8 Common Toilet Flush Valve Problems

If you have a toilet long enough, you will likely encounter a problem with your toilet flush valve. Below is a listing of the most common ailments to help you diagnose your problem.

Problem 1 – Worn Out Parts

As with any mechanical thing—whether a complicated new car or a relatively simple piece of plumbing—wear and tear always takes its toll on moving parts. Some of the parts that may well wear out on a toilet include the following:

  • Tank-balls
  • Flappers
  • Seal
  • Disc
  • Handle attachments that work as plugs in the tank’s bottom

Problem 2 – Defective Parts

Similarly, flappers, tank-balls, seals and flappers may be defective when you buy them. However, there's no real way of knowing if you have defective parts, even if you install the toilet yourself. After all, parts can look perfectly fine on the surface, only to turn out defective after put into use. Nevertheless, there is always the possibility that one of your common toilet parts may be defective.

Problem 3 – Damaged Valve Seats

Oftentimes, the valve seat—the rim of that big hole at the bottom of the tank—is rough or pitted.

Problem 4 – Damaged Overflow Pipe

Sometimes the overflow pipe can develop a hole or get split. It's always a good idea to examne your toilet parts now and again. That way, you might be able to spot an overflow pipe before it gets too big of a hole, or split.

Problem 5 – Damaged gaskets

Gaskets beneath the flush valve can also oftentimes get damaged and cause problems.

Problem 6 – Incorrect Parts

As problematic as damaged or defective parts are, incorrect parts can also be an issue. For instance, perhaps the wrong flapper type is connected to your toilet. And if your toilet is a Kohler brand, for instance, this make can only work with a specific flapper. When it comes to toilet flappers, the one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t fly.

Problem 7 – A Long Chain

Many times, if the strap or chain is too long, it can get tangled beneath the ball or flapper. Always make sure to use the exact right length chain or strap to prevent such tangling. You might want to consult with your local hardware store to make sure the toilet you use has the appropriate chain. If you have excessive chain length, you're almost asking for trouble.

Problem 8 – Something Stuck Under the Ball or Flapper

Sometimes a bowl cleaner might get stuck beneath the ball or flapper. And if there are small children in the home, almost anything can become lodged there. It almost goes without saying, but always keep the toilet seat down to prevent objects from accidently falling in.