How to Repair Common Toilet Fill Valve Problems

  • 0.5-1
  • Beginner
  • 5-10
What You'll Need
What You'll Need

A well-maintained toilet fill valve is vital to a functional, efficient toilet. If a toilet fill valve develops a problem, it can bring negative results. Even if your toilet remains functional, a damaged toilet fill valve can waste a great deal of water and, with it, your money. Is it necessary to call in a professional whenever your toilet acts up? Not necessarily. You can fix many common problems with your toilet fill valve without special tools or knowledge. What follows should help you decide if you can repair your own toilet fill valve and how to do it if you should choose to.

Step 1 - Diagnose the Problem

Before performing any repairs on your toilet, you need to do your best to figure out what is wrong with it, if anything. The best way to start is simply to listen to the sounds it makes. If you listen to your toilet when it is not supposed to be flushing, and you hear any sounds that resemble a toilet being flushed, you probably have a damaged fill valve. Other sounds can mean the same thing. If you hear the sound of water flowing, or any sounds indicating that water is moving when it is not, you either have a damaged fill valve or a leak.

Step 2 - Adjust the Water Level

If you determine that you have a problem with your toilet fill valve, you should try adjusting the water level before you try anything else. This is a relatively simple procedure, though the actual procedure will vary depending on the kind of fill valve you have.

First open up your toilet. Set a towel on the ground. Then remove the top of the tank and set it down on the towel.

Next find your toilet's float. It will be either a plastic or rubber ball on the end of a metal arm, or a cylinder mounted on a pipe.

If the float is a ball on the end of an arm, look for a screw at the base of the arm. Loosen the screw, lower the arm and tighten the screw again. If this is not possible, you can simply bend the arm down.

If the float is a cylinder, you should find a mechanism to release it for adjustment. Release it, lower the float and be sure to re-engage the mechanism.

Step 3 - Finish Up

Lowering the water level should stop your toilet from using more water than necessary. Close up your toilet tank and make sure to put everything back where it came from. Give the toilet a test flush. If everything works properly, your problem is fixed.

However, if your toilet is still using water when it is not active, you may need to call a professional, as you may have a leak.