Do It Yourself Plumbing: How To Replace A Refill Valve

You can replace your toilet's refill valve without the cost of a plumber by reading these tips and instructions on how to purchase and install one.

Replacing a refill valve is a task not many of us are not prepared to deal with and while the idea of just calling the plumber to come out and eliminate that task is a wonderful thought, it's simply not very cost effective.

When choosing a refill valve be sure and choose one that offers anti-siphon protection since it could possibly be a code requirement and even if it is not they are better for health reasons anyway.

Your first step in replacing the refill valve will be to turn off the water supply to your toilet. Once the water has been shut off, flush the toilet and clean up any water left over in the bottom of the tank. Next you'll want to remove or cover your carpet, rugs or flooring with old towels to prevent any water damage while you are working.

Your next step should be to remove the old refill valve which can be done by first disconnecting the line to your tanks water supply which is located just below the refill valve's nut. Once this is accomplished you can remove the nut to the refill valve using a ten or twelve in adjustable wrench. If the nut won't budge you can spray the nut with a lubricant the prior night to aide in the task. If however the nut still will not budge, you will need to use a hack saw blade to saw through the nut to remove the refill valve.

When you have removed or loosened the nut, remove and discard the old valve from the tank taking care not to bend on move the supply line. If you accidentally move the supply line, your tanks water connections won't be tight, but replacing the line with flexible connectors is simple and sometimes better if it does happen.

Your next step will be to read the instructions that came with your new refill valve since no two instructions are alike.



You'll then want to adjust your new refill valve so that it will fit your tank correctly. You can start by measuring the overflow pipe's height and unscrewing the valve's base until the critical level ring located on the top of the valve in an inch above the overflow pipe. Next separate the cone and shank washer from each other and push the flat side of the shank washer onto the threaded end of the valve.

Once you've adjusted your refill valve you can begin to position your new valve in the tank by making sure the float cup does not touch the sides of the tank. Firmly push down on the shank of the valve from the bottom with one hand as you tighten the nut under the tank with your other and tighten with a wrench a half turn only to prevent leaks and accidental cracking of your tank. Now you'll want to reattach the supply line the same way you removed it. If you have accidentally bent or moved the line, be sure to just replace it with flexible connectors since risk of a loose water connection will be likely.

Attaching the angle adapter should be your next step and you'll need to attach the adapter to one end of the refill tube and then attach the other end of the tube to the piece on top of the valve also known as the nipple that is located directly below the cap. Cut the angle adapter to the top edge of the overflow pipe and adjust the size of the refill tube as well if needed. You can now reattach the flush valve chain to the trip handle being sure to allow enough slack in the chain to allow the flush valve to open and close properly.

Your final step in replacing the refill valve is to flush it out. Remove the cap by lifting the arm and unscrewing the cap an eighth turn. If you notice dirt in the water as you flush you can place a cup or similar item over the top as you turn the water on and off. Once you have flushed the valve you'll want to turn the water off and replace the cap making sure it is locked before you permanently turn the water back on. Once that is done and the tank has filled, you can adjust the water level by reading the instructions that were included with your refill valve.

Now that you have replaced your toilet's refill valve and saved yourself the hassle of hiring a plumber you can easily tackle your next project and quite possibly wonder if you'll ever need a handyman again. If you do, however, and DIY home tasks aren't your thing, we recommend finding a local certified professional. For those in the Los Angeles area, check out our friends at plumber Los Angeles.

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