Toilet Losing Water in the Bowl? How to Fix It

Imagine walking into your bathroom and finding no water in the bowl! Don’t even imagine the smell. Yerkes! If that happens, you’ll want to investigate the cause and fix the problem immediately. But what are the potential causes for a toilet losing water in the bowl? Read on to get more informed.

Why Toilets Lose Water in the Bowl

Before you start to repair the toilet, you need to know what the problem is. It may take a lot of time to fix these problems, but we will discuss them in detail.

1: Presence of Clogs in Your Toilet Vent

When you flush your toilet, water and waste flow down the drainage and into the sewers. The flushing activity forces air to be pumped through the waste pipes, causing the pipes to have very low pressure. Vents help maintain constant pressure in the toilet bowl by allowing air to flow freely through the pipes. Nevertheless, vents can easily collect debris. Birds can make nests in the vent, and leaves falling off nearby trees can block the vent. If you fail to clean the vent regularly for a long time (which is usually what happens), it will eventually become clogged. As a result, your waste pipes might develop low pressure, sucking out water from the toilet bowl.

2. Your Toilet Bowl Has a Crack

Cracks in the toilet bowl are possible, particularly if you’ve got a worn-out or older toilet. It’s easy to identify a cracked toilet bowl because it leaks water, which then causes puddles on the bathroom floor. Leaks in your toilet can cause problems affecting your comfort, your family’s health, and utility bills. But don’t worry, they are very easy to find.

However, it’s difficult to spot leaks that flow down the drain. It is because the water enters the toilet bowl and flows directly to the sewer. In that case, you will have to work harder to figure out where the crack is located.

How to Troubleshoot a Toilet Losing Water in the Bowl

If your toilet isn’t leaking from its base, you might have to troubleshoot by doing a small test. It is easy, and it will not cause any damage to your toilet. Here are simple steps to follow.

Step 1: Confirm whether you’re Toilet Tank Is Full.

Check that there is enough water in your toilet tank. You can also easily check if the water level inside your toilet is low or normal. Try lifting the toilet lid by grabbing its sides to see the water level.

Step 2: Turn on all the faucets of your toilet to the maximum

Now turn on all the faucets in the toilet to the maximum setting. Turn on the water by turning the knobs in the faucets counterclockwise.

Step 3: Be Attentive To Gurgling

When you turn on the water, please pay attention to the sound when water flows down the drains. If it doesn’t gurgle when you turn on the water, the issue could be in your plumbing system. If it doesn’t produce any gurgling sounds, proceed to the following step.

Step 4: Close all the faucets.

Turning off the water at all faucets will prevent water from leaking out of your toilet. You can then explore ways to fix the problem or call a plumber.

Step 5: Check the Water Level in Your Toilet.

Now you should check the level of the water in your toilet and mark the level on the porcelain. Then leave it that way for about an hour. It is important to put on rubber gloves – they will help you avoid touching moisture, dirt, and other foreign bodies. Use a waterproof marker pen to trace a line from the point where the water reaches. Wait a few hours and confirm if the water level has changed or not. If it starts to drop while the faucets are turned off, it means there is a leak in the toilet bowl.

7 Possible Solutions If Your Toilet Is Losing Water in the Bowl

Here are some basic ways to fix this issue:

1. Repair or replace the fill valve.

New toilet units have a float cup inside the tank rather than a float ball. If your toilet has a fill valve, it regulates the water flow inside the tank. But as time goes by, the fill valve can become over-balanced and must be adjusted. If the valve is worn out, you should buy a new one.

What to do:

  • Lift your toilet tank lid off the water line and look inside. There may be a cracked part of the toilet bowl.
  • Adjust the float level by rotating the adjustment rod attached to the top of the water tank close to the fill valve.
  • Turn the screw that’s on top of the knob that adjusts the water level in a clockwise motion so that the float cup is above the fill valve. You should see a float cup that is rising as you turn the screw on the float valve. The water level should also increase.
  • Flush your toilet to check if there is enough water in the cistern. If you think there is an excess water level in your toilet tank, turn the water fill valve in the toilet clockwise.

2. Fix blocked sewer vent pipe

The sewer vent pipe runs from the wall of your bathroom to the roof of your house. It helps to clear all the smells left behind when you flush the toilet. If there is no way for air to flow through the vent line, the toilet water level may decrease significantly.

Why It occurs:

  • Dead rodents
  • Debris, including tree leaves
  • Bird nests

What to do

  • Remove any shingles that are on the top of the roof. If you can’t see the drain or any of the pipes in the area, make sure to carry a flashlight to help you investigate what is going on.
  • If a clog is forming in the plumbing, try using a plumber’s snake, a very flexible auger that allows you to easily move things around.
  • Contact a professional if it still doesn’t work or if your toilet vent line doesn’t appear to be blocked.

3. Fix your cracked bowl

Cracked toilet bowls are a sign that there is a problem with your toilet. Check to see if your toilet bowl holds no water or if water is draining through the side of the toilet, and confirm if it flushes correctly. If it’s cracked, you may need to replace your toilet. If all these things run abnormally, it is time to call a professional plumber.

How to fix a cracked toilet bowl

  • Close the water supply to your toilet and flush your toilet to ensure no water remains in the cistern. If the float ball in the toilet is cracked, you will have to repair or replace the float assembly. If the crack is high enough in the toilet tank and it is not close to the water level, then it does not require draining.
  • Check to confirm whether there are any cracks in your toilet bowl. Fill the cracks with some plumber’s epoxy.
  • Wait for at least 24 hours for the epoxy to dry properly and soak in; after you have done all that, open the water supply to fill the water in the toilet tank.
  • Cracks under the water level in the tank may require professional repair.

4. Replace or repair the trip assembly.

Part of the handle that causes the toilet to flush is the trip assembly. Some toilets contain a loose trip assembly which allows water to pass through the tank, but it sometimes gets blocked by a lid that prevents access to the tank. If there is a problem with the trip assembly, the flushing cycle may not occur as it should.

How do you check it?

Lift your toilet tank and see whether the trip assembly is damaged or warped. It may be time to buy a new trip assembly if it is. Ask a professional to help you with this step if you aren’t sure of what to do.

5. Reposition the fill ball.

Older toilets utilize a float ball to adjust the water level in the toilet tank. If you’ve got a toilet with a float ball, it will stop water flowing when it reaches a certain height.

What to do:

  • Remove the lid from your toilet unit.
  • Gently bend the toilet float ball arm upwards.
  • The ball will adjust its position until the right water level in your toilet tank is attained. If the water level in the tank is not dropping, it is time to buy a new float ball.

6. Fix the clogged rim jet

Rim jet openings are located on the upper side of the toilet and allow water to flow around the toilet bowl in a circular fashion. Deposits can form over the toilet ridges, reducing the flow of water and decreasing the power of the toilet.

So, what should you do?

  • Plug every rim jet with the plumber’s putty.
  • You can also put some acid toilet cleaner in the inside tube of the tank.
  • Scrub the tank with a stiff brush to get rid of any dirt.

7. Fix a clogged jet flush hole

It can be difficult to determine the reason why your toilet is not flushing properly because of the water that is held in the jet flush hole. Calcium and deposits block the toilet jet flush hole and decrease the toilet’s ability to flush waste from the tank over time.

Here is what to do:  

Use an acid cleaner and a high-quality brush to clean the debris that has built up inside the toilet. You can easily clean the rim jets by fitting a small brush through the drain hole to get all the accumulated dirt and debris out of the toilet bowl.


How do I stop my toilet from leaking?

If your toilet keeps losing water, you will need to identify the problem. It could be that your toilet is leaking water from a damaged drain or the toilet cistern itself. Each problem requires a different approach and the right tools, so the best option is to call a plumber.

Why is water in my toilet bowl disappearing?

You may find that the level of the water in your toilet bowl is dropping due to several different reasons. These may include cracks in a clogged vent line.

Final Verdict

If your toilet keeps losing water in the bowl, you should find a way to fix it to prevent further damage from happening. Make sure you know the cause of the leak — it might be something as simple as a leaking bowl or a clogged toilet vent line. You can easily fix it by following these easy steps. It may take a little effort and time to fix it, and sometimes you don’t need to hire a plumber!


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