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 culprits. Thankfully, none of them are serious concerns or expensive to fix. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet functioning quickly again.

How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet

Learning why your toilet is slow to fill is the first step toward fixing it. Consider these possible reasons and how to deal with each one.

Partially Closed Water Supply Valve

Look behind the toilet for the water supply hook-up connected to the wall. You’ll see a valve connected to it, which allows you to shut off the water during toilet repairs and replacements. Check this valve to make sure it’s completely open.

Problems with the Fill Valve or Tube

The fill valve, which is attached to the top of a vertical tube-shaped part in the toilet tank, manages the water level flowing into the tank. A toilet fill valve may degrade, 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:

  • Locate the fill valve: Lift the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s usually mounted on the left side with a tailpiece extending through the bottom of the tank and linking 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. Adjust the fill valve height if needed by twisting the adjustment knob (typical to newer toilets) or loosening the adjustment screw with a flathead screwdriver (required for older toilets). Then, verify that the water level is roughly one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Clean the fill valve: To eliminate mineral accumulation and other gunk from the valve, first shut off the water behind the toilet and take off the fill cap. After that, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to avoid getting sprayed. Allow the water to flow for a few seconds to flush out debris. Next, scrub away mineral buildup on the fill cap. If you observe cracks or significant wear and tear, replace the valve.
  • Clean the valve tube: Dirt lodged in the valve tube could also be at fault. Shut off the water supply and take off the valve hardware. Then, run a slim wire or bottle brush into the tube. Turn back on the water supply slightly to rinse away the excess 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, sealing the fill valve once the tank is full. If the float ball is damaged or punctured and fills with water, it blocks the tank from filling correctly.

Take off the tank lid and look inside. A partially sunken float ball could be waterlogged. Prior to replacing the ball, check the float arm it’s secured to. If the arm is directed too low in the tank, bend it up a little bit to lift the ball’s height.

If this doesn’t work, then it might be time to just replace the component entirely. But it's worth remembering that this is an older toilet design, so it may well be better to update the existing tank components or change out the toilet entirely.

Clogged Plumbing Vent

Your home plumbing system features vents that enable air to enter the pipes. If they are clogged, tension may build inside of 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 flood.

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

Leaky or Blocked Pipe

If nothing is wrong with the water supply valve, fill valve and tube, float ball or plumbing vents, the slow toilet dilemma could stem from your supply pipes. A water line leak could stop your toilet tank from filling correctly. It’s a good idea to hire a licensed plumber to fix these issues.

Schedule Toilet Repair with Fras-Air/General Service Experts

If these tips did not handle your issue, look to Fras-Air/General Service Experts for quality toilet repair in Hillsborough. We can identify the reason why the water flow is so slow and perform the most appropriate repair. If the fixture has reached the end of its useful life span, our team can recommend high-efficiency toilet replacement in Hillsborough. We’ll help you pick out the replacement model and install it on your behalf. You can relax knowing that every job we execute is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please connect with Fras-Air/General Service Experts today.

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