Toilet Fill Valve

 



 

nside-toilet-tank-parts

Homeowner's Guide To Toilet Fill Valve(s)

In this article we will cover a number of questions relating to toilet fill valve(s).  These are the most asked about topics that have come up in the course of my career as a plumbing specialist. I have listed the questions along with the answers that are designed to help homeowners with their decision to replace a toilet fill valve on their own. 

Toilet Fill Valve

What Is A Toilet Fill Valve?

 

A toilet fill valve is the part of the toilet located in the toilet tank that allows the water into the tank and controls the level of water that is allowed into the tank. This is important because it's the water that makes it possible to flush a modern day toilet.

 

Toilet Tank Cutaway

Where is the toilet fill valve located?

 

The toilet fill valve is located in the toilet tank, usually on the left hand side, when facing the toilet. Although, some toilets have the fill valve located on the right side, of the toilet tank.  The flushing mechanism, shown in this diagram, is a float ball type, which is no longer being installed in modern day toilets. This mechanism, can easily be replaced, with a modern day fill valve, that no longer has a ball and float arm.  

Fluidmaster Fill Valve
Fluidmaster Fill Valve
Korky fill Valve

What Other Types Of Fill Valves Are There?

There are a number of different types of fill valve, but I'm only going to cover the most popular models in this article. There is the ball type of course, then there is the single post float type by Fluidmaster, which is the most popular, then they is one by Korky, which has an excellent reputation. Fluidmaster and Korky actually make most of the fill valves on the market. They are manufactured under the various manufacturer's brand name and are interchangeable with most models of toilets. 

Old style ballcock toilet fill valve
Old style ballcock toilet fill valve

Can I Replace An Old Style Fill Valve With A New Style Fill Valve?

 

If your toilet has an old style type "ballcock" fill valve with a float and float arm you can easily replace it with a newer style fill valve that does not have a separate float ball. Simply remove the old fill valve and install a newer version from Fluidmaster or Korky. 

Are Toiltet Fill Valves Interchangeable?

Yes, toilet fill valves are like the tires on a car, there are many different sizes, with different tread pattern, but they all go on your car wheel and enable you to drive down the road. Toilet fill valves are interchangeable, they may have a different shape or be a different color, but for the most part will work just as well when it comes to filling your toilet tank with water.  Just be sure to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions. 



Toilet Tank Cutaway

Will I Need To Remove The Toilet Tank To Install A New Fill Valve?

 

No, you simply have to turn off the water, to your toilet, and disconnect the water supply line from the tank.  Remove the plastic nut from the bottom of the "Fill Valve" and disconnect the "Fill Tube" from the "Overflow Tube" and simply lift the valve out. 

 

Fill Valve Diaphram
Fill Valve Diaphram

What Are The Signs That I Need To Replace My Toilet Fill Valve?

There are a number of indications that you might need a new fill valve, one would be if you have hard water and there is a build up of calcium in and around the valve.  This will slow down the valve operation, taking a long time to fill, or can actually lock it in an open or closed position so that the valve operates continuously or barely works at all. 

Then there is a situation where the seals inside the valve have become worn out or have a large build up of calcium, on them.  This can cause the valve to spray water all over the inside of the tank, resulting in water leaking from the top of the tank and onto the bathroom floor.  For the more advanced, do it yourself homeowners there is a kit available for replacing the seals in the fill valve, it cost about one third of a new fill valve and will often do the job. The kit is available from most home improvement stores.   

 

Fluidmaster Fill Valve
Fluidmaster Fill Valve

What Is The Replacement Cost Of A New Toilet Fill Valve?

The replacement cost of a Fluidmaster or Korky toilet fill valve is generally less than $25.00 dollar, depending on the complexity of the fill valve.  Available from most hardware and home improvement stores. 

What Tools Will I Need?

The only tools you should need to replace your toilet fill valve is a pair of channel lock pliers and a medium size adjustable wrench.

 

Channel Lock Pliers
Channel Lock Pliers
Adjustable Wrench
Adjustable Wrench

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Toilet Fill Valve?

 

A professional can usually get the job done in 10 to 15 minutes, but will probably charge for one hour, because it's not worth their time to come out, for a fifteen minute job.  A homeowner should have no trouble finishing this job in less than 30 minutes. 

How To Replace A Toilet Fill Valve Video

Warning:  This video is a little dark and hard to see in some areas, but since it was made by the valve manufacturer Fluidmaster it should be the most accurate and easiest to follow.  



image sources

  • Toilet Tank Cutaway: The Family Handyman
  • ballcock: Google Photos
  • Channel Lock Pliers: Amazon
  • Adjustable Wrench: Home Depot
  • Clock: Google Images