no water

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by sarahk, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. sarahk

    sarahk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    help please! We realized a few days ago that the toliet in our guestroom was leaking from the handle, due to tank overflow. Until we had the spare time to replace the float, we turned the water off at the cutoff valve. Last night, we went to turn the cutoff valve back on to check things out and figure what piece to replace, but now there is no water coming into the tank. Is there anything we can check ourselves before calling a pumbler? We just bought this house and so we are not exactly rolling in the money right now.
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,153
    Location:
    New England
    With the valve turned off, disconnect the pipe from the bottom of the toilet (normally you don't need anything except your hand to do this, expecially if it is new unless they used a solid riser pipe); have a bucket handy, then turn the valve back on and see if there is anything coming out. That will tell you if the problem is in the refill valve in the toilet (it could be clogged or sticking), or the shutoff valve itself. If you don't get any water out of the (probably a flexible hose you took off of the toilet), then shut the valve off again, and take the other end of the hose off. Then, carefully, since it will now be a fountain if it works, turn it back on. If you still don't have any water, then the valve is stuck or clogged. Depending on the type of valve, they are pretty inexpensive. Instead of trying to repair it, replace it (maybe $5 at HD). It is probably a compression valve - see if the part next to the wall has a nut on it. If so, then you can shut off the main water, loosen that nut until it is free of the valve, slide the valve off, then replace it with the new one (you can reuse the existing nut and sleeve that will probably stick on the pipe).

    If that doesn't do it, and you have water coming out of the hose in the first step, then the toilet refill valve is stuck or clogged. Cleaning that out depends on the brand. Most of them are easy to do, but you need to know the brand. Since it was continually running (did I get that right?), the valve probably has some crud in the seal, which if it is cleaned out, will restore it. The refill valve in the toilet is pretty cheap to replace, too, but that's another story. Fluidmaster valves work for most toilets, and are less than $10. My unprofessional opinion.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2005
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,835
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    valve

    It would help to know what kind of valve you have. Testing where the water loss is occurring can be simple or hard depending on the type. If it is not in the fill valve, although if it was overflowing you probably want to change it anyway, then you still have to find the site of the problem.
  4. sarahk

    sarahk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    thanks for the advice. The toliet looks pretty old, the house was built in the 50's redone in the 80's. I think the toliet was proably from the 80's redo. I do want to replace it eventually with something more effficent, but that project is one the back burner until we get some more important things taken care of. We do however need to get it working. We are going to try and work on it tonight.

    I must plead ignorance and say I have no idea what kind of valve it is, the dumb blonde part of me is going to say that it is silver and it turns! I am sure though that is no help, lol :p What should I look for to determine the valve type?
  5. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Often when a shut off valve is turned off after having been undistrubed for years, some debris which has built up breaks loose. It can clog the outlet of the valve itself, it can clog the tube, and it definitely can go up and clog the fill valve mechanism in the toilet.

    To start this repair, turn the valve off again, then loosen the supply tube at the underside of the toilet tank. If you get water coming out, the stop is not holding and you will need to turn off the main supply valve for the house. Make sure you know where this valve is before you start.
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