Replacing a Toilet Fill Valve: 6 Tips

Before you replace what seems to be a non-functioning toilet fill valve, be sure to investigate other causes of slow refilling, dripping into the toilet bowl, and excess air hissing after flushing. Learn about these 6 tips and mistakes to avoid when you decide to replace your toilet fill valve.

Check the Water-Tightness of the Toilet Fill Valve

Toilet fill valves need to make a firm seat with the base of the toilet tank. Any mold or algae growth in your tank can reduce the water-tightness of the valve. Solve this problem by cleaning around the valve where it connects to the tank. The washer that secures the fill valve to the tank may also be worn out or warped. Replace this washer before replacing the entire fill valve assembly.

Check and Adjust the Height of the The Fill Valve Column

Some toilet tanks have a column that can be shortened or lengthened. Adjust the column height to see if you can make the toilet fill valve seal and open more effectively.

Check the Tightness of the Nut Securing the Valve

The valve nut may be too loose, allowing water flow into the bowl when the toilet is not being flushed. Ensure the fill valve nut is tightened to the correct tension. Too loose makes an ineffective seal; too tight will crack the toilet tank.

Check Under the Tank for Leaks when the Tank is Refilling

The problem with the toilet flow may be aside from the toilet fill valve, in the water supply pipe or the tank itself, which may have a leak. In this case the tank will never refill completely to its preset level, so the fill valve may keep opening to try to fill the bowl. Examine the tank and bowl fastenings carefully and the water intake pipe for leaking.

When to Replace the Toilet Fill Valve

After you have eliminated all the other possible causes of your toilet running continuously or filling incompletely, it is time to replace the toilet fill valve.

Tips when Replacing the Valve

Shut off the water supply to the toilet, either at its own shutoff valve or at the main house water supply intake. Lift off the toilet tank lid carefully and set it on a thick towel or old blanket. This will keep it from being scratched, and stop it from abrading your tile or linoleum bathroom floor. When you flush the toilet to empty the tank and bowl, put a large towel under the tank to absorb any spills or splashes. Loosen the valve nut under the tank carefully to avoid cracking the tank. Lift the valve out and take off the thin hose that connects the valve to the overflow tube.

Put in the New Fill Valve

Adjust the valve column height for your toilet tank. Create the snuggest seal possible for the valve by cleaning around the valve hole and wiping it dry. Place the washers on, 1 outside the tank and 1 inside. Use new washers for the best seal. Install a new float if the old one is cracked or does not fit the new valve tightly.