How Do You Fix a Toilet Fill Valve that Keeps Running?

A Toilet

It’s kind of like the water heater, always there and doing its job. Until it isn’t! We’re talking about the toilet folks. You get up in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, or any time of the day or night, it is sitting there waiting for you. And when it isn’t working right, all you can think about is getting the toilet repaired and working right again. 

How do you diagnose a bad toilet?

There is a delicate balance in the working of a toilet, and there are four factors that must be in balance with each other: 

  • The water level in the tank
  • The speed of the water
  • The air pressure
  • The amount of water in the bowl 

What are the most common problems requiring toilet repair? 

Most toilet repair needs fall under one of the following 7 reasons: 

  • Constantly Running

A constantly running toilet can be annoying and expensive. This is usually when water is flowing through the fill valve into the tank.  through the fill valve, it wastes water and costs money. There are two possible toilet repairs for this problem: 

  • If the water in the tank is dropping, replace the flapper. If this doesn’t stop the constant running water, then replace the flush valve assembly. 
  • If the water level in the tank isn’t emptying or if the water is spilling into the overflow tube, replace the fill valve. 
  • Leaking Toilet

Any time there is water pooling up around the base of the toilet, it needs to be addressed immediately. This water can damage the flooring and subflooring, as well the hazard of wastewater sitting on the floor is a concern. Try tightening the blots to the toilet and if that doesn’t help, the next toilet repair step is to replace the wax seal under the toilet. You’ll need help or hire a professional plumber. 

  • Flushing Isn’t Right

If your toilet isn’t flushing all the way, it most likely is clogged. However, it could be the flapper, flush handle, or lift chain, all possible toilet repairs you can do yourself. 

  • Slow Filling Toilet

A slow-filling toilet can be a problem with the water supply valve. This toilet repair would be better addressed by a plumber.

  • Noisy Toilet 

If you hear water running from the toilet and it hasn’t been recently flushed, it needs toilet repairs by replacing the flapper, flush valve, refill tube, or water supply valve.

  • Loose or Stuck Toilet Handle

A toilet handle that is too loose or too tight will cause problems. Simple toilet repairs are to either loosen or tighten the mounting nut.

  • Rocking Toilet

If a toilet moves or rocks when it is sat on, the flange and/or the wax seal have moved, weakened, and simply need to be replaced. 

How can you improve a toilet’s flush strength?

Maybe your toilet has a weak flush – can you give it steroids? No, but there a few things you can do that will make its flush stronger: 

  • Clean The Rim Jets

Most homeowners clean their toilets once a week, but they aren’t always getting under the rim. 

  • Unclog It

Even the most minor toilet clog can weaken the flushing power of a toilet. If you don’t see evidence of a clog in the bowl, it could be further down into the drainpipe or toilet trap. Use a plumber’s snake and push through any clog that may be there. 

  • Water Refill Tube Adjustment

The job of the water refill tube is to control the amount of water filling the tank after a flush. The refill tube causes the float to rise with the water until it reaches a preset level, then it turns off. If the refill line is too low, there isn’t enough water in the tank to give you a strong flush. Simply adjusting the refill tube or unsticking the float arm is a quick toilet repair anyone can do. 

  • The Flapper

A rubber flapper covers the opening where water goes from the tank to the toilet bowl when the handle is pushed. After the tank empties, the flapper lowers back over the hole, and the tank refills. Over time, the chain can get tangled or tighten, and a quick, easy toilet repair is adjusting the chain. Or, the flapper may be worn out, simply replace it.  

It’s All Going Down The Drain! 

So, if these toilet repair tips and tricks don’t work, and your toilet is over 10 years old, it is time to replace it!  How much does a new toilet cost? Well, like a car, it depends on how fancy a toilet you get and if you do your toilet installation or have it installed.  

The base price of toilets typically starts at just under $200 and can go upward to $500 or more. If you have it professionally installed by a plumber, you can expect that cost, including the toilet, to start around $400 to $500 and go upwards of $800 or more.