Why Is My Toilet Slow to Fill?

Have you noticed that your toilet is taking longer to refill after flushing? This is a known toilet problem with multiple possible causes. Fortunately, none of them are major concerns or expensive to correct. Follow this guide to get your slow toilet functioning efficiently again. 

How to Fix a Slow-Filling Toilet 

Learning why your toilet is slow to fill is the first step toward fixing it. Keep in mind these possible reasons and the best way to handle each one. 

Partially Closed Water Supply Valve 

Check behind the toilet for the water supply line attached to the wall. You’ll see a valve attached to it, which allows you to turn 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 attached to the top of a vertical tube-shaped part in the toilet tank, regulates the water flow into the tank. A toilet fill valve might degrade, clog or shift out of alignment after years of use, hindering the tank from filling properly. Follow these tips to adjust, unclog or fix the fill valve: 

  • Locate the fill valve: Lift the toilet tank lid and find the fill valve inside. It’s normally 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: Make sure the fill valve is secure and evenly attached to the tube. Adjust the fill valve height if necessary by turning the adjustment knob (common to newer toilets) or loosening the adjustment screw with a flathead screwdriver (required for older toilets). After that, ensure 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 in the rear of the toilet and take off the fill cap. After that, slowly turn the water back on, cupping your hand over the valve to keep from being sprayed. Allow the water to flow for several seconds to flush out dirt. Next, scrub away mineral buildup on the fill cap. If you detect cracks or significant wear and tear, replace the valve. 
  • Clean the valve tube: Dirt lodged in the valve tube could also be at fault. Turn off the water supply and take out the valve hardware. Afterward, run a slim wire or bottle brush into the tube. Turn back on the water supply slightly to clean away the remaining residue. Reconnect 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, sealing the fill valve once the tank is full. If the float ball is filled with water, it prevents the tank from filling properly. 

Remove the tank lid and view inside. A partially submerged float ball could be waterlogged. Prior to replacing the ball, examine the float arm it’s secured to. If the arm is directed too low in the tank, bend it up slightly 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 be aware that this is old toilet technology, so it may well be better to update the existing tank hardware or change out the toilet completely. 

Plugged Plumbing Vent 

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

You should grab a ladder and climb up on the roof to check 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 dilemma could stem from your supply pipes. A water line leak could restrict your toilet tank from filling correctly. It’s best to hire a licensed plumber to handle these issues. 

Schedule Toilet Repair with Sunbeam Service Experts 

Is your toilet still not working right? Turn to Sunbeam Service Experts for quality toilet repair in Buffalo. We can pinpoint the reason why your toilet is slow to fill and perform a budget-friendly repair. If the fixture has hit the end of its typical life span, our company can recommend high-efficiency toilet replacement in Buffalo. We’ll help you pick out the replacement model and install it for you. Relax knowing that every job we execute is supported by a 100% satisfaction guarantee! To schedule a visit from us, please connect with Sunbeam Service Experts today.