Why Is My Toilet Slow to Fill?

Is your toilet tank filling more slowly than usual? This is a known toilet problem with several possible culprits. Fortunately, none of them are major concerns or costly to fix. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet working quickly again.

How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet

Finding out why your toilet is slow to fill is step #1 for fixing it. Consider these possible reasons and how to handle each one.

Partially Closed Water Supply Valve

Take a peek behind the toilet for the water supply hose attached to the wall. You’ll notice a valve attached to it, which allows you to turn off the water when repairs or full replacement of the tank is needed. Check this valve to make sure it’s completely open.

Issues with the Fill Valve or Tube

The fill valve, which can be found close to the top of a vertical tube-shaped part in the toilet tank, regulates the water level flowing into the tank. A toilet fill valve could break down, clog or slip out of alignment after years of use, hindering the tank from filling right. Follow these instructions to adjust, clear out or fix the fill valve:

  • Search for the fill valve: Lift the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s commonly mounted 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: Check that the fill valve is secure and evenly connected to the tube. Adjust the fill valve height if needed by twisting the adjustment knob (found in newer toilets) or loosening the adjustment screw with a flathead screwdriver (required for older toilets). Then, verify that the water level is about one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Clean the fill valve: To remove mineral accumulation and other gunk from the valve, first shut off the water in the back of the toilet and take off the fill cap. Then, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to prevent from being sprayed by the water. Let the water flow for 15-20 seconds to flush out the buildup. Next, scrub away mineral buildup on the fill cap. If you notice cracks or significant wear and tear, replace the valve.
  • Clean the valve tube: Debris lodged in the valve tube could also be at fault. Turn off the water supply and remove the valve hardware. Next, run a slim wire or bottle brush into the tube. Open the water supply slightly to rinse away the excess residue. Re-install the valve hardware and verify if the toilet fills faster now.

Waterlogged Float Ball

The float ball in older toilet models rises with the water level, shutting the fill valve once the tank is full. If the float ball is filled with water, it keeps the tank from filling properly.

Remove the tank lid and look inside. A partially sunken float ball might be waterlogged. Before running out to buy a new ball, examine the float arm it’s attached to. If the arm is pointed too low in the tank, bend it up slightly to lift the ball’s height.

If this doesn’t work, you may be able to install a new float ball. Just be aware that this is an older toilet design, so it might possibly be better to modernize the existing tank components or change out the toilet entirely.

Blocked Plumbing Vent

Your home plumbing system uses vents that permit air to enter the pipes. If they are clogged, pressure may build within the pipes, preventing the water from flowing. This can, in turn, make your toilet slow to fill or even cause the bowl to flood.

You'll need to jump up on the roof to look for clogged plumbing vents. Look for long, vertical PVC pipes poking up from the tiles. Clear away any animal nests, deep snow or other obstructions you find to guarantee that your plumbing can function as intended.

Leaky or Blocked Pipe

If there's nothing apparently 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 leak or blockage in the water line could restrict your toilet tank from filling properly. It’s best to hire a licensed plumber to fix these issues.

Schedule Toilet Repair with Strand Brothers Service Experts

When all else fails, turn to Strand Brothers Service Experts for quality toilet repair in Austin. We can pinpoint the reason why this is happening and perform a budget-friendly repair. If the fixture has come to the end of its average life span, our company can suggest high-efficiency toilet replacement in Austin. We’ll help you decide on the replacement model and install it for you. Rest assured that every job we complete is supported by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please contact Strand Brothers Service Experts today.

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