You flushed and now you have to wait; sound familiar? This is a common toilet predicament with numerous possible causes. Thankfully, none of them are serious concerns or costly to address. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet functioning quickly again.
How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet
Understanding why your toilet is slow to fill is the first step toward fixing it. Consider these possible reasons and how to handle each one.
Partially Closed Water Supply Valve
Look behind the toilet for the water supply hose attached to the wall. You’ll find a valve connecting to it, which allows you to shut off the water during toilet repairs and replacements. Examine the value to ensure it is fully open.
Problems with the Fill Valve or Tube
The fill valve, which can be found connected to the top of a vertical tube-shaped part in the toilet tank, controls the water level flowing into the tank. A toilet fill valve may wear out, clog or shift out of alignment after years of use, stopping the tank from filling properly. Follow these instructions to adjust, clear out or fix the fill valve:
- Search for the fill valve: Open the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s commonly installed on the left side with a tailpiece extending through the bottom of the tank and linking to the supply tube and shut-off valve.
- Adjust the fill valve: Be certain the fill valve is secure and evenly connected to the tube. Modify the fill valve height if required by twisting the adjustment knob (common to newer toilets) or find a flathead screwdriver and loosen the adjustment screw (required for older toilets). Next, verify that the water level is about one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
- Clean the fill valve: To eliminate mineral accumulation and other sludge from the valve, first shut off the water behind the toilet and remove the fill cap. Right after that, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to prevent from being sprayed by the water. Allow the water to flow for 15-20 seconds to flush out debris. Next, scrub away mineral buildup from the fill cap. If you detect cracks or significant wear and tear, replace the valve.
- Clean the valve tube: Debris trapped in the valve tube could also be to blame. Turn off the water supply and take out the valve hardware. Then, run a thin wire or bottle brush down the tube. Turn back on the water supply slightly to rinse away the excess residue. Reconnect the valve hardware and verify if the toilet fills quicker.
Waterlogged Float Ball
The float ball in older toilet models rises with the water level, shutting the fill valve whenever the tank has filled. If the float ball takes on water, it blocks the tank from filling correctly.
Pull up the tank lid and peek inside. A partially sunken float ball may be waterlogged. Before running out to buy a new ball, look at the float arm it’s connected to. If the arm is pointed too low in the tank, bend it up a little bit to elevate the ball’s height.
If that fails to solve the issue, you might want to simply buy a new float ball; the average cost of this product ranges between $7-$20 in most hardware or home improvement stores. But it's worth remembering that this is old toilet technology, so it may be better to upgrade the existing tank parts or switch out the toilet completely.
Plugged Plumbing Vent
Your home plumbing system includes vents that enable air to enter the pipes. If they end up being clogged, tension may build throughout the pipes, preventing the water from flowing. This can, in turn, make your toilet slow to fill or even cause the bowl to overrun.
You need to get on the roof to check for clogged plumbing vents. Look for long, vertical PVC pipes poking up from the roof tiles. Get rid of any animal nests, deep snow or other obstructions you notice to guarantee that your plumbing can function as intended.
Leaky or Blocked Pipe
If nothing is wrong with the water supply valve, fill valve and tube, float ball or plumbing vents, the slow toilet issue could stem from your supply pipes. A water line leak could restrict your toilet tank from filling properly. It’s a good idea to hire a licensed plumber to tackle these issues.
Schedule Toilet Repair with Norrell Service Experts
Is your toilet still not working right? Turn to Norrell Service Experts for quality toilet repair in Birmingham. We can pinpoint the reason why the water flow is so slow and perform the most appropriate repair. If the fixture has reached the end of its typical life span, our company can recommend high-efficiency toilet replacement in Birmingham. We’ll help you find the replacement model and install it for you. Rest assured that every job we complete is protected by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please call Norrell Service Experts today.