A toilet fill valve is a component of a toilet tank that is responsible for replenishing the tank after each flush. The valve is directly linked to a water supply pipe from below. Concurrently, the water supply line is linked to a shut-off valve, which is also connected to water supply pipelines.
If you need to keep the tank empty for repairs, you may use the toilet shut-off valve to manage the water inside it. The shut-off valve might be a knob on the wall behind the toilet water tank. The toilet float is attached to the toilet fill valve as well. A toilet float moves up and down in the toilet tank, controlling the opening and closing of the fill valve.
Your toilet fill valve will also be connected to a float ball or a float cup. Float balls in earlier toilet types consist of a round ball with a float arm that links it to the toilet fill valve. On the other hand, a float cup is smaller and more likely to be seen in modern restrooms.
You need to understand what kind of fill valve you have to make any required modifications or repairs to the plumbing system of your toilet. In some cases, fill valves have been made with old technology. When such toilet fill valves need to be repaired, they should be replaced with a newer model. While some toilets and valves can be repaired or replaced with identical copies, others need to be replaced with parts made by the original manufacturer to be repaired or replaced.
How Toilet Fill Valves Work
- Before flushing your toilet, ensure the toilet tank is full of water. Since the fill valve is closed, the toilet float is hovering at the top of the tank.
- When you push the flush lever, a lift chain pulls the toilet flapper off, and the water in the tank rushes out and down to the bowl through the flush valve.
- When you let go of the flush handle, the lift chain sags. When the toilet is ready to be full, the flapper returns to its original position, and the flush valve is closed.
- Because the toilet tank is now empty, the toilet float, which is now at the bottom, causes the fill valve to open.
- Water starts to fill the tank via the fill valve.
- As the tank fills with water, the toilet float gradually rises.
- When the toilet float reaches the set height, it comes to a halt and shuts off the fill valve. The water in the tank ceases to flow, and the tank becomes silent.
- While the fill valve is replenishing the tank, the refill tube, linked to the fill valve, is simultaneously discarding a small amount of water into the bowl via the overflow tube. The water at the bottom of the toilet bowl acts as a barrier, stopping sewage gases from entering the bathroom.
Note that the overflow tube is the large tube in the center of the tank responsible for transferring additional water down to the bowl to protect the tank from overflowing.
How to Know if Your Toilet Fill Valve Needs Replacement or Repair
Remember, an air-filled ball or cup linked to the valve floats in the tank and closes the valve when the water level reaches a predetermined level. Fill valves deteriorate with time, so it’s crucial to detect the signs of one that needs replacement or even repair. The following are signs that your toilet fill valve needs replacement or repair.
1. Noise Coming From the Valve
The flow of water or air causes most of the strange noises emitted by a toilet. If you hear a hissing sound emanating from your toilet, the fill valve may be faulty. If the valve isn’t closing properly, the toilet may be leaking. Some fill valves, such as the traditional ballcock, may have difficulty opening or shutting due to worn metal components. This may create unusual sounds when water runs through the aperture.
When water isn’t flowing correctly, the first indicator is a low buzzing sound almost imperceptible to the human ear. Metal bits are probably loose, and if you don’t fix them, the valve may undoubtedly fail. Attempting to repair such a valve is futile since replacements are generally inexpensive.
2. Running Toilet Constantly
A leaking flapper slowly empties the tank, causing the fill valve to run continuously. Pouring dye into the toilet tank and waiting several hours to see whether it alters the color of the bowl water allows you to rule out the flapper and concentrate on the piping issue. However, your valve is faulty if the color does not change. If the tank’s water level is too high, the valve may also be responsible. In any event, rather than attempting to fix the valve, you may be able to replace it.
3. The Supply Line Coupling Is Leaking
Water seeping at the coupling that connects the supply line to the fill valve indicates that mineral deposits are primarily clogging the fill valve. You may also discover that the fill valve is taking longer than expected or just not refilling the tank whatsoever.
What Is the Best Time to Replace the Toilet Fill Valve?
The most common cause of an overflowing fill valve is an incorrectly set float. Before attempting to adjust your float, you should always aim to keep it as high as it will go using a screwdriver, the rod length on a cup float, or any other means. Replace the valve if the water does not turn off or you can’t stop the water flow even after using the right float and valve settings.
Why Adjusting or Replacing the Toilet Fill Valve Is Necessary
Toilet fill valves regulate water flow from the supply line into the tank between flushes. Fill valves are typically one of two types: an arm with a float attached or a floating cylinder that moves up and down. Minor changes may also be required to prevent the fill valve from running continually. Toilet fill valve adjustment is a common home repair since these floats affect how much water fills your tank or is drained with each flush. As a consequence, they are the most commonly used toilet components.
In general, the tank’s water level should be roughly 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube, which is the open pipe in the tank’s middle. A constantly running fill valve is almost certainly set too high, enabling water to escape into the overflow tube. Consider correcting this by lowering the toilet level. When a float-arm fill valve starts to leak, it’s best to replace it with a cylinder-style one.