If your toilet is losing water or making a loud noise when you flush it, this probably means that it's time for a new fill valve.
Replacing a fill valve can be done in under an hour and will save you money on your monthly water bill. You'll also avoid the hassle of having to call a plumber every time something goes wrong with your toilet. It's easy to do, and we're here to show you how.
A fill valve opens and closes every time you flush your toilet, exposing it to wear and tear. Therefore, you need to replace it. Also, if you have an old fill valve model with a float ball, you have to consider that new model and replace the dependable fill valve with its integrated float cup.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to replace your fill valve so that you can get back up and running as quickly as possible without breaking the bank.
What You'll Need
- Sponge and bucket
- New fill valve
- Tape measure
- Adjustable wrench
Turn Off the Water Supply
First, turn off the water supply for the toilet fill valve at the wall tank by turning the shutoff valve clockwise with a wrench. Make sure you turn off the water from outside of your toilet before doing any repair. The valve should be below your tank, and it should be located where the water pipes enter the tank from the wall.
Make sure you turn off the shutoff valve until it stops moving. After that, move around your home and turn on all the fixtures to confirm if they're off. This will also drain off the residual water pressure from your home's plumbing system. This will help you avoid water damage due to floods.
Drain Your Toilet Tank
Once you've turned off the water, drain your tank before disconnecting the toilet fill valve. Begin by flushing your toilet by holding the flushing handle down to remove as much water as possible from your tank. After that, use a bucket to remove the rest of the water in your tank. You can use an old towel or sponge to remove the excess water. Once you've drained all the water, unhook the old flapper. Then, buy a new flapper of the same type.
The flapper is simply a rubber valve that fills with water when you flush the toilet, blocking the overflow tube for your tank. After you have the new flapper in hand, place it on top of the fill valve's overflow pipe to see if it fits over without any issues.
Check the Fill Valve for a Leak
Flush your valve, then look for a valve leak. Lift your toilet float arm to let all the water out of your tank. Check under the rim for any water that has leaked from the tank after it is empty. Use a wrench to adjust the toilet float arm so that the tank stops filling when the water level is half-inch to one inch below the top of the overflow pipe. If your valve still leaks, then you need to replace it.
Remove the Old Fill Valve
Turn off your water supply, then flush the toilet and sponge the remaining water from your tank. Disconnect the water supply line, unscrew your fill valve lock nut and remove the old fill valve. Try to remove the lock nut with your bare hand before using the adjustable wrench; if you can't, then use your wrench to hold the nut and turn it one-quarter turn at a time.
Disconnect the refill tube from your overflow tube, then lift off the fill valve. You can also take this moment to clean the inside of your tank, especially if the flush valve is leaking. You can also learn how to replace the flush valve of your toilet.
Prepare Your New Valve
Make sure you buy a new flapper of the same type as the one you removed from your local store. Slide the rubber washer included in your kit onto the bottom flange on the fill valve tailpiece. The washer is very important as it provides a watertight seal. You can also adjust the height of the fill valve if necessary.
Different fill valves have different methods of adjusting the height. But it's simple as you only need to screw the stem piece shorter or longer to accommodate the height you want. In most cases, the top of your fill valve should be slightly taller than the height of your overflow pipe but not so tall to prevent the tank lid from closing.
Installing the New Fill Valve
Remove your new fill valve from the packaging and read the directions it comes with. Don't forget to clip your new refill tube to the overflow tube. Take the threaded nut in your kit and screw it onto the bottom flange on the fill valve tailpiece, but do not tighten it yet. Take out measuring tape and measure the distance between the top cap of the valve and the top of the overflow tube.
Remove your fill valve and adjust the height. Hold the valve body using one hand and using the other hand to tighten the nut. If using a clawfoot model, tighten at least two inches beyond the overflow tube. If your fill valve is at its maximum height, but the overflow pipe is still higher than the critical level mark, you will need to install a new overflow tube.
If the shutoff valve is higher than necessary, use a wrench to carefully loosen the nut on top of the fill valve and raise or lower it so that it meets the height requirement. Tighten all nuts and fittings with your wrench. Turn the water back on through the wall stop.
When you've properly adjusted the height, pull your fill valve back in position and screw in the lock nut from underneath your toilet tank to hold your new fill valve firmly. Make sure you tighten the mounting nut, so it's hand tight.
After that, connect the water supply line back to the new valve and hand tighten it to secure it to the valve. Do not overtighten it, or you might risk cracking your fixture's tank. Turn on the water again and check for leaks.
Connect the Fill Tube to the Fill Valve
The fill tube that's attached to your new toilet is fairly long. You'll need to connect it to the fill valve at the bottom of the tank. The end that fits into the valve should be cut squarely, so you get an easy fit. If this isn't done, you get leaks or other problems, so make sure you check this before moving on to the next step.
Attach one end of your new valve to the fill valve nipple and the other to the enclosed angle adapter. Clip your angle adapter onto the overflow pipe, then finish your installation by attaching your flapper chain to the overflow pipe.
Reconnect the Water Lines
Open the shut-off valve and let the water fill your toilet tank. Check if your new fill valve is filling your tank faster, quieter and the water level is below half-inch below the overflow tube. Confirm if no water is running from the tank to the toilet bowl. Flush the toilet a couple of times to double-check if your new valve is performing optimally. If everything is working correctly, but the toilet tank lid back and enjoy your toilet. You can also consider learning how to stop a toilet from running as these are plumbing skills you might need more often than you think.
FAQS on How to Replace Toilet Fill Valve
How do you know a bad fill valve?
You can identify a bad fill valve if you see the bottom of the washer deteriorating and causing a leak. If you see your fill valve not filling, then you may need to replace your valve.
Why do toilet valves fail?
Fill valves provide water to the toilet bowl, and when they break, the water stops flowing. Such is why you need to replace them with new ones.
Are toilet valves universal?
Most toilet fill valves are interchangeable and can fit standard tank openings in any toilet. But it's important to consider the sizes, especially the length of the valve stem.
Final Thought on How to Replace Toilet Fill Valve
As you can see, replacing your toilet fill valve is quite simple and easy. With a few tools and materials, you can replace your valve fill within a few minutes, and you're done. And if your toilet is still running after replacing the fill valve, consider looking at the toilet flapper or another cause of a running toilet.