replaced ball-cock valve, can't seem to adjust for full shut-off

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by ginahoy, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    My 1.6g Briggs toilets have a conventional ball-cock. The larger internal seal in one of the valves was deteriorating so I replaced with a universal adjustable height ballcock valve. The new valve has the standard adjustments - a large nylon screw on top of the valve shaft, and brass screw that adjusts the stopping point of the lift arm (fulcrum).

    I've been adjusting these two screws ad nauseaum over the last two days and I'm unable to get the valve to remain full closed. When I flush the toilet, the water fills to the appropriate level and shuts off 99.9%. But a tiny flow remains through the bowl fill tube, and the flow gets larger over time. The level in the tank doesn't change. If I tap the valve with my finger, or slightly lift the float arm, it shuts off completely. It's almost as if the valve requires slightly more force to fully shut than the buoyancy of the float can provide. On the other hand, I have no clue what the proper procedure is for adjusting the valve. Any suggestions?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,412
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    First make sure that the fill tube daylights over the overflow tube.
    If the fill tube is placed down the overflow tube, it can siphon the tank.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  3. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Yeah, the fill tube terminates at the very top of the overflow tube. There's at least 3/4" between the tube and the tank water level. As I said in OP, the level in the tank doesn't change after the flush ends. The leakage is being directed into the bowl. I also checked the float to make sure it wasn't waterlogged.

    I'm beginning to think the valve is defective. But before I go to the hassle of replacing it again, I'd like to make sure I have it adjusted properly. There are two adjustment screws. A change to one screw affects the other. I started by using the brass screw to get the level correct. Then I backed off on the nylon screw to maximize the fill rate. When I realized the valve was not fully closing, I would tighten the nylon screw slightly, perhaps 1/8 turn. That would shut it off, but only temporarily. The valve would eventually start leaking again (through the bowl fill tube). After making several additional tightening adjustments to the nylon screw to stop the leak, it eventually would get to the point that the valve didn't open during a flush.

    Here's a close-up of my valve. As you can see, the tank water level is about an inch below the top of the overflow tube:

    toilet_valve.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,412
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You can remove the screws holding the top on and make sure it's clean there around the rubber seal.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    1. There is only 3/4" between the top of the overflow pipe and the water level, so HOW can the refill tube be "3/4 inch above the waer level" and still be inserted into the overflow pipe?
    2. IF the water is still running and the water level does NOT rise, the ONLY way it can get into the bowl is through that refill tube.
    3. FEW plumbers would EVER replace a fill valve with one that uses a "float ball".
  6. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    The refill tube is attached to a collar that holds it exactly even with the top of the overflow pipe. See photo posted above.

    Yes, that's what I said. The valve is leaking into the bowl through the refill tube.

    I saw a Fluidmaster valve that has the float that slides up and down the valve riser. Not knowing anything about toilets, that looked sorta cheesy to me. I'm going to buy another valve tomorrow. Is that the type you recommend?
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The photo does NOT show whether the refill tube is even with the "bracket" or shoved through it which is the normal way. The ONLY way it can use the refill tube to leak water out is if the END of the tube is below the water level in the tank. The Fluidmaster is the ONLY fill valve I have used for over 40 years.
  8. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    I wasn't disagreeing with you. I was only explaining how it is possible that the fill tube and overflow tube are both 3/4" above water level.

    Or if the valve isn't completely closing. If I put my ear to the valve, I can hear the flow, slightly. If I touch the nylon screw or the float arm, it will stop temporarily.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,412
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    What hasn't been mentioned here, is the flapper.

    We first check to see if the flapper is holding. This can be done with dye, or by turning off the tank and seeing if the water level drops.
    If there is a flapper leak, then the fill valve will continue to re-fill.

    The Fluidmaster fill valve is much better then the plastic ballcock that you have in there.
  10. ginahoy

    ginahoy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Sierra Vista, AZ
    Sorry, I didn't make it clear in my OP... the flapper is not leaking. I have had the toilet turned off for 12 hours with no change in tank level. I'm convinced now that the valve is defective. I'm on my way to ACE to pick up a Fluidmaster.

    Thanks for all the help, guys!
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