How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Brian Your Own Question
Brian, Architect
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3123
Experience:  Licensed Architect- 17 years
Type Your Plumbing Question Here...
Brian is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My toilet tank is empty and doesn’t refill. What can I do?

Resolved Question:

My toilet tank is empty and won't fill with water. This seems to happen in cold weather but I have plastic not copper plumbing.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Brian replied 7 years ago.


Welcome to JustAnswer.

Sorry to hear about your problem.

When the toilet tank does not refill, you need to verify the following:

  1. Turn off supply water to toilet; the shut off valve should be located below the tank, near the wall or floor. Disconnect the supply line from the toilet and put end into a bucket and turn water back on. If the water comes on and fills the bucket then the refill valve in the tank is the culprit. If no water comes out then either the shut-off valve is clogged and needs to be replaced or if the supply line is near an exterior wall and you live in a cold climate, then there is a possibility that the line has frozen. If this is the case then you would need to thaw the line with a hairdryer and then insulate well around the pipe to prevent future freezing.
  2. If the refill valve is the culprit then read the following: The newer fill valves, as shown below, use a float rather than the old plastic ball on the end of a rod. If you have this type of float valve, you most likely can just flush any sediment that has managed to get caught in it and is preventing the valve from filling the tank. Depending on the brand, some twist off near the base, some have a cap on top that twists off after lifting off a plastic cover. With the water supply shut off, located under the tank, you can twist off the fill valve and then turn the water supply back on. Just make sure you use your hand or a cup to block the flow of water that will come out of where you just untwisted the fill valve. This will flush out the sediment. You can also clean the rubber washer that is located here. Put everything back together and it should work fine. If you would rather change out the fill valve, you can do this is as well since they are inexpensive; replace the fill valve if flushing the sediment does not help.

If you need further help or clarification on this answer, please do not hesitate to reply to this post.

Thanks for asking your question at JustAnswer.

Best of Luck.

Brian, Architect
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3123
Experience: Licensed Architect- 17 years
Brian and 2 other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Previous | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland

Meet The Experts:

  • Marc



    Satisfied Customers:

    Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
< Last | Next >
  • Marc's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
  • Jerry's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    over 20 years residential plumbing experience.
  • Theplumber717's Avatar


    Plumber, Hvac Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Lic Plumbing contractor, 28/yrs res,com,repair,Universal HVAC Tech
  • Mario's Avatar


    Master Plumber

    Satisfied Customers:

    Master Plumber, Fire Sprinkler, and Jobbing Spec.
  • Bud's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    22 Years Field Experience - 17 Years Business Ownership - Residential or Light Commercial
  • Phil's Avatar


    Mechanical Engineer.

    Satisfied Customers:

    Retired mech. contractor, shop owner, 51 yrs experience.
  • Rick Mather's Avatar

    Rick Mather

    Building Inspector

    Satisfied Customers:

    Assistant Building Official, HVAC Tech