Minor adjustments and repairs to your toilet are common tasks every homeowner will face. This guide gives you an overview of the parts in the tank of a modern toilet and advises where to start when problems occur.
Understanding the parts in your toilet makes it easier to repair your toilet yourself. Toilet tank and bowl configurations have not changed much over the years – they’ve just become more efficient. However, the valves that fill and drain the tank have undergone a number of transformations and upgrades.
If you’re having problems with an older toilet that uses more than 1.6 gallons per flush, now is a good time to consider upgrading to a newer, more efficient model. As a rule of thumb, toilets manufactured prior to 1994 use 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) or more. The manufacturing date and gpf of your toilet is often printed or etched on the inside of the toilet tank. Upgrading to a newer toilet saves you money, conserves water and will ultimately be easier to maintain. Add to Your Projects
The fill valve refills the toilet tank from the water supply after it has been
emptied by a flush. Fill valves typically use either a float ball attached to
a ballcock valve or float cup fill valve. Older toilets tend to use the float
ball and ballcock assembly while newer toilets will have a float cup that
rises and falls with the water level to turn the valve off and on.
your toilet is constantly running, you may need to adjust or replace the fill
valve. You can adjust the fill valve by adjusting the float arm or the float
cup cylinder, depending on the type of fill valve in your tank. More
information on how to make these adjustments is available in the Making Minor
Adjustments to Your Toilet project guide.
The flush valve, which installs over the flush hole and houses the flapper and
overflow tube, allows water to escape the toilet tank and flow into the toilet
If water continues to seep into your toilet bowl
after flushing, and replacing the flapper fails to resolve the problem,
replacing the entire flush valve assembly is a quick and easy solution to this
The flapper is part of the flush valve. When the handle of the toilet is depressed, the flapper rises to allow water from the tank to release into the toilet bowl and then closes to seal water in the tank as the fill valve replenishes the supply.
You may need to replace your flapper occasionally if you use tank tablets containing chlorine or live in an area with hard water where minerals can build up at the base of the flapper.