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Toilet Tank Won't Fill

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If the water is not turned off, this trouble may then be traced to a faulty ballcock water valve or a stuck float assembly inside the flush tank.

But, first, is the water turned on? A curious little boy or girl may have turned off the supply valve.

Second, try jiggling the float/arm. Corrosion could be causing it to stick just enough to prevent the ballcock water valve from opening.

If jiggling corrects the problem, turn off the water, disassemble the float/arm at the ballcock assembly, and clean the parts with fine (0000) steel wool. Don't remove any metal; just buff it shiny bright.

Third, if corrosion isn't the problem, the ballcock assembly is malfunctioning and should be replaced.

To do this, turn off the water supply and sponge out excess water. Remove the refill tube from the old ballcock (Fig. 4). Screw the coupling and ballcock locknut. Lift the entire ballcock and float assembly from the tank. Clean the tank bottom where the ballcock shank washer seats.

When replacing the ballcock it is suggested that you use one of the new types of water savers. To install:

  1. Adjust the height of the valve body to ft the tank by turning the threaded shank in and out of the valve body. Position the valve in the water supply hole.
  2. Tighten the locknut and attach the water supply tube to the threaded valve shank. Then tighten the coupling nut.
  3. Attach the refill tube to the valve and overflow pipe.
  4. Turn on the water supply and set the desired water level with the adjustment clip on the float cup. The tank is ready to operate.

A common cause of loud toilet noises or even leaks is a faulty ballcock washer. To replace it, remove the two thumbscrews on top of the ballcock assembly that hold the float arm assembly in place. Lift the float arm out of the tank and pull the valve plunger up and out of the ballcock.

Inside the plunger area are the ballcock washers. If they are worn or damaged, replace them with exact duplicates. If the ballcock still leaks, replace the entire assembly.

Remove the tank top and flush the toilet. Is water from the bowl refill tube discharging into the tank? If so, reposition the refill tube so it spouts into the top of the overflow tube. Do not let the end of the tube reach below the tank water level-that would make it siphon tank water away, causing constant slow running of water.

A faulty toilet inlet valve is rare, but can cause splashing. If the valve is at fault, you should be able entire valve assembly or repair the toilet inlet valve. For either job, the water supply to the toilet must be turned off.

One of two problems may exist:

  • The float is mis-set. Try bending the float rod up with your fingers. If the float rod doesn't have an adjustment screw on top of the ballcock assembly. Make the bend gentle; don't kink the rod.
    If there is an adjustment screw, try turning the screw down (clockwise) to move the arm upward.
    The water level in the tank should be about 1/2" to 3/4" below the top of the overflow tube.
  • The float ball is damaged or water logged causing low water. Also, a damaged float can cause the toilet to run constantly because the float never gets high enough in the tank to turn off the inlet valve in the ballcock. The end of the float rod is threaded like a machine bolt. Just unscrew the float ball and replace it with a new one.
  • If the flapper is faulty, it should be replaced. Turn off the water supply and flush. Remove the chain or wires from the trap lever. (If replacing a tank ball with a flapper assembly, remove and discard the ball, lift wires, and guide arm.) Remove the old flapper by sliding it up and off the overflow tube.

Install the new flapper by sliding it down over the overflow tube until the ring touches the tank bottom. Then adjust the flapper ball so it centers on the valve opening. Adjust the lift chain length as needed. The valve opening on brass flush valves should be cleaned with emery cloth or steel wool to remove corrosion and ensure that the flapper ball seals properly.

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