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How to Repair a Toilet Flush Valve

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A faulty flush valve is one of the most common causes of a broken toilet. And when it hits, it’s usually not pleasant at all. The good news is, repairing and installing a toilet flush valve is relatively easy. As long as you are familiar with the inner workings of the toilet, then you can make the repairs yourself. Even better, an average flush valve kit contains all the tools you need to make repairs.

The flush valve is located in the middle of the toilet tank. Attached to this mechanism is the overflow tube, which is the hole wherein the water enters the bowl. A rubber tank ball or flapper covers the hole when the tank is full of water. Usually, a broken flush valve prevents the toilet from forming a seal to hold the water. A leaky toilet is a sign of a broken flapper. If you’ve replaced the flapper and water is still leaking, you need to install a new flush valve. Below is a step-by-step guide on replacing a toilet flush valve:

Step 1:

Start by turning off the water supply to the toilet and removing the toilet tank lid. Flush the toilet until its empty. Then, place an old rag under the tank to sop the drips. Now, unscrew the supply line fitting from the filter valve that protrudes from the bottom of the tank with an adjustable wrench.

Step 2:

Remove the toilet tank from the bowl by unscrewing the nuts that hold the two mechanisms together. Lift the tank gently off the bowl and place it somewhere safe.

Next, remove the rubber sealing ring from the bottom of the flush valve by unscrewing the nut that holds it on the tank with a set of pliers. Reach inside the tank to remove the clip that holds the tube from the toilet fill valve to the top of the overflow pipe. Now, unhook the chain that connects the flush lever to the flapper. Hold the toilet overflow pipe and pull it out the old flush valve.

Step 3:

Check the threaded end of the new flush valve to see if the inner gasket is in position. Now insert the new flush valve into the hole in the bottom of the tank. Thread the nut on the valve and tighten it using your fingers.

Then, attach the flapper chain to the flush level and position the valve so that the flapper chain does not interfere with the flapper. Check if the height of the overflow tube is at 2-inch below the hole in the tank. Tighten the large nut with pliers to make a seal but don’t go overboard or you’ll damage the tank.

Step 4:

To install the new rubber sealing ring, hold the top of the tank bolts from the inside of the tank using a screwdriver and wrench. Install the new tank bolts, washers, nuts, and gasket and tighten the nuts carefully.

Once everything is in order, you need to re-assemble the tank back on the bowl. Thread on the tank to bowl nuts and tighten until the tank sealing ring forms a good seal. Clip the tube from the fill valve onto the overflow pipe. Re-attach the water supply line, tighten it and turn on the water supply. Now let the tank fill with water and check for leaks. Flush the toilet to see if the new flush valve is working properly.

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