My toilet bowl is not holding water

Written by shawn mcclain
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My toilet bowl is not holding water
A toilet bowl without water can cause sanitary concerns. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If your toilet flushes and refills normally, but the toilet bowl slowly loses water over a matter of minutes or hours, there can be two different explanations for the water loss. In one scenario, a partial clog of paper, rope or string is siphoning away the water from the bowl. In the second scenario, your toilet bowl has a crack in it and is leaking water onto your floor. The process for fixing your toilet depends on the type of issue that is causing the problem.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Rags
  • Mirror
  • Flashlight
  • Closet auger
  • Wrench
  • Newspaper

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Instructions

    Determine the Issue

  1. 1

    Inspect the floor around the toilet for any moisture or dampness. A leaking toilet bowl will not always spread moisture around the bowl, but if the area is wet, then you most likely have a crack in the toilet.

  2. 2

    Check the ceiling of the room underneath the toilet. If the toilet is leaking, the water will eventually work its way down to the next floor. For bathrooms on the bottom floor, skip this step.

  3. 3

    Rotate the valve behind the toilet clockwise as far as it will turn. This will turn the water supply off to your toilet. Flush the toilet to remove the water in the tank. Use rags to soak up any water that remains in the bowl.

  4. 4

    Place a mirror at the bottom of the bowl and shine the flashlight at it. This will allow you to look up the pipe that leads from your toilet bowl to the drain. Look for any partial clogs or pieces of string or rope. If you find one, this is your problem; if the pipe is clear, the issue has to be a leaky toilet.

    Removing a Partial Clog

  1. 1

    Pull back on the telescoping handle of your closet auger so the snake is retracted all the way into the auger.

  2. 2

    Insert the head of the snake, and the bottom of the auger, into the bottom of your toilet bowl.

  3. 3

    Push down on the auger handle and turn it clockwise as you do. This will force the snake into the drain, where it will hook the obstruction. Once the handle is all the way down, pull it back out while you continue to rotate the handle.

  4. 4

    Repeat this process until the partial clog is clear. Check for the clog with your mirror and flashlight between attempts.

  5. 5

    Turn the valve behind the toilet counterclockwise. Flush the toilet to ensure that it is working properly.

    Check a Toilet Bowl for Cracks

  1. 1

    Use your rags to soak up any water that remains in the toilet tank. If you have turned the water valve back on after determining the issue for the water loss, turn it off now and flush the toilet, then remove any remaining water in the bowl and tank.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the water line that runs from the valve to the tank. Unscrew the end that is connected to the tank.

  3. 3

    Remove the two bolts on the bottom of the toilet that secure it to the floor. You may have to pry off a plastic cover to see the bolts. Remove the bolts by turning them counterclockwise with a wrench.

  4. 4

    Pull the toilet up and away from the drain. Dry off the bottom of the toilet and place the toilet on some newspapers.

  5. 5

    Pour some water into the toilet bowl and let it sit. If the water drains out, you have a crack in the toilet and will need to purchase and install a replacement unit.

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