Toilet maintenance is a great skill to learn. Toilets are mechanical devices with enough components that sometimes parts can become misaligned. Understanding how a toilet works can help homeowners avoid the high cost of professional plumbing services, and many tasks can be completed without expert knowledge.
When working on a toilet, make sure to be safe and cautious. While light plumbing work is much safer than, for example, electrical work, the heavy tank cover can be dangerous. Further, many of the components are fragile and can be broken easily. Do-it-yourself plumbers should ensure that they know exactly what they plan on doing before continuing.
One common problem is a leaky ball valve. The ball valve helps regulate water flow into the back tank by working with the float ball to determine if there is enough water. If the ball valve becomes leaky, the toilet may run continuously or intermittently even if it is full. Here is how one can repair or, if necessary, replace the ball valve on a toilet.
Technique one: Try to repair the ball valve
* Open the back tank on the toilet.
* Look at the float ball and see if it seems to be well connection to the mechanism that holds it.
* Check the attached wire that directs the ball to the pipe designed for water overflow.
* Turn off the water supply by turning the valve behind the toilet. Adjust the placement of the ball and make sure that the wire is properly straightened. Check to ensure that the arm opens the valve while flushing and seals it when the lever is released.
* Re-establish the water connection and test the installation by flushing. If the problem persists, you may want to try to straightening and repositioning everything again. If not, it may be best install a new ball valve.
Technique two: Install a new ball valve
* With the top of the tank removed, disconnect the water supply to the toilet by twisting the valve behind the toilet.
* Remove the ball valve from the arm that connects it to the overflow pipe.
* The mechanism contains two lift wires; move the lower wire through the upper wire and the guide.
* Attach the upper wire to the guide arm.
* Connect the float ball on the lower wire; ensure that the connection is snug but do not tighten more than is necessary.
* Ensure that the wire is vertical and carefully align the ball over the draining area.
* Test the installation by pushing the flush lever a few times.
* If everything appears to be in place, turn the water back on and make sure that everything fills properly. If so, try flushing the toilet.
* Make any necessary adjustments. If excessive running persists, there may be something else wrong with the toilet.
Ball valves are fairly inexpensive parts, and most come in standard sizes. It is important to remember that ball valves do not come with other parts of the arm assembly, so make sure to save the float ball and other parts until the new installation has been successfully completed.