Hear that sound? Your toilet is running again. If you’re like most people, you’ve tried jiggling the handle until it shuts off, over and over again. A running fill valve is a common problem that you can handle if you want to do it. As this is not a big job, but a problem that will waste a lot of water (check your water bill), so fixing the fill valve is something you want to do as soon as you can.
To tackle the fill valve trouble, follow these easy tips:
Identify Your Float
Toilets work by using a float – a weight that floats on the top of the water. When someone flushes the toilet, the float pulls the fill valve open. As the water fills, the float rises until it finally shuts off the fill valve. Some toilets use a float on the end of an arm, while others use a float tube that moves up and down the fill valve shaft.
Adjust Your Float
Remove the toilet tank lid. To adjust the float:
- Arm type floats have an adjustment screw on top of the fill valve. Turn the screw counter-clockwise to reduce the water needed in the tank for it to shut off.
- Cylinder type floats feature a float clip on the side that determines how high or low the cylinder rides in the water. Slide it down to reduce the water needed for shut-off.
A properly adjusted float should ride just below the overflow tube in your toilet. If it’s too high and requires too much water to shut off the fill valve, the water will turn back on as it drains out.
Test Your Work
Once adjusted, flush the toilet. Allow the tank to fill back up completely, ensuring the water shuts off when it reaches the fill point. Look at the overflow tube; the water level should be at least a quarter inch below the tube. If it goes down without overflow, look for leaks.
For more expert information on troubleshooting your toilet fill valve, or for help with other plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, heating and more, call us at W.E. Brown. We have been serving Charlottsville and surrounding communities for more than 90 years.