The toilet fill valve is an essential component of your toilet, responsible for refilling the tank with water after each flush. So, any damage in the fill valve will stop you from flushing the toilet and make it dirty and unhealthy.
Thankfully, toilet fill valves are long-lasting and won’t wear out easily. But, you still must know how long a toilet fill valve lasts. Also, what are the signs of a worn-out toilet fill valve that lets you know when to replace it?
Generally, a toilet fill valve can last 5-15 years before needing replacement. The actual lifespan varies depending on usage frequency, water quality, and the type of valve installed. Also, the signs that indicate a damaged toilet valve include constant running water in the tank, slow tank refill after a flush, and even leaks or cracks in the valve itself.
Let’s take this discussion deep so you know when and how to replace the toilet fill valve.
What Is A Toilet Fill Valve?
A toilet fill valve is also known as a ballcock or float valve. It is an important toilet component that controls water flow into the tank. The entire component consists of a valve assembly to regulate the water supply.
It also has a float mechanism that signals the valve when to shut off the water flow. So, these two components work together to find the water level in the toilet tank and flush off the bowl when you pull the chain.
The valve assembly typically includes a fill tube. It extends from the valve to the overflow tube to ensure excess water goes down the drain if the tank overflows. The float mechanism is usually a plastic ball or cylindrical object attached to an arm. It rises as the water level in the tank increases. When the float reaches a certain height, it triggers the valve to shut off the water flow.
Therefore, the toilet fill valve regulates the water flow in the toilet tank and helps you flush. It is extremely crucial to maintain proper cleanliness and hygiene. If the fill valve gets damaged or has worn out, you will need more water to flush off the toilet after each use.
At worst, it can result in toilet poop staying in the bowl. Also, the bathroom will be filled with a bad odor like chlorine that no one likes. So, a properly working toilet fill valve is necessary for cleanliness and a presentable toilet appearance.
Luckily, it lasts many years with the least maintenance. But how long will it last in practical life?
How Long Do Toilet Fill Valves Last?
In terms of lifespan, a toilet fill valve can last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Of course, the fill valve’s longevity depends on the valve’s quality and how often it is used. Typically, toilet fill valves are made with high-quality ABS plastic and have a modern siphon design. It will easily last years of harsh and continuous use without any problem.
Also, usually, people use the toilet a couple of times a day. Therefore, they will use the toilet fill valve to flush the toilet five to seven times daily. And with that, it can last years since the ABS plastic or brass design is made to last several thousand uses.
Nonetheless, hard water, high water pressure, and chemical cleaning products can contribute to wear and tear on the valve. Hard water contains minerals that can react with the plastic or brass material to decay faster than expected. Also, if you use harsh chemicals to clean the toilet tank and fill the valve, it can wear out the valve too.
All these decaying elements can reduce the lifespan of the fill valve considerably. So, it may wear out faster, resulting in poor water flow from the toilet tank to the bowl. As a result, you will find low water pressure and flow that fail to clean the toilet after use. So, it soon turns into a stinky place with stains everywhere inside the bowl.
You must learn the signs of a damaged or worn-out toilet fill valve. It will help you know exactly when to replace the valve.
What Are The Signs Of A Damaged Toilet Fill Valve?
When a toilet fill valve gets damaged, it will show a few signs. If you can identify these signs, you may quickly fix the valve. Or, if it has been too badly damaged, you can replace it too.
Slow-filling or constantly running toilets:
When the toilet fills valve malfunctions, the water constantly runs into the toilet. So, you may see an influx in your water bill. Conversely, enough water won’t come through the tank when you press the toilet flush. So, slow water flow also shows a problematic toilet fill valve.
Hissing or whistling noises:
A damaged fill valve in your toilet will cause a hissing or whistling noise. So, if you hear such noises from the valve, you should check it. Also, you may hear the noise of running water through the adjacent pipe of the fill valve and toilet tank. It is much like the noise of water backing up in sink.
Lastly, there can be visible leaks or water damage around the toilet base. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to replace the fill valve. So, you should check for leaks to know if the fill valve needs replacement.
Tips To Replace The Toilet Fill Valve Quickly:
It can be frustrating when the toilet fill valve starts showing the problem. At this moment, you may wonder whether to replace it. Thankfully, there’s a way to fix the fill valve instead of a quick replacement. It will help you save a few backs.
When you plan to fix a leaky or damaged toilet valve, you will require the following materials:
- Adjustable wrench
- New toilet fill valve
- New toilet flapper (optional)
- Bucket or towel
Once you have gathered the items to fix the toilet flush valve, you may start fixing it.
- Turn off the water supply to the toilet by turning the shut-off valve. It should be located behind or near the toilet clockwise until it stops. Next, flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank. As the tank empties, working with the fill valve inside becomes easier.
- Now, remove the old fill valve by loosening the nuts with an adjustable wrench. The nut will be under the tank. Then, you can lift the valve out of the tank.
- Install the new fill valve by placing it into the hole in the bottom of the tank. Then, you must tighten the nut from underneath with an adjustable wrench. Ensure the valve is straight before tightening the nut to prevent any leaks.
- Reconnect the water supply line onto the new fill valve and turn on the water supply by turning the shut-off valve counterclockwise. After that, you must adjust the toilet fill valve. Or else it won’t work properly to flush your toilet.
- Thus, adjust the height of the new fill valve. The water level in the tank should be about 1 inch below the overflow tube while you adjust the valve.
- If you are also replacing the flapper, remove the old one. Now you can attach the new one according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Lastly, turn on the water supply and allow the tank to fill up. You must also check for any leaks around the fill valve and flapper.
Once everything is working properly, flush the toilet a few times. It ensures the water level in the tank reaches the correct level and that the flapper seals properly.
How long do toilet fill valves last? According to our experts, an average toilet fill valve lasts 5 to 15 years. However, hard water, mineral buildup, and harsh cleaning chemicals may damage it sooner. At this point, you must replace the fill valve. Thankfully, replacing the toilet fill valve doesn’t need any high-end plumbing skill and money.
You can get the new toilet fill valve at around $20 to $50. Nonetheless, if you have the budget and prefer luxury, you can go up to $1000 for some antic-looking toilet fill valves. It won’t need any professional plumber, as you can follow our tips to fix or replace the valve soon.