We are having an issue with one of our toilets "spitting" water out of the toilet when it is flushed. The toilet bowl itself also doesn't seem to have much water at all sitting in it. When we look in back of toilet, the tank is full of water - so not sure why there isn't more water in the bowl itself. Could this be an easy fix/adjustment?

  • Can you take a picture of inside the tank, not the bowel.
    – JACK
    Apr 16, 2021 at 20:20
  • I've heard of this. I think it's called a bidet. Seriously though in addition to checking for bad venting, run your cleanouts if it hasn't been done in a while. I've seen this and it was a "glugging" effect caused by a constriction in a pipe.
    – K H
    Apr 17, 2021 at 3:28

2 Answers 2


When re-filling the tank after a flush, some water is routed thru a small tube coming from the fill valve/float into the overflow tube that refills the bowl. Check to see that it's not broken or come loose from the over-flow tube. If not broken or detached, with the lid off the tank, flush the toilet and see if you have any water coming out of that tube (it's a small tube, less than 1/4" ). If no water is coming out during the re-fill of the tank, something is wrong with your fill valve/float. But not to worry, for most toilets (unless you have a fancy one with a dual flush function), toilet tank guts are very inexpensive, about $20 or so and pretty easy to replace. One of my sons had a running toilet and needed to have the guts replaced. He's not very "handy" at all, but I made him do it with my guidance just to give him confidence in home repair. He had no problems doing it all, piece of cake.

If you have a hard pipe from the valve on the wall, this would be a good time to replace it with a braided steel riser....much easier to deal with than hard pipe and compression fittings!

  • 1
    I have found this to be the cause of a low bowl level many times even In my own homes. Once the siphon sucks air on the flush the bowl starts refilling. If the tube is not adding water to the bowl the water level will be low and probably the root cause of the problem.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 16, 2021 at 16:53
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    +1 Yes, the "bowl-filler" tube is often found outside of the overflow pipe instead of aimed into it. Note- if you shove the bowl-filler tube down into the overflow such that it rests below the tank water line, it could cause a siphoning action that drains your tank... that's why new fill valves come with a clip to hold the "bowl-filler" tube above the water line but aimed into the overflow pipe. Apr 16, 2021 at 16:54
  • Wow!! have run into this so many times. The port the hose is connected to is very small and can get clogged. check for flow. +1
    – JACK
    Apr 16, 2021 at 20:24

My toilet does this, I find that holding the lever down after flushing and letting the bowl fill up to an acceptable level solves the symptom.

Aside from dealing the the symptom a root cause can be one of several things:

  • If the plumbing stack is not vented properly then that could cause a siphoning effect which drains your toilet bowl
  • An old toilet simply doesn't flush as well as a modern one
  • If you have a water-saving contraption installed in your refill tank then it could be interfering with "normal" flushing expectations

I'm sure there are more expert plumbers around here that can shine a light on other root causes :-)

  • Monkeyzeus While I agree with some of what you said, I have to politely disagree when you say old toilets don't flush as well... There was a period of time, when low flow toilets were first introduced when they indeed were poorly designed and didn't flush well at all,newer low flows are much better, But before then (about 1992), older toilets used 5-8 gallons or more per flush, you could launch a turd to Mars with one of those. (I'll surely get snipped for this!!) Apr 16, 2021 at 22:58

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