Can a toilet fill valve be repaired?
One of the most common types of toilet repair consists of either replacing or adjusting the fill valve. Also known as the ballcock, the fill valve delivers water back into the tank for the next flush. They are typically fairly easy to repair.
Several types of fill valves exist:
- Plunger ballcock: This is an older type with the float ball attached on one end of a long arm that’s connected to the fill valve. Usually a repair just requires a new rubber washer placed on the valve stem.
- Diaphragm-style: Also has a float ball controlling a diaphragm seal that’s inside the plastic stem. People often replace worn diaphragm fill valves with float-cup valves.
- Float-cup: These are the most common in newer toilets. It has a float cup that moves up and down to regulate the water levels in the tank. Typically repairs involve replacing the inner seal inside the fill valve.
- Floatless: It sits at the bottom of the tank and a diaphragm senses the water level. Because these valves siphon water to the fresh water supply, they are often not allowed by building codes and need to be replaced.
How do I know if my toilet fill valve is bad?
Usually, if your fill valve is worn or malfunctioning, your toilet will run continuously, although a continually running toilet could also indicate a bad flapper. Other signs your fill valve is bad and toilet repair is required include:
- Toilet will not flush or the flush is weak: To confirm that the fill valve is causing the weak flush, bend the float arm upward. The float shut off might be set too low. If the fill valve is blocked or broken the toilet won’t flush.
- Tank refill takes a long time: A blockage might be causing water to slow down when passing through the fill valve.
How long should a toilet fill valve last?
The fill valve typically lasts six to seven years. Harsh chemical cleaners, water quality, as well as heavy usage might affect the valve’s longevity.
Why do toilet flappers go bad?
Another common toilet repair is replacing or adjusting the flapper, which regulates water passage in the overflow pipe. If your toilet is continuously running it’s normally a problem with either the flapper or fill valve. Malfunctioning flappers are also the leading cause of toilet leaks.
Flappers can get waterlogged by taking on extra water through everyday use, which will prevent it from floating like it’s supposed to. This usually means you have to flush several times to make sure the toilet bowl is emptied and enough water is leaving the tank. If the flapper is ever exposed to hot or even warm water over an extended period, it can crack and deteriorate quickly and not drain correctly. Frequently using drop-in tablets to clean the tank will cause the flapper and other parts to deteriorate quicker than normal. Cleaners attached to the side of the bowl are much safer.
How often do toilet flappers need to be replaced?
In time your toilet flapper will need to be replaced because it will eventually deteriorate or become waterlogged. This is most often when leaks occur. To prevent this, replace the flapper every three to five years.
Can you repair toilet bowl?
Cracks in toilet bowls can create a complicated toilet repair in some cases, depending on where the crack is. If it’s below the water level and in the area that retains water you’re better off replacing the toilet. Cracks above the water level can sometimes be fixed. A hairline crack can be sealed using waterproof epoxy. You can also try sealing a crack below the waterline, but if the repair doesn’t stop the leak, the only option you’ll have is to replace the toilet.
Toilet repair or replacement
Many times a simple repair will be all that’s required for a toilet. This is usually the case if the toilet is constantly running or won’t flush, which often means you have a bad fill valve or flapper. These are common repairs that are only needed when the parts wear out, around three to seven years. Other problems like clogs, if they are infrequent, are usually easy to repair.
Cracks in the tank or toilet bowl are much more complicated, depending on the location of the crack. If you have cracks visible below the water level in the toilet bowl, the best option is to replace the toilet. If you are having to frequently unblock the toilet or you’re putting out money frequently on repairs year after year, then it’s probably time to replace the toilet. You can also save money on water bills by replacing older toilets with more efficient low-flow toilets.
Toilet repair basics
While plumbers like those at James Armstrong Plumbing always appreciate your business, there are some basic toilet repairs you can make that can save you money. One persistent complaint that occurs is that the toilet won’t stop running. While this could be caused by several things, more often than not, the problem can often be traced to the flapper. The flapper covers the overflow pipe and helps regulate water flow in the tank. The first thing to do is to check the flapper for its consistency. It should be relatively soft. If it has hardened, it will need to be replaced because it’s not creating a proper seal.
Sometimes the chain that connects to the flapper gets caught on another part. Make sure the chain isn’t caught on anything. If it is rusted, you can replace it. The flapper can also get pinched at the hinges, causing a jam and keeping it from sealing correctly. If the flapper has become dislodged it needs to be seated over the drain.
Toilet repair near me
Whenever you have problems with your toilet and need fast, effective toilet repair in Mesquite, TX, you can always rely on James Armstrong Plumbing. We offer a wide range of plumbing repairs. Get a prompt response to your service request by calling (214) 414-3705.