Why Is My Toilet Slow to Fill?

You flushed and now you have to wait; sound familiar? This is a common toilet issue with numerous possible culprits. Thankfully, none of them are serious concerns or costly to fix. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet working properly again.

How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet

Learning why your toilet is slow to refill is your first step toward fixing it. Keep in mind these possible reasons and how to handle each one.

Partially Closed Water Supply Valve

Check behind the toilet for the water supply hook-up connected to the wall. You’ll see a valve connected to it, which enables you to shut off the water when repairs or full replacement of the tank is needed. Check this valve to make sure it’s completely open.

Trouble 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 flow into the tank. A toilet fill valve could degrade, clog or shift out of alignment after years of use, stopping the tank from filling appropriately. Follow these tips to adjust, unclog or fix the fill valve:

  • Search for the fill valve: Open the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s usually 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: Make sure the fill valve is secure and evenly connected to the tube. Alter the fill valve height if necessary by turning 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 roughly one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Wash the fill valve: To remove mineral accumulation and other dirt from the valve, first shut off the water in the back of the toilet and remove the fill cap. Then, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to prevent from being sprayed by the water. Let the water flow for 15-20 seconds to flush out dirt. Next, scrub away mineral buildup on the fill cap. If you notice cracks or substantial wear and tear, replace the valve.
  • Clean the valve tube: Debris inside the valve tube could also be to blame. Turn off the water supply and take off the valve hardware. Next, run a thin wire or bottle brush down the tube. Start the water supply slightly to flush away the remaining residue. Replace the valve hardware and see if the toilet fills properly.

Waterlogged Float Ball

The float ball in older toilet models rises with the water level, closing the fill valve when the tank has filled. If the float ball takes on water, it blocks the tank from filling efficiently.

Take off the tank lid and view inside. A partially submerged float ball could be waterlogged. Prior to replacing the ball, examine the float arm it’s attached to. If the arm is directed too low in the tank, bend it up somewhat to elevate the ball’s height.

If this doesn’t work, you may be able to install a new float ball. But it's worth remembering that this is an older toilet design, so it may be better to modernize the existing tank components or switch out the toilet altogether.

Plugged Plumbing Vent

Your home plumbing system includes vents that enable air to enter the pipes. If they end up clogged, pressure may build within the pipes, blocking the water from flowing. This can, in turn, make your toilet slow to fill or even cause the bowl to flood.

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 find to ensure your plumbing works properly.

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 dilemma could stem from your supply pipes. A water line leak could restrict your toilet tank from filling correctly. It’s safest to hire a licensed plumber to fix these issues.

Schedule Toilet Repair with Knochelmann Service Experts

Is your toilet still not working right? Turn to Knochelmann Service Experts for reliable toilet repair in Sharonville. We can identify the reason why your toilet is slow to fill and perform the most appropriate repair. If the fixture has reached the end of its average life span, our company can suggest high-efficiency toilet replacement in Sharonville. We’ll help you pick out the replacement model and install it on your behalf. Rest assured that every job we complete is protected by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please contact Knochelmann Service Experts today.

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