Tip & How-To about Plumbing

How to fix a flush valve

  • Most toilet tank troubles can be traced to a faulty flush valve. You have three choices in correcting this common problem: (1) repair the old flush valve; (2) replace the flush ball with a more modern flapper or install a glued-in replacement flapper; (3) or install a new flush valve.

  • These repairs require a varying amount of work. The more simple adjustments were discussed previously.

  • Examine the old flush ball or flapper. If it is aged or encrusted with deposits, replace it with a new one. Scale deposits on the seat can be removed with steel wool or with No. 500 wet-or-dry abrasive paper. But if the valve still leaks, it must be replaced.

  • You can install a new guide arm, if necessary. To remove the lift wire from a flush ball, turn it counterclockwise with pliers. If you are replacing all parts, simply cut off the old lift wire.

  • Flapper. To replace a flapper, disconnect the lift hardware from the trip arm and slide the flapper up and off the overflow pipe. Install the new unit, reversing directions, and connect the lift hardware back to the trip arm. Any excess lift chain can be cut off or left dangling, if it doesn't interfere with toilet operation.

  • A loose trip handle can be fixed by tightening. The nut has left-hand threads, and must be turned counterclockwise to tighten (looking from inside the tank). Or, you can install a replacement trip handle.

  • Glue-in repair kit. Many replacement flush valves simply glue in place on top of the old valve seat. While several brands are available, not every type of flush can be replaced by these devices.

  • On single-piece toilet tanks–with a flush valve held in place with flanges that fit inside the opening–the flapper-ball may bind and prevent a leak-proof seal. On more common two-piece toilets, this problem does not occur.

  • Using a glue-in repair kit is quick and easy, but you must follow the manufacturer's instructions. To be sure you purchase the right kind of repair kit, take a rough drawing of the bottom of your toilet tank and flush valve to your hardware or home center store.

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1 Answer

Koehler one piece toilet trickling water into tank


The flapper at the bottom of the tank is leaking and needs replacement.

Feb 08, 2014 | Kohler SAILE ELONGATED ONE-PIECE TOILET...

1 Answer

My toilet only leaks when flushed. It seems to be coming from the connection at the tank. The tank is not cracked and a new hose from tank to shut off valve has been installed. The toilet is only 4 years old


If you have 2-part toilet, then tank is attached to bowl with 2 bolts.
Look inside tank and you can see bolts with rubber washers located on either side of flush valve.
The 2 bolts hold tank and bowl together and between tank and bowl is a washer called the spud washer.
So spud washer could be leaking ... or 2 bolts could be leaking.

1) If bolts are leaking, there is usually dripping all the time, and drips are visible on bottoms of bolts
If spud washer is leaking, then tank could leak only when tank is flushed.

2) First thing to try is tightening nuts on the 2 bolts. Nuts may be loose. Tighten nuts a few turns, and check if toilet still leaks.

3) To fix a spud washer, you usually need a new generic one from hardware store.
Newer tanks with 1.6 gallon flush have special sized spud washer.
geno_3245_105.jpgTank is upside down and spud washer is fit over flush valve

If you cannot find new spud washer, re-use old one and smear retorseal on it during re-assembly to make sure it seals. Rectoseal is good for many home plumbing repairs. More about that in a moment.
geno_3245_104.jpg

4) To take apart tank: Disconnect supply line to tank. Empty water out of tank. Remove nuts from bolts. Lift tank off. Wash out tank with hose. Make sure there is no sand or sediment left in bottom that might clog up flush holes located inside bowl after tank is re-assembled.

5) Remove old spud washer, and put new one on. Do a google-image search for 'spud washer' if you need more photos. New spud washer fits over flush valve. That's it. And then reassemble tank.
If you want to apply rectorseal to washer, put washer on as shown in photo above. Then smear-or-gawm rectorseal over area of washer that sits on bowl. Rectorseal will make sure there is no more leaking.

Nov 24, 2010 | Bemis 1200 Slow Elongated Toilet Seat,...

1 Answer

sloan valve not flushing correctly. when I flush the toilet it seems like there's not enough pressure to even clear the bowl. I've changed the diaphram, vacuum breaker and bowl but nothing seem to work. I had a technician from sloam come out and take a look at the valve and the only thing he can come up with is that the water line is not sized properly. The line size is 3/4'' and I teed in a 1'' line for the bathroom. The distance between the fixture and this connection is about 25'-0''. What should I do to fix this problem for once and for all.


You have a choice of either running a 1" line to supply the valve, or installing a booster pump to increase your system pressure. Or, you can install a regular tank type toilet with a pressure vessel in the tank. This is a code approved toilet for commercial applications.

I would change the toilet as it probably presents the least amount of labor in changing the piping.

May 01, 2017 | Plumbing

1 Answer

I have an American Stadard Toilet that is only 2 years old. The toilet will not stop running. Could you give me some trouble shooting ideas?


There's a lot of variety in the works in the toilet tank. Assuming this is not a pressure-assisted toilet-----First understand the three valves are: 1. The shutoff valve - on the supply line coming into the toilet tank. 2. The fill valve - inside the tank, opens with the float descends, closes when the tank fills up. 3. The flush valve - inside the tank on the bottom. Common old style is a flapper on a pivot. Yours may operate straight up and down rather than on a pivot.
Three very common problems are---- 1. The chain that connects the handle to lift the flush valve is getting caught, not allowing the flush valve to close. 2. There is problem with the flush valve being able to get a good seal when it closes - could be debris or misalignment. 3. The fill valve is not closing when the tank is full, could need adjustment or there is debris preventing the valve to seat. . Here's are some steps to diagnose---- close the shutoff valve. Wait a few minutes as you watch the level in the tank. If the water level decreases, you have problem with the flush valve. To confirm the fill valve as the problem, turn the shutoff valve back on. Lift up on the float that is supposed to turn off the fill valve. If it shuts off, you should be able to adjust it - most have a +/- plastic adjustment screw. But if raising the float by hand only slows it down, you have problem with the seating of the fill valve - which can sometimes be cleaned, but more often would need to be replaced.
I hope this is helpful. Thanks for using FixYa.

Apr 02, 2010 | American Standard Home

1 Answer

The toilet is only 2 months' old. The water keeps


Remove the top of the water tank.
check to be sure that the flush cover (about in the center of the tank) can close all the way. It seats into a 2 inch hole - and must seat all the way around. If it fails to seat, then the fill valve (on the left side of the tank) will continously let water into the tank.

As a starter experiment, you may try just turning whe water off at the wall shut off. Then inspect the tank to confirm that it is losing water.
If confirmed, then the above solution is correct.
If it is not losing water, then the fill valve is faulty and will need to be replaced (it is allowing water to over flow into the "OverFlow" tube.....

I recommend that you keep the water turned off at the wall until the toilet is needed - and the problem is repaired.

Nov 15, 2009 | Kohler Santa Rosa Compact Elongated Toilet...

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