Toilet fill valves are often underrated and under-appreciated devices. Although they tend to break down once in a while, most people are content with just buying the cheapest replacement, if for nothing because they’re easy to install.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to settle when it comes to fill valves. And, you don’t have to look for ages to get a good one either. There are plenty of toilet fill valves that are compatible with almost all toilet systems.
Get the right combination of features and you won’t have to worry about noises, slow refills, leaks, or wasted water because the valve allows the tank to fill up to the maximum (assuming you installed or have them installed properly). Take a peek at some of the best universal choices in toilet fill valves.
Top 6 Toilet Fill Valves to Promote Economical Water Consumption
It goes without saying that the following are in no particular order. Feel free to pick one that sounds best for your own can.
- Top 6 Toilet Fill Valves to Promote Economical Water Consumption
- The Importance of Materials
- Adjustability is Key
- One or Two-Button Valves? – What to Pick
- How Important Is the Ease of Installation?
- The Most Common Problems Solved By Replacing the Fill Valve
One reason why I like the Fluidmaster 400AH is the compatibility with both 2” and 3” flush valves. It gives the valve compatibility with a wide range of toilet models both new and old. The valve is also adjustable between 10 and 15 inches in height which makes it all the more better.
If you’re looking for something quiet, this is one of the top choices. The lack of metal components keeps the clanking noise to a minimum and it also ensures that you can use it for a very long time. The 7-year warranty may reflect the manufacturer’s confidence in its product.
There is still going to be some noise caused by the water going into the tank. However, the 400AH manages to also reduce that by a lot even as it refills about twice as fast as a standard toilet fill valve.
Although this is a universal toilet fill valve, I find it important to point out that you might only get the optimum flow rate when paired with a Toto toilet system. Using the TSU99A.X on other models may not always yield the best results.
With that being said, I do like the all-plastic design that guarantees a noise-free experience and good longevity. While its flow rate seems to work best when paired with its native toilet systems, it’s a universal that will prevent running toilets and leaks on most toilets.
The installation may also take you a while. However, I found the instructions to be very clear so at least there’s that. Plus, I know that you’ve got to be good with your hands if you’re even considering changing the fill valve on your own. Finally, the height adjustment seems to work quite alright on almost any toilet model.
This is, in my opinion, another solid fill valve to get if you’re experiencing problems with the ballock or if you’re tired of replacing cheap valves twice a year. This is a cheap yet durable solution which works with one-piece and two-piece toilet systems.
Granted, this toilet fill valve is not the quietest around. That’s because it has a metal refill tube and a couple of nuts and bolts which also make it susceptible to corrosion.
I also find it a bit slow on the intake, at least compared to other universal fill valves designed for Toto toilet systems. However, it’s hard to beat this price point and still get height adjustability and simple installation in a leak-proof design.
As you might have guessed, this is a genuine replacement toilet fill valve for Kohler toilet systems. However, it has decent potential to act as a universal replacement in toilets by other manufacturers, especially Fluidmaster toilets.
What makes this model unique is the fact that it works with both regular and insulated tanks. It is also quiet, devoid of metal components (which might impact its life), and one of the easiest to install.
When it comes to refilling speed, you get to set the flow rate, however fast or slow (naturally, slower would be quieter), for your system. Just make sure that your current toilet system has a grey or silver shank. Otherwise this model isn’t compatible.
If you think that a quick water shut-off system is a given with all toilet fill valves, then you are mistaken. Different manufacturers rely on different mechanisms to prevent water from continuously running.
This particular fill valve by Plumb Craft is designed as an economical solution for almost any household. And I say almost because the height adjustment only goes from 8 to 13 inches, but fit-wise, at least it’s better to be shorter than overly long.
Still, this replacement piece is very cheap and it works. It’s also easy to install and the kit comes complete with a refill tube and its own flush valve. And I particularly enjoy the variety of water flow adjustment caps on such an affordable fill valve.
I think we’ve established so far that oftentimes toilet fill valves are interchangeable. But, since most manufacturers prefer to optimize their valves for their own toilets, sometimes you can benefit more from getting something like this WDI B3260 universal valve.
The installation seems to be just as easy whether you’re putting it in an American Standard or Toto toilet. What’s very nice is that it also comes with its own water filter. This might make it very useful in office spaces.
However, the water filter does limit the intake flow by a small amount. Luckily, I find it very easy to remove by hand. I do take some issue with the height. The valve works best between 8.25 and 12.25 inches, which may not fill the tank up enough for some more modern toilet systems.
The Importance of Materials
Many toilet fill valves fail because of corrosion. If you want to prevent this from becoming a frequent issue, you might want to consider a solution with as few metal components as possible.
However, not even plastic is infallible. Although I recommend it over metal, you still have to take proper care of it. When the time comes to pick a tank cleaner or freshener, be careful to pick a solution that doesn’t eat away at the plastic.
Also, keep in mind that cheap isn’t always better too. When it comes to plastic components, some of the more affordable fill valves tend to use very thin plastic which may just break down faster than metallic components.
Adjustability is Key
One of the reasons why shopping for a toilet fill valve is annoying is because toilets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Now, if you were to buy your valve from the local hardware store, this wouldn’t be an issue. You can simply match the new piece with the one you want to replace and presto, problem solved.
But, if you want to buy yours online so that you can maybe get a better deal, many bad things could happen. I recommend picking an adjustable toilet fill valve, especially when you’re not sure what size you need.
You may also want to keep an eye out for a model that features a roller clamp and water intake adjustability caps. This could save you from having to store excessive amounts of water in the tank on every refill.
Whether you get a two-button toilet fill valve or a one-button valve, you get the same capacity. However, having the option can save water. It's especially useful for areas with water problems where you're forced to use solutions like shallow well pumps.
Personally, I find two-button models most suited for RVs, cabins, or any other instance where water is in limited supply. For most modern homes, getting a two-button model shouldn’t be a top priority when buying a replacement.
How Important Is the Ease of Installation?
This really depends on you. If you’re good with your hands, then you shouldn’t have to judge a toilet fill valve by how easy or hard it is to fit in your tank.
However, at the same time, I find it important that the installation should be more or less the same for different brands of toilet. For example, a Toto universal fill valve should ideally be as easy to install in a Kohler toilet as a Toto toilet.
If you struggle too much trying to install a toilet fill valve by one brand into a toilet by another brand, it is quite possible that you’ll ruin the components in the process. This may be a moot point though if you’re an accomplished handyman.
The Most Common Problems Solved By Replacing the Fill Valve
You already know you’re in the market for a fill valve. You obviously have your reasons. But, are you sure you really need to change it? Do you know what are the most common signs that this component needs replacing?
The toilet fill valve is responsible for refilling the tank with water after each flush. It’s also responsible for regulating how much water is needed and how fast or slow the refill rate should be. Therefore, if the water runs constantly in your toilet tank and spills into the bowl, it means that the shut-off function is not working properly.
Do you have an overflow problem? – This will indicate an issue with the toilet fill valve. However, if the water level is beneath the top of the refill tube then your problem lies with the flush valve.
Last but not least, many people are quick to assume that any toilet tank leak signals a problem with the fill valve. I’m here to tell you that toilet fixing 101 says no to that. Check the toilet tank for leaks around its bolts and gaskets before jumping to conclusions. Your toilet fill valve may be working like a charm but the other components of your tank may be leaking water.
If you’re thinking of replacing your toilet fill valve on your own, it’s about time. I feel that if you’ve learned one toilet system, you’ve pretty much learned them all. The valve designs and tank designs don’t differ too much these days.
Certainly not enough to warrant calling in a plumber to perform an installation that takes 10 minutes with or without tools. The toilet fill valves in this article are very similar, but each has its own particular features that may make it more suitable for some toilet systems than others.
The point is that you shouldn’t skimp on this particular toilet tank component. Even the expensive ones aren’t that expensive. Pick the one that you like best based on a combination of – less noise, faster refills, automatic shutoff safety feature, and durability.
A hardcore woodworking and welding enthusiast, Russ is the editor-in-chief of TAH. In his spare time, Russ loves watching sports, and (binge) watching Netflix.