2 Common Toilet Tank Problems

A toilet tank.

A toilet tank is a pretty simple device with just two main components: the shutoff valve and the fill valve. One drains the tank’s content and the other lets more water into the tank. Despite their apparent simplicity, their functioning is not problem-free.

Are Toilet Tanks So Simple?

Despite the simplicity of tanks, the devices may sometimes be quite versatile. The fill valve, for example, may come in four types, depending on the toilet tank’s designer, a plunger-type fill valve, a diaphragm-type fill valve, a float cup type fill valve, or a floatless type fill valve.

The flush valve can be also tricky for the novice to home repairs. Flush valves come in two common designs, which are employed to seal the valve seat: the tapered rubber float ball (ball seal) and the tank flapper (flapper ball).

The Flapper is Stuck Open

One of the possible reasons for continuous water running into the bowl is the flapper being stuck open. To remedy this problem, close the flapper and check if the chain is catching on something. Then check if the flapper is moving adequately (not catching on the chain, for example) and if the flapper is aligned well with the opening.

Examine the fabric of the flapper. If it is not too old or stiff, it needs to be changed. If your tank has a ball seal employed rather than with a flapper, check if the wire (chain) lifts the ball straight and if it does so more freely.

If, however, the tank is full and the flapper is closed, and water is overflowing despite the tube, while the flow in the toilet has not stopped running, try to adjust the valve and the float. If it turns out that your tank suffers from the so-called “slow leak”—the toilet has stopped filling and then started for a while—you should replace the flapper.

The Trip Assembly Is Malfunctioning

If the toilet tank does not fill all the way, you need to remove the lid and flush it. Then check if it is functioning properly. If the float ball is placed too low, the tank may not fill completely. You have to bend the float in upward direction in order to allow more water in. If there is lots of water in the ball, you need to replace it. In addition, the trip assembly of the tank may be worn out, stretched, or bend.

Check if the toilet handle is not too loose and tighten the screws. Examine the condition of the guide arm and the trip lever. Wear and tear may prevent proper functioning. Finally, check the wire between the trip level and the stopper. Replace the wire if it is over-stretched or used up.