s a fairly simple task, especially as you have already established that you can remove the fill line and replace it securely.
Now you just need to do the same again, but with a new line; here are a couple of tips on doing this with a minimum of mess:
● It’s important that you remember to always keep the water valve in the ‘off’ position while you are doing this.
● You will find it easier if the cistern is as empty as possible while you are replacing the fill line. Flush the toilet to achieve this; as the water inlet valve is turned off, the tank won’t be able to refill, meaning you can work in relative comfort.
Why is a replacement fill line necessary? The most likely reason is hard water, which leaves mineral deposits along the inside of the fill line, which can obstruct the flow of water.
There may also be microscopic tears along the line, though this is less likely. Whatever the reason, there’s a good chance a replacement fill line will solve the problem for you.
Toilet Cistern Not Filling #4 – Check The House’s Water Supply
If the above have not solved the issue, you’re likely going to need professional help.
However, there is one final check you can do before you make the phone call for an appointment.
Locate the water valve that controls the water supply to your whole house.
Turn it to the closed position; the vast majority of valves will need to be turned counterclockwise to achieve this, though you’ll want to check you’re going in the right direction by turning the valve and then trying to run water from a tap.
When you’re sure the water is off, screw the valve back in the other direction so it is open again.
Head back into the bathroom, flush the toilet, and see how quickly the cistern refills. Still too slow? You’re going to need a plumber.