Why Is My Toilet Slow to Fill?

Have you noticed that your toilet is taking longer to refill after flushing? This is a common toilet problem with several possible causes. Luckily, none of them are major concerns or expensive to address. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet flowing quickly again.

How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet

Understanding why your toilet is slow to fill is your first step toward fixing it. Keep in mind these potential 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 notice a valve connecting to it, which allows you to turn off the water during toilet repairs and replacements. Examine the value to ensure it is fully open.

Issues with the Fill Valve or Tube

The fill valve, which can be found attached to the top of a vertical tube device in the toilet tank, controls the water level flowing into the tank. A toilet fill valve might degrade, clog or move out of alignment after years of use, stopping the tank from filling properly. Follow these instructions to adjust, clean or fix the fill valve:

  • Locate the fill valve: Open the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s normally secured on the left side with a tailpiece extending through the bottom of the tank and connecting to the supply tube and shut-off valve.
  • Adjust the fill valve: Check that the fill valve is secure and evenly connected to the tube. Modify the fill valve height if necessary by twisting the adjustment knob (common to newer toilets) or find a flathead screwdriver and loosen the adjustment screw (required for older toilets). Next, ensure that the water level is about one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Wash the fill valve: To take out mineral buildup and other debris from the valve, first shut off the water in the rear of the toilet and remove the fill cap. Then, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to keep from being sprayed. Let the water flow for several seconds to flush out dirt. 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 lodged in the valve tube could also be the culprit. Turn off the water supply and take out the valve hardware. Next, run a slim wire or bottle brush down the tube. Open the water supply slightly to clean away the remaining residue. Replace the valve hardware and confirm if the toilet fills quicker.

Waterlogged Float Ball

The float ball in older toilet models rises with the water level, shutting the fill valve when the tank has filled. If the float ball is damaged or punctured and fills with water, it keeps the tank from filling efficiently.

Pull up the tank lid and peek inside. A partially sunken float ball might be waterlogged. Prior to replacing the ball, examine the float arm it’s connected to. If the arm is pointed too low in the tank, bend it up slightly to lift the ball’s height.

If this doesn’t work, 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. Just be aware that this is an older toilet design, so it may well be better to modernize the existing tank components or change out the toilet altogether.

Clogged Plumbing Vent

Your home plumbing system features vents that permit air to enter the pipes. If they are clogged, pressure may build within the pipes, preventing the water from flowing. This can, in turn, make your toilet fill slowly or even cause the bowl to overrun.

You'll need to jump up on the roof to check for clogged plumbing vents. Search for long, vertical PVC pipes poking up from the shingles. Do away with any animal nests, deep snow or other obstructions you notice to guarantee that your plumbing can function as intended.

Leaky or Blocked Pipe

If there's nothing apparently wrong with the water supply valve, fill valve and tube, float ball or plumbing vents, the slow toilet problem could stem from your supply pipes. A problem with the water line itself could prevent your toilet tank from filling appropriately. It’s a good idea to hire a licensed plumber to tackle these issues.

Schedule Toilet Repair with Climate Control Service Experts

If these tips did not handle your issue, look to Climate Control Service Experts for quality toilet repair in Mobile. We can identify the reason why the water flow is so slow and perform a cost-effective repair. If the fixture has reached the end of its useful life span, our team can recommend high-efficiency toilet replacement in Mobile. We’ll help you find the replacement model and install it for you. Rest assured that every job we complete is supported by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please call Climate Control Service Experts today.

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