How to Replace & Install Toilet Tank Parts

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Most toilet tank parts correspond to a general standard. Before purchasing a kit for your toilet tank, check with a big box home store or hardware store to ensure the kit fits properly. Complete replacement kits for a water tank can be the best value, especially for the amount of time required to perform the task. By following a few basic procedures, you can replace the parts in the toilet tank in a half hour or less.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bucket
  • Channel lock pliers or plumber pliers
  • Toilet tank kit
  • Close the lid on the toilet and remove the ceramic cover for the water tank.

  • Shut the water supply valve off and place the plastic bucket under the connection of the supply hose to the ceramic tank. Flush the toilet and hold the lever down to drain all the water from the tank. Some water will remain in the bottom of the tank due to the rubber flange on the flush valve.

  • Use the channel locks or plumber pliers and remove the water supply hose from the tank connection. Allow the water to drain into the bucket from the hose and position the hose out of your way.

  • Loosen the large plastic nut on the bottom of the plastic inlet stem that feeds water into the toilet tank. You can use the pliers to loosen the nut but finish removing the plastic nut with your fingers. The rest of the water in the tank will drain once the nut becomes loose and the stem seal is broken from the bottom of the tank. Allow all the water to exit the tank.

  • Remove the stem assembly from the tank by lifting the unit from the inside of the ceramic enclosure. A complete assembly consists of a filling valve, overflow tube and the float that controls the level in the tank.

  • Remove the flapper valves, then pull the chain that is attached to the flush lever. The new replacement kits are all inclusive and this part is generally built onto the replacement assembly.

  • Remove the replacement kit from the packaging and assemble the parts as per the manufacturers listing on the package instructions. Different manufactures may have slightly different parts for the individual assembly. The kits measurements are the same. Toilets have the same internal dimensions to the fill valve area as the tanks flush outlet.

  • Slide the new kit into place by inserting the fill stem into the hole in the bottom of the tank. Be sure to install the rubber gasket so the gasket rests on the inside of the tank to seal the fill hole. Place the large plastic nut on the fill stem and hand tighten into place. New retainer nuts will have a large wing to fully hand tighten the nut for a good seal to the bottom of the tank. Pliers should not be needed for this task.

  • Install the pull chain onto the flapper valve and test by pushing the flush lever. You may have to adjust the length of the chain for proper actuation of the lever to the valve.

  • Install the water supply hose back onto the new fill stem and tighten with the pliers. Turn the water supply valve back on and check for any leaks. Test the new kit by flushing the toilet and observe for proper operation of the kit. Replace the ceramic cover on the water tank.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some low flow toilets will use a different type of supply mechanism than the standard toilet. Be sure to check with the manufacture if you have such a low flow model. Low flow toilets may also have special warranties in regards to the operating parts.

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