The toilet is probably the most used appliance in your home. It’s imperative, for comfort and health reasons, that your bathroom remains in tip-top condition. One of the components on your toilet that could fail is the fill valve. It’s a relatively simple piece to diagnose and replace yourself, saving you from an extraordinary plumbing bill.
Fill Valve FAQs
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What Does A Fill Valve Do?
The fill valve controls the water that fills the tank. It is the part that opens the water flow when the tank is empty after flushing. It also shuts off the water supply after the tank has filled to the proper level. An improperly working fill valve could mean your toilet doesn’t flush or the water is filling the container is running continuously, neither of which you want in your bathroom.
What Are the Different Types of Fill Valves?
There are five types of fill valves for toilets. These are:
- Plunger or Piston Fill Valve
- Diaphragm Fill Valve with a brass body
- Diaphragm Fill Valve with a plastic body
- Float Cup Fill Valve
- Floatless Fill Valve
Plunger Or Piston Type Fill Valve
Plunger or piston style fill valves, also known as ballcocks, are some of the oldest toilet valve models. They are constructed from cast brass and use a bottom-fill discharge tube. They have a hinged level assembly that uses thumbscrews. This type of fill valve works in conjunction with a floating ball that is attached to the pivoting lever. The lever closes and opens the plunger stem that is connected to a water inlet port. These fill valves do not meet current plumbing codes and should be replaced.
Diaphragm Type Fill Valve With A Brass Body
The diaphragm fill valve with a brass body is also an older model and uses a floating ball. The main body is made from cast brass and is anti-siphon. The diaphragm seal closes and opens to regulate the water flow. Although the cap is often made from cast brass, the button that is used to activate the diaphragm is made of plastic.
Diaphragm Type Fill Valve With A Plastic Body
The diaphragm fill valve with a plastic body is a modern version of the brass model. It uses a float ball, and all the major pieces are constructed from plastic. It is anti-siphon and is the most often choice for replacing older ballcock valves.
Float Cup Type Fill Valve
The float cup fill valve was introduced initially in the 1950s. It is made of plastic and is anti-siphon. It has a plastic O-shaped cup the floats down and up while around the fill valve shaft. The cup is connected with a metal spring that is tethered to a metal actuating rod. Adjusting the point that the rod connects to the float cup controls the water level in the tank. Some models have adjustable shafts which allow for proper fitting of toilet tanks with different depths.
Floatless Type Fill Valve
The floatless fill valve is the most recent evolution of the toilet fill valve designs. It is made of plastic and uses a diaphragm mechanism that senses pressure instead of any floating components. The valve attaches to the bottom of the tank rather than the side. This style was initially designed for the low flow toilets popular in the 1990s. This model is not always reliable, and many plumbers chose a float cup fill valve over the floatless type fill valve when repairing toilets.
How Long Does A Toilet Fill Valve Last?
The flappers, washers, and seals on a toilet fill valve will last somewhere between four or five years, less if you use chemical bowl cleaners.
How Do I Know When It Is Time To Replace The Fill Valve?
If your toilet uses the older fill valve models, you may hear a low humming sound after flushing. If you do, it means that the water isn’t flowing as it should. If the sound increases, it indicates that the metal parts are loose.
If the toilet is continuously leaking water so that the tank doesn’t fill, check the flapper first by putting dye in the tank and see if the bowl water changes color. If it does, the flapper is the problem. If the flapper is working correctly, it may be the fill valve.
If the water level in the tank is too high, it may be due to a faulty fill valve. If you can adjust the valve, try that first. If the water level remains the same, then its time to replace the valve.
If your toilet doesn’t flush properly, first check the float shut-off isn’t set too low. Bend the float arm upwards and try flushing again after the tank fills. If that doesn’t solve the problem, it’s probably a broken or blocked fill valve.
If your toilet tank takes an extremely long time to fill after flushing, there may be a problem with the fill valve. Check to make sure the pipe isn’t blocked before running out and getting a replacement.
How Do You Replace The Fill Valve?
It’s not overly complicated to replace the fill valve in your toilet. First, shut off the water to the tank. Then, empty the tank by flushing. Be sure to disconnect the water supply. After that, loosen the retaining nut that is under the tank and left out the fill valve. Insert the new one and tighten the retaining nut. Make sure to adjust the height to fit your toilet tank.
What Are The Different Parts Of A Fill Valve?
A fill valve will have an arm, a cap, a refill tube, a water level adjustment clip, a critical level mark, and an adjustable height area. The cap could be any color. Sometimes the adjustment clips are color-coded. The adjustable height ensures that the fill valve will fit your toilet setup.
How We Reviewed
Since we know you want your toilet up and running again in short order, we took extra care in compiling this list of the best toilet fill valve options. We checked the manufacturer’s websites for specifics and warranty information. We also examined the overall customer satisfaction after installing the toilet fill valve.
The Best Toilet Fill Valves
All of these products can be bought online at Amazon, directly from the manufacturer or at your local plumbing supply store.
Danco Next HydroClean Toilet Fill Valve Repair Kit with Cleaning Tube
- Cleaning tube, cleaning jets, detects leaks
- Pros: water-saving, easy adjustment
- Cons: Too stylish for the inside of a toilet tank.
- Five-year warranty
The Next HydroClean Toilet Fill Valve Repair Kit with Cleaning Tube by Danco has all the bells and whistles you could ask for on a toilet fill valve. It has a built-in mini-valve that calibrates and adjusts the refill water level in the tank. It provides an audible alert when a leak is detected. The jets spray the inside of the tank with every flush. It has an adjustable height of 11 to 13.8 inches and is easy to install without tools.
Fluidmaster 400AH PerforMAX Universal High-Performance Toilet Fill Valve
- Quiet, easy-to-install, universal valve
- Pros: Adjustable height between 10 – 15 inches, adjustable roller-clamp
- Cons: Doesn’t fit every single toilet
- Seven-year warranty
The Fluidmaster 400AH PerforMAX Universal High-Performance Toilet Fill Valve fits high efficiency (HET) toilets, dual flush toilets including Duo Flush, 1.6-gallon toilets with 2 and 3-inch flush valves newer than 1994 and older high gallon toilets with 2-inch flush valves, older than 1994. The Fluidmaster 400AH refills twice as fast as standard valves. The water saving roller clamp optimizes the water usage and saves you money. PerforMAX provides a seven-year warranty on their product.
WDI B3260 Universal Fill Valve
- Easy-to-install, universal design for most toilets
- Pros: Quiet, adjustable
- Cons: Doesn’t fit every single toilet
- Ten-year warranty
WDI B3260 Universal Fill Valve fits most Kohler, Toto, and American Standard toilets. It can be adjusted from 8 1 / 4 inches to 12 1 / 4 inches. It is designed to eliminate noise and prevent water waste with simple adjustments. The simple twist lock makes the WDI easy to install and adjust.
Korky 818BP QuietFILL Universal Toilet Fill Valve
- Quiet, universal design, adjustable
- Pros: Fits most 1-piece and 2-piece toilets
- Cons: Shorter warranty than other models
- Five-year warranty
The Korky 818BP QuietFILL Universal Toilet Fill Valve fits most Kohler, Toto, and American Standard toilets. It can be adjusted to fit most 1-piece and 2-piece toilets. The valve adjusts from 7 3 /4 inches to 13 1 / 2 inches. You need no tools to install the Korky 818BP with the twist-lock adjustment. This model also includes the Korky Plus 2 inch toilet tank flapper.
Hibbent Universal Toilet Fill Valve Kit
- Easy to install, adjustable
- Pros: water-fill delay function, instantaneous water shut off
- Cons: More expensive than some models.
- Limited lifetime warranty
The Hibbent Universal Toilet Fill Valve Kit has a universal design that fits most Kohler, Toto, and American Standard toilets. The valve height is adjustable between 7.8 to 13 inches. It has instantaneous water shut off. The water level is adjustable with just a push and pull of the lock ring. There is also a water-fill delay function.
Toto TSU99A.X Universal Fill Valve
- Hydrotect, EcoPower systems
- Pros: Great installation instructions
- Cons: Best for Toto toilets
- Limited lifetime warranty
The Toto TSU99A.X Universal Fill Valve uses Hydrotect which reduces water consumption. It also uses EcoPower which is a self-generating hydropower system. It is a universal fill valve so it will work with most models. However, it works best with Toto brand toilets. It has a 7 /8-inch inlet connection.
Kohler GP1138930 Toilet Fill Valve
- Quiet, adjustable fill-rates
- Pros: easy to install
- Cons: Best for Kohler toilets
- One-year limited warranty
The Kohler GP1138930 Toilet Fill Valve has color-coded restrictors which allow you to control the refill rate. The valve is adjustable to fit any Kohler toilet. It is easy to install and is quiet. It has a less than ideal warranty, however.
Plumbcraft 7029000 Toilet Repair Kit
- Complete repair kit for all your toilet repair needs
- Pros: Universal fit
- Cons: Might not need all the pieces.
The Plumbcraft 7029000 Toilet Repair Kit has everything you need to repair your toilet. This kit includes the fill valve, tank-to-bowl gasket, toilet flapper, flush lever, bolts, washers, flush valve, and seven water saving caps. It reduces your water consumption by giving you the option to use the seven color-coded water flow adjustment caps to change the fill level. The fill valve is adjustable and will fit 8-inch to 13-inch connections. Warranty information for this product was unavailable.
It’s hard to tell you which is the best toilet fill valve option for your toilet repair. Capability may be an issue even with universal fittings. Things that you can do to ensure that the toilet fill valve include: determining if your toilet is one or two pieces, single or dual flush, or a high-efficiency (HET) model. Once you can identify the type of toilet you have, you can check whether the valve you are considering is compatible. Our recommendation for the best toilet fill valve is the Fluidmaster 400AH PerforMAX Universal High-Performance Toilet Fill Valve because of its versatility.