Toilet Repair – Replacing the Supply Line and Shutoff Valve

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 38,195
    Les Zell, Contributing Editor with The Family Handyman Magazine, shows you how to replace the supply line and shutoff valve on a standard bathroom toilet.

    Les Zell: Hi! I am Les Zell, Contributing Editor with The Family Handyman Magazine. A leading magazine for do-it-yourselfers and we're talking about toilet repair today. So the first thing we're going to show you is how to shut the toilet off. Normally you have a valve similar to this that can be different styles, some come out of the wall some have a quarter turn.

    This is an older one that you turn to the right. When you go to turn it off, lot of times you're going to get water coming out of this handle, because this valve hasn't been turned off. So have a thick rag something like a towel or sponge ready to absorb that, because you're going to have a mess on the floor.

    When you turn the handle and it shuts off, if water continues to come out of the stem, the packing is usually the problem. What you want to do is put your wrench on there, just try and hold the valve, so that you can snug that up until the water stops coming out. Then the next thing you're going to want to do is check to make sure that the water shut off, by checking with the float, turning it on and off.

    If you check the float and the water is still coming out, then you're going to have to replace the valve. Be sure and check it here if you do have it turned off, just to make sure that there is no water still spraying. If the valve doesn't hold, then what we're going to want to do is, we're going to want to replace this valve.

    So go to your main valve of the house, shut it off, then you're going to need a wing cutter somewhat like this, so that you can cut the copper pipe below the shut off. So you slide it around the pipe, start to tighten the cutting wheel, and then spin it. And as you turn it, I like to go back and forth; sometimes the blades will walk on you.

    And you keep tightening their knob so that the cutting wheel gets tighter. Now our copper pipe has been cut off, we now have copper sticking up to the floor that we're going to put our new shut off valve on. We want to clean that up and make sure that it's smooth, there are no burs. I am going to use a little piece of emery cloth.

    That's going to polish up the copper. We will clean it up, so it can receive the new valve. The valve has a nut and a fill, we're going to slide the nut on first, then we're going to put our fill around the copper. Now once it sets on, then I'm going to use a little bit of lubricant or pipe dope so that this slides together smoothly.

    Then I want to add a little bit of dope or lubricant, so that it seals nice, it doesn't leak any water. And I'm going to adjust my wrench for the top and then the bottom, and turn the bottom nut to tighten up. Now my valve is on, the water id shut off, I am going to go downstairs and turn on the main valve. Then I want to take my channel-lock and I'm going to take the nut off that holds the fill valve in.

    Now when you do this there is going to be a little bit of water left in this tank. So have your rag ready, hold onto the post. Alright, so we're going to remove our fill valve, dry off any water that leaks out, then we're going to put in a new fill valve. There are many different kinds, this one we're using today; it's going to work for our toilet, because it doesn't have the long arm and the float down in.

    So we're going to pop out our center washer here, so that we can slide the outside ring on to shaft and we're going to slide this into our hole in the tank. We're going to take the new retaining nut and we're going to put it onto the shaft and tighten it up, so that we can seal the tank and no water will leak out through the gasket.

    Now once it's snugged uptight, if you have real good hand strength, you can sometimes tighten enough. I like to give it an extra quarter turn with my channel-lock. So our new supply line is going to be connected from the shut-off valve to the toilet tank. So I'm going to remove the nut and fill that came with the valve, because my new supply line has its own.

    And I am going to attach this, so what we're going to want to do is, put our wrench on the shut-off valve to hold in place while be snug up our new supply line. And once that's attached tightly, we're going to attach our supply line to the toilet fill valve. So make sure it's square and get it started.

    Now that our supply line is tightened and connected to the fill valve, we're going to finish putting in our overflow in our toilet bowl refill. So this one is going to be pushed into our hose, then we're going to connect the other side to the fill valve right here. Now we put it in the overflow tube with the clamp and insert it into the overflow, making sure that this hose doesn't discharge below the overflow tube.

    That way it protects potable water. Also we have to adjust our float in this particular style, we can lift this locking ring and it comes up to whatever height you need. I usually match these two just a little below and then pull locking ring down, because the critical level on here has to be 1 inch above the overflow tube, again, to protect the potable water.

    And then once we turn our valve back on, this time water will fill the tank and if you follow these tips, it should be leak free and you'll be able to put a fine-tune adjustment on there to get this fill level 1 inch below that overflow.

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