Toilet tanks often have issues – especially if you live in an old house. Also, it’s possible to waste water if too much of it is allowed into the tank. On the other hand, when there is too little water in the tank, clogs and flushing issues will be inevitable. However, you can adjust your toilet float to solve some of these common issues. Adjusting will only take 5 minutes of your time. The best part is that you don’t have to be a professional plumber. You will only need a screwdriver.
What You Need to Know Before Adjusting a Toilet Float
You don’t have to be a plumber to know your tank has a problem. For instance, if your toilet is making trickling sounds and refills periodically even when no one is using it, then it stands to reason that there is a problem.
Before you even think of adjusting a toilet float, know the type and nature of your system. If you live in an old house, the chances are higher that your toilet still has a Ballcock type float. If this is the case, you will have to alter a screw located near the valve to change the fill level.
There are some toilet tanks that come with a vertical float. In this case, you will have to alter it on the side. You will know your water level is too high if it is constantly running. If this happens, excess water will run over the top of the tube. This is a simple problem that can be solved by lowering your water level and ensuring it is right below the top of your flush valve tube.
You should also consider making adjustments when your water level is too low. The tank will not flush properly when the level is too low. You also run the risk of clogging your toilet. If this problem is not solved in time, it may be the beginning of a much bigger problem that will demand the attention of an expert.
How to Adjust a Toilet Float
Before you learn how to adjust your float, you need to understand the types of floats that are common in toilets. They include;
- Ballcock floats
- Fluidmaster floats
Older toilets normally have ball cock floats. This is a brass ball connected to a horizontal rod. This rod is connected to your toilet fill valve. Fluidmaster is the style that you will find in a modern home. It moves up and down along a vertical pipe of the valve. So how then can you correct these types of floats? Let’s have a look.
To correct this float, you need to turn the screw counterclockwise to lower it. Keep on turning until the water stops running. When that’s done, go a half of a turn past the initial turn. Sometimes screws can get stuck, and if you are too cautious, you will stop turning it, perhaps out of fear of damaging your toilet. But you can use two hands to bend the rod.
Check the level by flushing, then note when the water stops. A perfect level should be just below the top of your fill tube. You will know that the problem is solved if water doesn’t run anymore and if your toilet flushes correctly.
The integral float on a Fluidmaster has an adjustment rod on one side of the assembly. Adjusting this type will take you less than 5 minutes. You only need to pinch the spring clip and adjust this float down or up. If your toilet runs constantly, you should move it down a half an inch. Check whether the water has stopped running. If it hasn’t stopped, keep adjusting until it does. Flush and confirm whether it refills to a proper level.
With all of this in mind, adjusting a toilet float should be an easy task. In fact, you will spend less than 5 minutes if you follow the above procedures. In case adjusting doesn’t fix the problem, consider calling a plumber. Sometimes toilet fill valves break down. When this happens, no amount of adjusting can rectify the water level problem. Unless you have experience in changing fill valves, it is always advisable to call an expert to avoid further damages.