Why Is My Toilet Slow to Fill?

You flushed and now you have to wait; sound familiar? This is a common toilet predicament with several possible reasons. Luckily, none of them are serious concerns or expensive to fix. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet working properly again. 

How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet 

Finding out why your toilet is slow to fill is step #1 for fixing it. Keep in mind these potential reasons and the best way to handle each one. 

Partially Closed Water Supply Valve 

Take a peek behind the toilet for the water supply hook-up connected to the wall. You’ll see a valve connected to it, which helps you to shut off the water during toilet repairs and replacements. Make sure this value is open by turning it to the left. 

Issues with the Fill Valve or Tube 

The fill valve, which you’ll find connected to the top of a vertical tube device in the toilet tank, regulates the water flow into the tank. A toilet fill valve could wear out, clog or shift out of alignment after years of use, hindering the tank from filling properly. Follow these instructions to adjust, clean or fix the fill valve: 

  • Find the fill valve: Open the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s commonly installed on the left side with a tailpiece extending through the bottom of the tank and attaching to the supply tube and shut-off valve. 
  • Adjust the fill valve: Be sure that the fill valve is secure and evenly connected to the tube. Modify the fill valve height if necessary by turning the adjustment knob (typical to newer toilets) or loosening the adjustment screw with a flathead screwdriver (required for older toilets). After that, make sure the water level is approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube. 
  • Clear debris from the fill valve: To take out mineral buildup and other dirt from the valve, first shut off the water in the back of the toilet and take off the fill cap. After that, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to prevent from being sprayed by the water. Allow the water to flow for several seconds to flush out the buildup. Next, scrub away mineral buildup on the fill cap. If you detect cracks or substantial wear and tear, replace the valve. 
  • Clean the valve tube: Dirt inside the valve tube could also be the culprit. Turn off the water supply and take out the valve hardware. Next, run a thin wire or bottle brush into the tube. Start the water supply slightly to clean away the leftover residue. Replace the valve hardware and confirm if the toilet fills faster now. 

Waterlogged Float Ball 

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

Take off the tank lid and view inside. A partially sunken float ball could be waterlogged. Before you replace the ball, look at the float arm it’s attached to. If the arm is directed too low in the tank, bend it up somewhat to raise the ball’s height. 

If that does not do the trick, 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 remember that this is an older toilet design, so it may well be better to update the existing tank components or switch out the toilet altogether. 

Clogged Plumbing Vent 

Your home plumbing system uses vents that enable air to enter the pipes. If they become clogged, stress may build within the pipes, preventing the water from flowing. This can, in turn, make your toilet fill at a snail’s pace or even cause the bowl to overrun. 

You need to get on the roof to search for clogged plumbing vents. Start looking for long, vertical PVC pipes poking up from the roof tiles. Get rid of any animal nests, deep snow or other obstructions you find to ensure your plumbing works properly. 

Leaky or Blocked Pipe 

If you can’t find anything 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 leak or blockage in the water line could restrict your toilet tank from filling correctly. It’s a good idea to hire a licensed plumber to fix these issues. 

Schedule Toilet Repair with Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing 

If these tips did not handle your issue, look to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for reliable toilet repair in the U.S.. We can identify the reason why the water flow is so slow and perform a budget-friendly repair. If the fixture has come to the end of its typical life span, our company can propose high-efficiency toilet replacement in the U.S.. We’ll help you find the replacement model and install it for you. Rest assured that every job we perform is protected by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please call Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today. 

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