Fixing a Toilet – Different Types and Sizes of Flush Valves

October 15 2019

Being a homeowner can seem like a never-ending job. There’s always something to upgrade, update, or repair. When some items break or stop working, you can take your time fixing them. The toilet is not one of them. 

Different Types and Sizes of Flush Valves

Inside the toilet is many parts. If there’s a problem or leak, it’s important that you find the right part to repair or replace. In this article, we’ll cover the different types and sizes of flush valves that you might come across. 

What does a flush valve do?

The flush valve’s job is to move water from the tank into the bowl for each flush. The valve sits inside the hole at the bottom of the tank. Over the valve is usually a rubber flapper that creates a water-tight seal that keeps water in the tank when not in use. When the toilet handle is lifted, the flapper is raised for a few seconds to allow the water into the tank. The flapper then lowers to shut off the flow of water. 

Replacing the flush valve

Many parts of a toilet can wear down and break. Thankfully, they can be simple to replace and a good DIY project. When installing a new flush valve in your existing toilet, pay careful attention to the size of the current valve so you can find a suitable replacement.

Standard and other sizes of flush valves

The standard size of a flush valve is 2 inches. This size is what you’ll likely find at a home improvement store and should work on most toilets, including low-flow and older models with larger tanks.

If your flush valve is not the standard 2-inch version, you may have one of these other sizes.

  • 3-inch flush valve – Some toilet manufacturers use a 3-inch flush valve that allows more water to flow through at one time, which can result in a more effective flush with less overall water. You should be able to find a universal 3-inch flush valve at a home improvement store or order one online.
  • 3-inch tower flush valve – Similar to the previous type of flush valve, this version is wider for a more powerful flush. The difference is that this flush valve uses a tower design where the seal moves vertically instead of using the flapper. Since it doesn’t have a hinge which blocks a small amount of the valve opening, even more water can be directed into the bowl during a flush.
  • 4-inch flush valve – Offering an even bigger hole, the four-inch valve fills the bowl faster than the other flush valves and provide more flushing power while conserving water.
  • Dual-flush valve – Have you ever seen a toilet that gives you two options for flushing? It likely has a dual-flush valve. With many of these valves, pushing the toilet handle up will result in a half flush (appropriate for flushing just liquids) while pushing the handle down enables a full flush (better for solids). This type of flush valve allows you to save a significant amount of water every year.

If you have any issues replacing the flush valve in your toilet, don’t hesitate to bring in the professional team at Emergency Plumbing & Solar. We pride ourselves on delivering quality service at reasonable prices to our neighbors in Oahu and Maui. To schedule an appointment, call us today at (808) 691-9309 or fill out an appointment request form.