If your toilet is making whooshing noises or water trickling sounds, you can fix your toilet with new toilet tank parts. The cost of fixing your toilet yourself is minimal and the process of replacing toilet tank parts is easier than you think. Here are the different fixes for toilets and the corresponding toilet tank part you’ll need.
To evaluate what’s wrong with your toilet, lift the lid off the tank and look inside. It’s possible that the chain that connects the toilet handle to the flapper got stuck or came off. In that case, simply clip it back on to the handle and you’re done.
To fix a toilet that has water constantly leaking into the bowl, take a look at the flapper. This cheap toilet part is situated in the middle of the tank. The chain that connects to the handle connects at the bottom to the toilet flapper. When you pull the toilet handle, the flapper rises and allows the water in the tank to empty into the toilet. If the flapper fails to seal the opening shut, water will constantly leak into your toilet.
You can easily fix your leaking toilet by replacing the flapper with a new one that will simply clip on in place of the old one. But you have to know which flapper size you need to properly fix your toilet. You can take the old flapper with you to your home improvement store, or you can measure the opening the flapper covers. Typically new toilets need a 3 inch flapper and older toilets the 4 inch flapper.
Tank Flush Valve
The reason older toilets require larger flappers is that their tank valve is wider. You can increase the efficiency of your flapper by replacing the tank flush valve to a modern one. This will fix your toilet more permanently, preventing the flapper from failing again in the near future. In addition, by fixing your toilet with the more narrow tank flush valve you will create greater water pressure and improve your toilet’s flushing capability.
To fix your toilet by replacing the old tank flush valve, simply remove the screws securing the valve hardware in place, then slip a new one, which will rise higher and create a more narrow opening. Now a 3 inch flapper is what you’ll need instead of your old 4 inch flapper. Water will drain at higher pressure and make your toilet more effective at flushing waste away.
Important Tip: if your toilet and tank come as a single piece, you’ll need a special tank flush valve to fix your toilet. Not all home improvement stores carry this hardware.
Above the toilet flush valve comes the overflow pipe into which water flows when the tank gets refilled after flushing. If you need to fix your toilet so more water fills the tank, or the reverse, you’ll need to adjust the height of the toilet overflow pipe. Ideally, your toilet overflow pipe should be 1 inch lower than the hole on the side of the tank into which the flush handle is inserted. You’ll need to remove the overflow pipe to saw it down to size and fix your toilet.
Refill Valve, Float Cup and Accessories
If your toilet continues to leak water out into the bowl or if it overfills or underfills, you can fix your toilet by replacing the refill valve body with its various attachments. The refill valve body is the tall contraption on the left of the toilet tank (when you are facing the tank). My toilet was making whooshing noises before it started to trickle water incessantly. I replaced the refill valve body and float cup along with its various accessories and fixed the toilet.
You’ll need to first empty the toilet tank of water, then remove the refill tube. Towel dry any water remaining at the bottom of the tank.
Next, lie on the floor so you can see behind and under your toilet just below the valve shank sticking out at the bottom of the toilet tank. Turn off the water valve in the wall, then use a wrench to remove the water pipe coupling nut and loosen the hardware (lock nut) which holds the toilet tank part in place inside the tank. Replace the valve body and retighten with the new hardware that came with the toilet repair kit. Then reattach the refill tube. In other words, loosen the water pipe connecting from the wall to the toilet, then loosen the nut that holds the toilet part in place.
The simplest way to fix toilet leaks is to replace the rubber bands that secure openings in your toilet. There’s several off them, and you can be sure that at any junction where water may flow out there is a washer. Washers are cheapest to replace of all toilet tank parts. Just be sure to get the right size.
Fix the Whole Toilet
If you don’t know exactly which part of your toilet needs fixing, you can save yourself repeated trips to the home improvement store by buying a universal toilet tank kit with all the parts necessary to install a toilet. The complete kits cost between twiceto four times as much as buying one toilet repair part. Even so, the cost is very low.
When you need to replace two or more toilet tank parts, it’s best to buy a complete kit and to use only the parts you need. In the pictures accompanying this article you can see that I bought a complete toilet tank kit that I found in a home improvement store. I couldn’t use the tank flush valve because my toilet tank and toilet where a single unit. However, using the toilet refill valve and float cup, I was able to fix my toilet, stop the whooshing noise and the leaking.