If you find that you have a toilet fill valve that is not refilling and therefore you are unable to flush your toilet due to no water inside the toilet cistern, you will need to change the fill valve.
There are many different names for a fill valve; however, they all mean the same thing these names are:
- Fill or filler valve
- Float valve
- Inlet valve
- Ball valve
When it comes to changing a toilet fill valve, there are a couple of different types; these are bottom entry and side entry.
Table of Contents
How To Change A Toilet Fill Valve
- Turn off the water supply
- Flush the toilet and remove any residual water from the toilet cistern
- Undo the water feed pipe to the toilet fill valve
- Undo the retaining nut that holds the fill valve in place
- Remove the fill valve from the toilet
- Insert the new fill valve into the toilet cistern
- Adjust the height of the fill valve to the watermark inside the toilet cistern
- Tighten the retaining nut on the fill valve
- Reconnect the water feed pipe to the fill valve
- Turn on the water supply
As a plumber myself of over 20 years, I have changed thousands of different types of fill valves; therefore, I can guide you through the simple task of changing a toilet fill valve.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Toilet Fill Valve?
A qualified and experienced plumber will charge you between £80 and £100 plus the cost of the toilet fill valve, which the toilet fill valve will cost between £9 and £15
The cost to replace the fill valve will vary depending on where you live within the UK with London being the most expensive and will cost between £90 and £130 plus the cost of the toilet fill valve.
If you were to change the toilet fill valve yourself all you would need is the right tools, and a small amount of DIY knowledge and the toilet fill valve which will cost between £9 and £15
Which Is The Best Toilet Fill Valves
I have assembled the five best toilet fill valves, including bottom entry and side entry, from many years of experience in plumbing work.
- Torbeck bottom entry fill valve
- Torbeck side entry fill valve
- Viva Skylo duel entry fill valve
- Fluidmaster pro45h Fill Valve
- Thomas Dudley, bottom entry delay, fill professional fill valve
You can read this guide for more information for a more comprehensive look into the best toilet fill valves.
When Should Your Toilet Fill Valve Be Replaced?
You will need to replace the toilet fill valve for several different reasons.
- The water keeps running
- There is a loud vibration noise when the toilet is flushed.
- The toilet won’t flush
- The toilet cistern takes forever to refill
Whatever the reason for changing the toilet fill valve, this guide will help you through the simple process of changing a toilet fill valve.
Ok Let Us Get Started
When it comes to changing a toilet fill valve, you will need to check a few things.
- What type of fill valve do you have?
- Where does the water supply turn off?
I ask you to check the type of toilet fill valve you have because there are a couple of different types, they all work in the same kind of way, but the fitting can slightly differ.
If you have a bottom entry fill valve, you will need to remove all the water from the toilet cistern, for this, you should remove the water with a wet vacuum or a sponge.
If you have a side entry fill valve, you will not need to remove all the water from the toilet cistern however you will still need to turn off the water supply and ensure the water is below the toilet fill valve before removing the float valve.
Tools And Materials Required
To carry out this job, you can view and purchase all materials buy clicking on each material list items.
- Small Spanner
- Adjustable grips
- Stanley blade
- Bottom entry or side entry fill valve
- Fibre washer
Turn Off The Water Supply
The water to a toilet can either be from the cold mains or the cold-water tank.
If you have an isolation valve on the water feed to the toilet, you’re in luck as you will not need to turn off the water to your property or drain down a cold-water tank.
If you have an isolation valve on the water feed to the toilet fill valve turn the screw on the front of the isolation valve so that the screw head is across the pipe.
If the toilet's water feed is from the cold-water tank, you must either drain down the tank or isolate it from a gate valve.
I think it is easier to drain down the cold-water tank than to turn off a gate valve unless the valve is new.
Here are two different types of valves.
If you don’t have an isolation valve on the water supply to the toilet fill valve, don’t worry, I will quickly explain how to drain the water from your cold-water storage tank.
For the full guide on how to drain down hot and cold-water storage tanks click here.
Drain A Cold-Water Storage Tank
To drain down, you must turn off the mains water supply, usually found under your kitchen.
If you can’t find the mains stop valve under your kitchen sink, I listed a few more locations below.
- In your downstairs toilet.
- In a Hallway cupboard or under the stairs.
- In some property’s older properties under the floorboard by the front door.
If you can’t find your mains water stop valve on your property, don’t worry.
You should have an outside shut-off valve, in most newer style properties you most likely have a water meter or a modern water shut-off valve, these are typically located just outside your property or on your driveway/footpath.
Once you have turned off the water, turn on every hot and cold tap in your property until the water stops.
To make sure you have drained down thoroughly flush the toilet and make sure it doesn’t refill.
Great now we can start to change the toilet float valve!
To remove the water from the toilet cistern, you will need to Flush the toilet and remove any residual water from the toilet cistern.
To remove the residual water from the toilet cistern, you can do this with a sponge or a cloth if you have a wet vacuum, you can also use that to remove the water faster.
Disconnecting The Water Supply On The Inlet To Fill the Valve
Now you must locate the brass or chrome back nut under the toilet cistern where the water inlet pipe joins the toilet fill valve thread. Now undo the water feed pipe to the toilet fill valve.
You must put a cloth around the copper pipe on the floor. If you can place a pot under the copper tube, then do that. This is to catch any excess water.
Place a pair of adjustable grips onto the plastic thread to stop it from moving, then using a spanner undo the brass nut turning it anticlockwise.
Using a spanned now undo the retaining nut that holds the fill valve in place, this will most likely be a plastic nut holding the fill valve onto the bottom of the toilet cistern, then remove the float valve from the toilet cistern.
Using a small screwdriver or small blade, you will need to remove the red washer from the top of the copper pipe fitting this is called a fibre washer. You will get a leak if you don’t replace the fibre washer.
Insert The New Fill Valve Into The Toilet Cistern
You can now replace your toilet fill valve in the reverse order, so first let’s get the new toilet fill valve ready.
Take out the black washer and insert that over the toilet fill valve threads and place the toilet fill valve into the toilet cistern, then from under the toilet cistern screw the plastic back nut onto the plastic toilet fill valve threads, only halfway.
Insert the new red fibre washer into the copper fitting and line up the brass or chrome back nut to the toilet fill valve, careful not to cross-thread the plastic thread of the toilet fill valve.
Once you have both back nut onto the plastic threads tighten up the plastic back nut first, then the brass back nut until tight.
The installation is the same for both the bottom entry and side entry fill valves.
Adjust the Height of The Fill Valve To the Watermark Inside The Toilet Cistern
You can now adjust the height on the toilet fill valve this is different for each filling valve so you will need to look at the instructions on the packaging for how to adjust the fill valve you have purchased.
There should be a water level mark inside the toilet cistern so adjust the float valve so that the float will line up with the water level mark.
Don’t worry if you have not levelled the fill valve completely with the water level mark as you should be able to adjust the float level on all fill valves once you have started to fill the water back up inside the toilet cistern.
Turn on The Water Supply
You now should be good to start turning on the water,
First, turn off all taps you have turned on and start turning on the water supply.
If your toilet is on the main water supply
Turn on the mains water supply slowly so that you can hear the water coming through the pipes and check for leaks.
If your toilet is on a cold-water tank
Turn on the cold-water tank supply to allow the cold-water tank to refill, then check your work for leaks.
No leaks great!
Now you can turn on the mains water supply slowly until it is fully open.
Always make sure when turning the water on the stop valve is fully open then turn the handle back ¼ turn, this will help the brass body of the valve stick to the jumper inside the main water stop valve.
If you have a small leak worry turn off the water and double-check your work In most cases leaks when changing a toilet fill valve is from the brass or chrome back nut being crossed-threaded on the plastic thread to the toilet fill valve, so undo the brass or chrome back nut and try to straighten it up and re-tighten.