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Question DetailsAsked on 5/19/2015

I have no water getting to one toilet. Unscrewed supply line from tank and still no water. What could be wrong?

All other toilets and sinks in home work, but this toilet is getting no water to the tank whatsoever, so not sure if there is an issue with plumbing somewhere else in home? Any help would be appreciated.

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1 Answer


Things I would figure it is caused by:

1) small kid in house turned the water supply valve off - this is the only valve in the house they can get at (other than steam radiators, assuming your under-sink cabients have child catches as they should) so they tend to turn them off at times out of curiousity. OR someone turned off a water supply valve that controls only the line to that toilet - back trace it if there is any chance of that. If a new house for you, pay attention for leaks and listen to pipe for water flowing when you turn it on if there is one off, because may have been turned off due to a leak. Of course, will initially heart flow for a minute or so while the toilet tank refills.

2) or kid or person cleaning badly kinked the supply tubing so no water is getting through. Turn toilet supply valve off, unscrew and remove tubing (and replace if at all green if metallic), put a pan under wall shutoff valve and a rag or paper towel draped over it so it does not spray, and gently turn on just a bit to see if water comes out - if so, problem is blocked tube. Might clear tube with a long pipe cleaner or piece of wire, but if badly kinked replace because that causes rapid failure at the worst times. Good idea to replace if not fairly new - about $5-15 - braided type are a better idea than the spiral metal one, in my opinion.

3) if no water at the shutoff valve when open, then shut off water to house and remove shutoff valve (if compression or threaded fitting - if soldered, I would go to tempering valve below first before unsoldering it to see if it is the problem) and then check if water comes out when you open the main household valve on a touch (best to do with 2 people). If not, or just a tiny trickle, then probably a toilet tempering (mixer) valve corroded shut - this valve mixed hot and cold water so the tank does not get real cold water in it and sweat. Typically located where the toilet supply line comes from the water source (basement or garage or such) but sometimes right under it in floor joists, looks similar to this usually -

may be soldered or threaded connections. Has hot and cold coming in, warm water out, and may or may not have an adjustment screw as shown in image. Turn off the household water supply, if possible drain down both hot and cold water lines leading to the valve at a lower point so you don't get flooded (usually located well overhead), then unscrew (keep parts straight between sides and in order for reassembly) the caps and see if the springs are shot or the valve stem under the cap is corroded in place. Once parts are out turn main water back on a touch (with bucket under it) to see if water comes out both cap holes, then shut back off and with valve parts reassembled and caps back in place see if water comes out to toilet, or blow through outlet pipe (if easily disconnected) to see if open to flow to toilet shutoff valve.

When replacing tempering valve, if needed, can be a bear to solder because it holds a lot of heat so you end up with several melted joints at one time - control heat spread with wet rag wrapped around joints you don't want melted. Be sure to remove all internal parts before soldering or they can melt or get deformed - commonly a brass valve with rubber or neoprene washer in each side.

WARNING - keep track of what is undone at each time as you try to check flow (or air) through pipes - TOO easy to say have flex tubing to toilet off and then go to check mixing valve and forget it is disconnected upstairs, and give yourself a flood when you recharge system. Remember also that, assuming toilet area is fully reassembled and toileat shutoff valve is open, water will not flow through the tempering valve (except to fill the lines) until the toilet fill valve demands water - i.e. tank needs refilling. I have seen (well actually heard his cursing) a plumber fight for more than two hours and totally replace a brand new tempering valve because the water would not flow - because he forgot to reopen the shutoff valve behind the toilet so the water had nowhere to go. Ditto to forgetting to turn the main shutoff valve back on when ready for water.

Last resort would be a totally blocked supply line from the tempering valve to toilet - mighty unlikely, and if you take out the valve or can disconnect the outlet pipe check air or water flow through the valve and in the pipe to the toilet shutoff valve while it is disconnected.

Or the shutoff valve is totally blocked - if a soldered on one, could see if you can blow through pipe from open up tempering valve when working there, or push come to shove unsolder it and try blowing through it to see if blocked. No reason it would be unless it has been shut off, then the valve stem broke off or unscrewed when it was reopened, so the valve stem itself did not actually open again.

At the point above where you lose patience or reach your comfort level in taking part/replacing things, obviously a Plumber is your Search the List category for a repairman.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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