Pittsburgh Plumber Reveals Trade Secrets With This Simple Toilet Repair Job

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Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day: Nothing sees as much action as a refill valve. Learn what the inside of your toilet tank can tell about the water quality.

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The good news, according to Mr Rooter, is that all refill valves come out basically the same way.

“Regardless of refill valve installed in your toilet, eventually it will have to be replaced,” says Bob Beall, master plumber and president of Mr Rooter Plumbing Pittsburgh. Being a Pittsburgh plumber, Beall encounters a variety of water conditions and says nothing lasts forever, “certainly nothing that sees as much action as a refill valve.” The good news, according to Mr Rooter, is that all refill valves come out basically the same way. “You start, of course, by turning off the water at the stop valve and disconnecting the supply tube from the refill valve.” Then drain the tank and the install can begin.

Pittsburgh Plumber Trade Secret:
The interior of the toilet tank will show the condition of the water supply. Fine black dust means the well is pumping in mineral sediment. Red? Iron in the water. Red and slimy indicates iron bacteria. Green? The copper pipes are being eaten away by chemicals in the water. Get the water tested by a service specializing in these techniques and get recommendations on corrective action that can be taken, if necessary.

Mr Rooter Tip Of The Day

Tip #1 Working from the underside of the tank, there will be a large plastic nut on the threads of the refill valve where the body comes through the bottom tank wall. Remove the nut with a pliers or tongue-and-grooved pliers.

Tip #2 All refill valves, regardless of type, will pull straight up and out of the tank once the holding nut is removed. Lift out the valve and make sure to find the seal at the bottom.

Tip #3 Discard everything including the seal. The new refill valve must seal at the bottom where the threads go through the tank. Some valves come with the seal attached to the body. With others, slip the seal (found in the valve replacement kit) on the threads.

Tip #4 With the seal on the bottom of the valve body, insert the threaded male end into the hole in the tank.

Tip #5 Reaching over the top of the tank, hold the refill valve in place and tighten the holding nut finger tight. Continue holding the valve while making the last few tightening turns with pliers, or else the valve body will spin.

Tip #6 If the replacement refill requires a ball float mechanism, screw it on now.

Tip #7 Next comes the refill tube. The refill tube may be separate and it will have to be pushed onto the mini threads of the new refill valve. On most models, these tubes will be too long and have to be cut to fit.

Tip #8 Push the refill tube onto the orifice in the valve (you may have to twist it back and forth a bit while pushing) and cut it to length.

Tip #9 Insert the cut end into the overflow and finally, attach the supply tube and tighten with pliers.

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Rooter (Pittsburgh)

Robert A. Beall
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