Why Is My Toilet Slow to Fill?

You flushed and now you have to wait; sound familiar? This is a known toilet issue with multiple possible causes. Luckily, none of them are serious concerns or costly to address. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet flowing quickly again.

How to Address a Slow-Filling Toilet

Finding out why your toilet is slow to refill is step #1 for fixing it. Consider 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 hose connected to the wall. You’ll see a valve connecting to it, which allows you to close off the water when your toilet is being repaired or replaced. Check this valve to make sure it’s completely open.

Issues with the Fill Valve or Tube

The fill valve, which is close to the top of a vertical tube-shaped part in the toilet tank, manages the flow of water into the tank. A toilet fill valve could break down, clog or slip out of alignment after years of use, preventing the tank from filling appropriately. Follow these tips 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 connecting 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. Modify the fill valve height if needed by turning the adjustment knob (found in newer toilets) or loosening the adjustment screw with a flathead screwdriver (required for older toilets). Then, ensure that the water level is roughly one inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Clear debris from the fill valve: To take out mineral accumulation and other dirt from the valve, first shut off the water in the rear of the toilet and remove the fill cap. Right after that, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to avoid getting sprayed. Let the water flow for several seconds to flush out dirt. Next, scrub away mineral buildup from the fill cap. If you observe 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 remove the valve hardware. Then, run a slim wire or bottle brush down the tube. Turn back on the water supply slightly to flush away the leftover 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, closing the fill valve when the tank is full. If the float ball is damaged or punctured and fills with water, it prevents the tank from filling efficiently.

Remove the tank lid and view inside. A partially submerged float ball might be waterlogged. Prior to replacing the ball, check the float arm it’s connected to. If the arm is directed too low in the tank, bend it up slightly to raise the ball’s height.

If that fails to solve the issue, you may be able to install a new float ball. But it's worth remembering that this is an older toilet design, so it may be better to upgrade the existing tank parts or replace the toilet completely.

Clogged Plumbing Vent

Your home plumbing system features vents that permit air to enter the pipes. If they end up being clogged, tension may build inside of the pipes, blocking 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'll need to jump up on the roof to search for clogged plumbing vents. Look for long, vertical PVC pipes poking up from the roof tiles. Do away with any animal nests, deep snow or other obstructions you see to help your plumbing work 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 problem with the water line itself could prevent your toilet tank from filling appropriately. It’s best to hire a licensed plumber to tackle these issues.

Schedule Toilet Repair with Jack Nelson Service Experts

If these tips did not handle your issue, look to Jack Nelson Service Experts for quality toilet repair in Tulsa. We can figure out the reason why this is happening and perform a budget-friendly repair. If the fixture has reached the end of its average life span, our specialists can recommend high-efficiency toilet replacement in Tulsa. We’ll help you decide on the replacement model and install it for you. Rest assured that every job we execute is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please contact Jack Nelson Service Experts today.

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