How to Replace a Toilet Fill Valve

A faulty toilet fill valve can cause your toilet to run all the time or otherwise malfunction. However, the good news is that replacing your toilet fill valve is something any homeowner can do. It does not take a lot of experience with plumbing or a lot of time. However, you do need a few parts, a couple of tools, and a little bit of effort.

EditSteps

EditRemoving the Existing Valve

  1. Turn off the water supply. Before doing any repairs to your toilet you should turn off the water outside of the toilet. You should have a water valve directly below the toilet tank. It should be located between where the water pipe comes out of the wall and where it attaches to the bottom of the toilet tank.[1]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 1.jpg
    • In most cases, you will turn the water shutoff valve clockwise to turn it off. Be sure to continue turning it until it stops moving.
  2. Drain the toilet tank. Once the water is turned off, drain the tank before you can disconnect the toilet fill valve. To begin draining the tank, flush the toilet. This will remove most of the water from the tank. Once most of the water is gone, you will need to use a turkey baster or a wet-dry vacuum to get rid of the small amount of water sitting at the bottom of the tank.[2]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 2.jpg
    • If you don’t have a turkey baster or wet-dry vacuum, you can let the remaining water drain as you disconnect the toilet fill valve. However, you will need to hold a bucket under the area as you disconnect it. Letting the water drain this way can lead to water going all over the place, so it’s a good idea to put a towel on the floor to collect any water that sprays.
  3. Locate the toilet fill valve. The toilet fill valve is located inside the toilet tank, usually off to one side. In newer toilets, it is the entire plastic column that includes the float and the on-off lever for filling. In older toilets, the float is a separate piece but it will be connected to the top of the fill valve.[3]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 3.jpg
    • The fill valve also has a tube attached to it that connects to the overflow pipe.[4]
  4. Detach the toilet fill valve. Start by unclipping the fill hose from the overflow pipe. Then unscrew the nut that holds the toilet fill valve on the tank. The is located underneath the tank. Turn the nut counter clockwise with a pair of pliers or a wrench.[5]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 4.jpg
    • As you unscrew the nut, a bit of water may drip out of the tank. Keep a towel on hand or on the floor below the opening to catch any water that comes out.

EditInstalling a New Valve

  1. Purchase a new toilet fill valve. Go to your local hardware store and purchase a new toilet fill valve. Most new toilet fill valves are universal, meaning they will fit in almost any toilet. However, if you are worried about fit, take your old toilet valve with you to the store and use it to assess whether a potential replacement will work.[6]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 5.jpg
    • Even if your old toilet fill valve had a separate float, a newer valve with the float integrated onto the shaft will work.
  2. Put the new toilet fill valve in place. Remove the new toilet fill valve from its packaging. Be sure to read the directions it comes with. The fill valve should come fully assembled, so you should be able to put it straight into the toilet.[7]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 6.jpg
    • Remember to also clip the new refill tube to the overflow tube.
  3. Make sure all washers are in place. It is important to pay attention to how any included washers and nuts should be attached to the valve. There should be washers on the inside and the outside of the tank where the fill valve goes through it.[8]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 7.jpg
    • Washers on the inside and outside of the tank ensure that there is a water-tight seal around this connection point.
  4. Tighten the fill valve nut carefully. When you have the toilet fill valve in place, the final part of its installation is to tighten a lock nut onto the threaded part of the valve. This is located on the underside of the tank. When doing this, it is important not to tighten the nut too hard. The nut should be tightened by hand to ensure that you don’t tighten it too much.[9]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 8.jpg
    • Tightening the nut on the bottom of the fill valve with a wrench or pliers could crack the toilet tank or the valve.
  5. Reattach the water supply line and turn on the water. Once the replacement fill valve is in place, it’s time to get the water flowing again. Attach the supply line to the bottom of the new fill valve. Make sure that there is a washer inside the end of the supply line and tighten it with a wrench until tight. Then turn on the water by turning the shutoff valve counter clockwise until it stops rotating.[10]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 9.jpg
    • If you see any leaks, immediately turn the water off at the shutoff valve.
    • When you turn the water on, the tank should start filling right away.
  6. Adjust the float. Once the water is turned back on and your toilet tank has filled, then you can adjust the float on your new toilet fill valve. The float’s location can be adjusted with a clip on its side, a set screw at the top of the float shaft, or by adjusting a screw at the top of fill valve where the float attaches.[11]
    Replace a Toilet Fill Valve Step 10.jpg
    • Look at the directions of your new toilet fill valve for exact directions for float adjustment.
    • When positioned correctly, the top of the float should be set at about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) below the top of the overflow pipe. The goal is that the float comes up and shuts off the water before the water gets high enough to flow over the top of the overflow pipe.

EditThings You’ll Need

  • A wrench or pliers
  • New toilet fill valve kit
  • Bucket
  • Towel

EditSources and Citations

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