A toilet slow to fill can occur for a number of reasons. You may have a harmless plumbing issue in need of a quick fix, or you could be facing a more serious problem that requires professional attention. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through troubleshooting and, if it’s a simple fix, how to fix a slow-filling toilet tank after flushing.
If you determine you need professional help, reach out to the team of plumbing specialists at John C. Flood. We’ll assess your situation and work quickly to fix the issue.
Troubleshooting a Toilet Slow to Fill
Luckily, it’s fairly simple to troubleshoot a toilet tank that’s slow to fill. The following problems are easy for homeowners to check on their own and usually fix the complication.
Checking the Water Supply Valve
The most common reason for a toilet being slow to fill is due to a partially open water supply valve. Check to make sure the valve is open and letting water flow freely into the tank when it needs to fill. If it’s closed or only partially open, open it fully to allow plenty of water to flow.
Checking for Clogs
Various buildup can result in clogs, causing a slow-filling toilet and/or a slow-draining bathroom sink. If you find your tank filling up slowly after flushing, this could be due to debris buildup in the water supply valve. Check your tank and look around the valve for any dirt or debris that may need to be cleared away.
Checking the Water Pressure
Weak water pressure could be the culprit behind your slow-filling toilet. If you notice low water pressure in other areas of your home, then it could be time to install a booster tank to increase your home’s water pressure and resolve the toilet being slow to fill. Keep in mind that sudden low water pressure could be due to a leak somewhere in your piping, which requires professional attention.
How to Fix Slow-Filling Toilet Tank After Flushing
A slow-filling toilet can be annoying and problematic, but the problem can usually be easily fixed and doesn’t usually require a toilet replacement. In some cases, you don’t even need to call a professional plumber to get your toilet operational again. If none of the above troubleshooting attempts resolved your slow-filling toilet, then try some of these steps to fix the problem:
Adjust the Fill Valve
Adjusting the fill valve could resolve a slow-filling toilet. The fill valve in your toilet manages the water filling up the reservoir. Some toilets have fill valves that use float arms to help determine how much water the tank can get. Try removing the tank cap, locate the fill valve (usually on the left side of the toilet), and raise the fill valve to allow more water in the tank.
To complete this task, you likely need a flat-headed screwdriver. Raise the fill valve if you want to allow more water in the tank by screwing clockwise (If you’d like to lower the fill valve, turn counter-clockwise. This will allow for less water). Test-flush your toilet before replacing the lid to the tank to see if this has resolved the problem.
Adjust the Float Ball
Adjusting the float ball in your toilet is another possible solution to a toilet that fills slowly. Issues with the float ball are some of the most likely to cause a slow-filling tank. The float ball will be inside your toilet’s tank, usually sitting on top of the water waiting in the reservoir, and helps determine how much water is allowed in the tank.
If the float ball is set too low, it will mean the water in the tank can’t fill high enough. This can lead to a toilet tank that’s slow to fill. You can fix the problem immediately by bending the float arm upwards slightly, allowing the float ball to float even higher, which means it will stop the water supply later. Test-flush your toilet to see if this resolves the issue. If the float ball doesn’t float any higher, you may need to replace it with a new one.
Resolve Leaks and Water Pressure Issues
It’s possible that your toilet is filling slowly for a more serious issue: low water pressure. While the good news in this scenario is that your toilet is working fine and doesn’t require a repair, the bad news is that you may have a leak somewhere in your piping. This is especially true if you’ve only been experiencing a slow-filling toilet recently.
A pipe could have burst or you could have some corrosion somewhere in your plumbing. Unfortunately, this isn't all that rare in older homes with outdated plumbing. Have a professional come in to check your pipes and see if you have a leak anywhere.
Issues with the Tripping Mechanism
Every toilet needs a trip lever that activates the flush valve. The trip lever is usually on the side of the toilet with the handle and it’s what initiates the flush of the toilet. If the tripping mechanism is poorly designed, worn down, or broken, you can end up with a toilet that’s slow to fill.
Essentially, the trip lever can block itself on the lid, shortening the toilet’s rinse cycle, and preventing the tank from filling properly. Pull off the lid to the toilet tank and observe the tripping mechanism. Check for anything crooked, cracked, or broken. If damaged, the trip lever will need to be replaced.
John C. Flood Can Fix All Your Plumbing Problems
Dealing with plumbing complications like a toilet tank being slow to fill is frustrating. Make your home’s plumbing upkeep as pain-free as possible by working with an experienced professional.
Whether you’re having issues with your plumbing, want an inspection, or would like to schedule a regular maintenance service, our team of skilled professionals can help. Contact John C. Flood to schedule a service today.