An essential part of a toilet, whenever the toilet is flushed the fill valve fills the toilet tank. It can be quite frustrating having a broken fill valve, especially if you have no knowledge of how to replace or fix them. However, if you need a fill valve replacement or simply want to change your toilet parts, then this is the right place for you.
Set the supply knob to an off position to turn off the tank water supply – this usually comes through either the floor or wall at the back of the toilet. If you cannot locate the shut off or do not have one, then shut the main supply line to the home.
Once the water supply is turned off, you will need to empty the tank. Gently take off the lid of the tank and position it aside. Flush down as much water from the tank as you can, and use a few rags or a sponge to soak up the remaining water contained in the tank.
Have the refill tube disconnected from the flush valve. Unscrew the nut which connects the water inlet line to the toilet, located underneath the tank, by using channel-lock pliers. A little amount of water will be stuck in the supply line after you disconnect it. Next, take out the jam-nut which holds the fill valve in place in the tank. Then take the old fill valve out of the tank.
If your bowl cleaning system is the Fluidmaster Flush & Sparkle, gently take out the tube from the fill valve. Ensure tube is not disconnected from the dispenser. And if you don’t have this system, then proceed to step 3.
Strip the small components such as the angle adapter, lock nut, shank washer, coupling nut and cone washer to install valve. The cone and shank washers are joined as one. Carefully pull the cone/shank washer away from the angle adapter in order to free the coupling nut, lock nut, and angle adapter.
Gently take out the cone washer from the middle of the shank washer. Have the shank washer positioned on the new valve’s threaded shank, having the flat surface placed against the valve. The coupling nut and cone washer can be used along the supply line to be connected to the threaded shank as in step 8.
After the fill valve replacement is installed, its indication of “critical level” should be above the overflow pipe by at least an inch. In many places, this is a plumbing code. On a fill valve of Fluidmaster 4ooa, the critical level is indicated by “CL”.
The threaded shank can be twisted in or out of the body of the valve in order to adjust the fill valve’s height. Fluidmaster 4ooa height adjustment ranges from 9-14 inches. It is normal to hear a clicking sound on some models.
Place the fill valve replacement in the tank and press against the valve shank (not from the top) as you tighten the lock nut by hand only. Ensure not to over-tighten so as not to crack the tank. Check that the float cup doesn’t touch the walls of the tank, flush valve, or trip system.
Before you proceed, check the chart to identify your water supply connection type and make use of the proper assembly components needed to correctly reconnect the supply line. Do not seal the fittings with plumbers’ putty.
Now the coupling nut should be tightened by hand only (ensure you don’t over tighten), with the right washers in position. The cone washer should not be used on a plastic supply line. And if you have braided connectors (stainless steel), then the coupling nut and cone washer are not required.
For the bowl cleaning system from Fluidmaster, reconnect the IN hose to the nipple of the fill valve replacement. Ensure that the flushing parts of the toilet tank move freely.
Proceed to step 11 if you don’t have the Fluidmaster cleaning system.
Connect one side of the black refill hose to the angle adapter and the other side to the nipple near the valve top.
Note: The refill hose flow needs to be placed right above the overflow pipe.
Ensure not to insert the refill hose down below the level of water in the overflow pipe. Otherwise, water will siphon from the tank, through the overflow pipe, making the valve go off and on trying to ensure the tank stays full. This is however prevented by the air gap from the angle adapter.
It is most essential to rid the system of rust, sand and other debris before installation is complete. Ensure to shut off the water supply. Now take out the cap on the valve by raising the arm and turning it counterclockwise by 1/8 alongside the cap, while pressing the cap down slightly.
With a container held over the valve the guard against splashing, turn the water supply on and off again a few times. This ensures that any dirt, rust or sand is flushed from the fill valve replacement. Shut off the water supply.
Engage the lugs and turn the cap clockwise by 1/8 to replace it. Check that the cap is at the lock position, otherwise it may stop the valve from turning on.
Turn the water supply on and have the water level in the tank adjusted as desired. Most models have the adjustment rod functioning like a screw, moving the rod from top to bottom. Inspect the tank for leakages, and also check that it flushes properly.
At this point your fill valve replacement has been successful! If you are not clear about your toilet components, we highly suggest you get in touch with the manufacturer or seek the advice of a local plumber.
Read our article on fixing toilet leaks.