Why Is My Toilet Slow to Fill?

You flushed and now you have to wait; sound familiar? This is a known toilet problem with numerous possible causes. Luckily, none of them are serious concerns or expensive to fix. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet functioning efficiently again.

How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet

Understanding why your toilet is slow to refill is step #1 for fixing it. Think about these potential reasons and the best way to handle each one.

Partially Closed Water Supply Valve

Check behind the toilet for the water supply hook-up attached to the wall. You’ll find a valve connected to it, which helps you to turn off the water when repairs or full replacement of the tank is needed. Make sure this value is open by turning it to the left.

Problems with the Fill Valve or Tube

The fill valve, which is connected to the top of a vertical tube-shaped part in the toilet tank, controls the water level flowing into the tank. A toilet fill valve may break down, clog or reposition out of alignment after years of use, hindering the tank from filling properly. Follow these tips to adjust, unclog or fix the fill valve:

  • Find the fill valve: Lift the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s usually secured 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: Make sure the fill valve is secure and evenly fastened to the tube. Change the fill valve height if necessary by turning the adjustment knob (found in newer toilets) or find a flathead screwdriver and loosen the adjustment screw (required for older toilets). Next, check that the water level is approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Clear debris from the fill valve: To remove mineral accumulation and other dirt from the valve, first shut off the water behind the toilet and take off the fill cap. Then, 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 dirt. 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 inside the valve tube could also be at fault. Shut off the water supply and take out the valve hardware. Then, run a slim wire or bottle brush down the tube. Turn back on the water supply slightly to clean away the excess residue. Re-install the valve hardware and check 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 whenever the tank has filled. If the float ball takes on water, it prevents the tank from filling efficiently.

Pull up the tank lid and view inside. A partially submerged float ball could be waterlogged. Before you replace the ball, check the float arm it’s secured to. If the arm is directed too low in the tank, bend it up somewhat to raise the ball’s height.

If that fails to solve the issue, 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 might possibly be better to modernize the existing tank hardware or replace the toilet completely.

Clogged Plumbing Vent

Your home plumbing system uses vents that enable air to enter the pipes. If they become clogged, stress may build throughout the pipes, blocking the water from flowing. This can, in turn, make your toilet slow to fill or even cause the bowl to overflow.

You need to get on the roof to look for clogged plumbing vents. Search 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 guarantee that your plumbing can function as intended.

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 issue could stem from your supply pipes. A water line leak could restrict your toilet tank from filling appropriately. It’s best to hire a licensed plumber to handle these issues.

Schedule Toilet Repair with Gordon's Service Experts

Is your toilet still not working right? Turn to Gordon's Service Experts for reliable toilet repair in Oklahoma City. We can figure out the reason why your toilet is slow to fill and perform the most appropriate repair. If the fixture has come to the end of its useful life span, our specialists can propose high-efficiency toilet replacement in Oklahoma City. We’ll help you decide on the replacement model and install it for you. You can relax knowing that every job we perform is protected by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please call Gordon's Service Experts today.

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