Best/longest lasting toilet fill valve

9 Replies

Landlords: what brand is your longest lasting/most trouble free toilet fill valve and flapper. I manage a property with only five toilets but the fill valves seem to need endless replacing. There's extremely hard water, so that's part of it. The water has high chlorine (no one drinks it) so that makes the flappers go. Is there any difference in brands?

The best is a tankless automatic flush, it has no flapper. Doubt you want one for a rental...$$$$ A plumber told me a crapper was a crapper regardless of name, the main issues are at the throat, some are larger and smooth, that's what you want, others have rough edges at the throat from casting and cause stuff to hang up.

Try a water softner with a filter.....

I like the fill valves that have the float that goes up and down on the valve. I don't like the type that have the round float on a metal arm.

There's one toilet that doesn't have a flapper. It has a solid piece that raises and lowers to flush. I think it's a Mansfield, but not for sure.

Originally posted by Rob K:
I like the fill valves that have the float that goes up and down on the valve. I don't like the type that have the round float on a metal arm.

x2, much prefer the one piece. There are also two style aftermarkets I have used for flappers, one is the regular rubber and the other is a cup style, I have had better luck with cup style.
Real hard water though, its probably going to be an ongoing issue as the valve are pretty cheapy on all the aftermarkets I have seen.

I have heard of this same problem with the company I now work at. They have properties all across Texas. The problem I found out is that all hard water isn't the same. The maintenance guy told me he went to the closest plumbing supply house near the problem toilet and they recommended the best one for that particular area. What worked good in one location didnt work as well in another part of the state.

What? No miracle fixes from BP landlords in the trenches? :) I prefer the one piece fill valves without the ball float, and have mostly those. The hard water here trashes all trim plumbing too.

If it helps anybody: the last leaky flapper I replaced didn't fix the leaking. I studied the situation and noticed calcium build-up around the valve opening. Was able to scrub it off and now the flapper seals tight and is leak free again.

A toilet may be a toilet, but a lot of them aren't made the way they used to be. My daughter's apartment has an American Standard toilet from 1948 installed when the house was converted to apartments. It's seen a lot of hard use given that it's in a college town studio apartment (owned by cheap and non-responsive landlords). Looks and works perfectly and it actually a thing of porcelain beauty.

I use Fluidmaster - around $7 or $8 for the fill valve only in my area. They have a kit also to replace other components inside the tank, but if you say you are looking for a fill valve those can be purchased alone. This is the type valve that Rob K described as "up and down". I have changed these out at my own home and at rentals as well, and the fill valve problem disappears for me with them. Flappers, that's another story ... Tank bolts, that's also another story ...

As far as flappers go, I have tried both the ones with an adjustment, and the simple ones - at least there are some that are designed for more difficult water situations; Fluidmaster does have such flappers. But IMO the flappers become the weak point once the Fluidmaster fill valve is in. Just the other day, the Fluidmaster flapper didn't go down after my wife flushed, I told her to wiggle the handle to fix it ...

@Steve Babiak For what it's worth: I think the soft, rubber style flappers seal best. But it's the rigid ones, with with rigid plastic hinge cutouts that are lasting the longest and always close. When I hear anyone jiggling a handle, I'm out buying new parts the same day. I hate that.

This particular flapper was replaced like a year ago. It stays up in the tank when the water flows in in a specific way. I too replace if the jiggling of handle is due to getting it to seat better, and cleaning the seat doesn't help; this one isn't in contact with the seat, so the jiggling moves it out of the water flow so that it can seat.

And it is one of the harder types, that holds up better to harder water.

I have been replacing the flappers with a system that is cable operated and I love how it gets rid of the chain that always seems to break. I can't speak to longevity as I just started using them, but I like the design much better.

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