Even when you insist on letting a plumber do all the work in your toilet, you should definitely know how to adjust the water level in your toilet bowl.
A high or low water level in your toilet may not seem like a huge worry at first, but it can cause issues over time. When there isn’t enough water in the tank, the flushing power suffers, resulting in annoying blockages and clogs. When there is too much water in your toilet bowl, it may not flush completely or may overflow.
If the water level in your toilet bowl is too high or too low, it is critical to determine the cause and resolve the issue. Fortunately, the reasons and treatments are often straightforward, and you won’t need to hire a plumber.
Here I have explained the reasons for the abnormal water level in your toilet and simple ways in which you can adjust the water level.
If there is a High Water Level
Cause: Clogged Drain Pipes
If the water level in your toilet bowl is excessively high with any type of flushing toilet, it is most likely due to clogged pipes. When you flush the toilet, the water does not go out as it should and instead sits in the bowl.
The water level will sometimes gradually decline as the water runs out slowly, but if there is an obstruction, the water will remain in the bowl permanently.
Worse, if you keep flushing the toilet, the water will soon overflow the bowl and toilet seat, spilling all over your bathroom floor.
If you believe that this is the case, there is a short test you can perform. Fill a bucket halfway with water and place it in the toilet bowl. If the water in the toilet bowl does not drain, it is reasonable to presume you have a clog.
How to Unclog
To start, put on a pair of rubber gloves and reach into the toilet bowl to examine if there are any bigger things clogging the toilet, such as diapers or tampons.
If you don’t discover anything, the obstruction may be farther down the line, so try unblocking it using a plunger next. However, if you don’t have a plunger, household cleaners like baking soda, vinegar, bleach etc. can also be used to unclog a toilet.
Hot water is also useful for unclogging a toilet. While a gallon of hot water is boiling up on the stove, throw some dish soap into your toilet. When the water is extremely hot but not boiling, cautiously pour it into the toilet.
If there is a Low Water Level
Adjusting The Water Level In The Tank
If the water level in your toilet bowl is too low, there are various possible causes, but the most frequent will be connected to what’s going on within your toilet’s tank, so this is the first thing you should look into.
Begin by removing the tank cover and laying it away, then check the water level in the tank. It should be approximately an inch below the level of the fill valve and overflow tube, and if it is substantially lower than this, you will need to adjust the water level in the tank.
Toilet tank mechanisms vary, but the majority use a float – either in the form of a ball or a cylinder – to control the level of water. In the next section are detailed steps on how to fix each type of toilet tank.
Clear The Plumbing Vents
If the problem isn’t caused by the tank, there might be a problem with your home’s plumbing vents. Vents in a well-operating plumbing system allow air in to maintain adequate pressure. When the vents get clogged, air cannot enter and water cannot flow correctly.
When you flush another toilet in your home or drain the bathtub, your toilet will gurgle and sputter, indicating that your vents are clogged.
If this occurs, you might try going onto your roof and flushing your pipes with a garden hose. If this is a frequent issue in your house, maybe due to fallen leaves, it may be worth investing in a vent cover to avoid leaves or other detritus from blocking them in the future.
If you have exhausted all possible possibilities for the low water level in your toilet bowl, look for hairline cracks. If you notice that the water level progressively lowers after each flush, you may be dealing with a leak of some type.
Another sign is puddles of water on the floor; however, the leak or break might be below the floor level, so pools of water aren’t always evident.
If your toilet is damaged or you have any other type of leak, you should fix it as soon as possible since it may cause major structural damage in your house that will be costly to repair later if you don’t notice it in time.
How to Adjust The Water Level in Toilet Bowl
Adjusting a Ball-and-Arm Float
- Start with removing the toilet tank lid. Check the water level inside the tank. The tank’s water level should be around 1-2 inches (2.5-5.1 cm) below the fill valve and overflow tube. Your water level may be out of balance if it seems higher or lower than this level.
- Turn off the water supply to the toilet and flush the toilet. Do not attempt to alter or repair any of the machinery inside the toilet tank unless the tank has been completely empty.
- Examine the flushing systems to determine their condition. If there is any other fault, you may need to get the item fixed by a specialist.
- Examine the float in the toilet tank. If the float looks to be excessively high or low, adjust the float height and observe how the water level changes as you refill the tank.
- Shake up the float. If you can hear water within, you should have it replaced by a plumber.
- Check that the float is not severed from the tank. You can use a screwdriver to raise or lower the float height.
- Restart the toilet and allow the tank to fill for a minute or two. After flushing the toilet, check the water level in the bowl. The bowl should ideally be around halfway filled.
- If the water in the bowl still appears to be too high or low, drain the tank and re-adjust the float until it is correct. If the water level is still wrong after adjusting the float numerous times, contact a plumber.
Adjusting a Cylinder Float
Instead of the earlier ball-and-arm design, some contemporary toilets use more modern one-piece floats. Cylinder valves are easier to install, remove, and maintain, making them more user-friendly for those who are inexperienced with home repairs.
- Once you have checked the water level and emptied the flush tank, start working on the float.
- A long, thin tube links the adjustment stem to the bigger fill valve. The adjustment stem is used to adjust the amount of water in the tank.
- Squeezing a release clip on the float itself and raising or lowering it to the proper height allows some cylinder floats to be positioned. Raising the dial should raise the water level while lowering it should reduce it.
- Squeeze the release clasp on your float to adjust it to the correct height. If not, you’ll need to find the toilet’s adjustment dial.
- Grip the notched dial on the end of the stem with two fingers. Twist the stem a complete circle clockwise or counterclockwise—clockwise to reduce the height, counterclockwise to raise it.
- Replace the toilet lid and turn the water valve back on once you’ve chosen an appropriate height for the float.
- Flush the toilet a few times to see if the water level in the bowl has dropped or risen. The dish should be around halfway filled. If the level is still wrong after many changes, contact a plumber.
Installing a New Fill Valve
If your toilet is always running and altering the float height isn’t helping, you may need to replace the fill valve. Replacing a fill valve requires opening the hole at the bottom of the tank; if you are not comfortable working on your toilet in this manner, you may need to hire a plumber.
The fill valve you require may differ based on the type of toilet you have. Before purchasing a fill valve, research what type your toilet model requires online.
- The toilet tank must be totally emptied before installing the replacement valve.
- Two nuts should be visible on the tank’s outside. To begin, remove the screw that links the water supply line to the valve. Remove the supply line from the valve.
- Then unscrew the plastic nut that holds the fill valve to the tank, which should be simple to remove. The fill valve should come right out with both bolts unscrewed.
- Remove the complete fill valve device, including the float.
- Pass the bottom section of the valve through the opening in the tank’s base. Once the fill valve is in place, the remainder of the unit should sit upright and feel secure—no wobbling or moving about.
- Reattach the hose to the bottom of the valve and replace any washers that link the tiny water supply line to the bottom of the toilet tank. Screw the big nut back on securely to prevent leaks when you reconnect the water supply.
- Turn on the water supply and test the water level. Check the water shut-off valve and the bottom of the new fill valve as well. Check for moisture with a tissue and tighten the connections again if any are found. If the level is still off, see a specialist. A plumber may be able to troubleshoot and remedy your problem.
As with most plumbing problems, the key is locating the source and acting quickly. If you postpone the repairs, the situation will only worsen, and you may wind up spending far more money to cure it than if you had acted when you first spotted the problem.