As with most plumbing fixtures, toilets come with a built-in shutoff valve. In most cases, the shut-off valve is located within the toilet’s primary water supply. Toilets feature this dedicated shut-off valve for convenience. Shutting off the water supply to the toilet is often necessary when performing repairs and replacing components. Simple DIY repairs like fixing a wiggly flush handle or replacing the flapper to stop the toilet from running require you to turn off the water supply to the toilet. While the great majority of toilets have shut-off valves, some older models may not have them conveniently accessible. In this post from Stan’s Heating, Air & Plumbing blog, we’ll walk you through the process of shutting off your toilet’s water supply.
To find your shut-off valve, follow the tubing that feeds the water tank. The shutoff valve itself is typically football-shaped and connected to a pipe or hose attached to the bottom of the tank of your toilet. On the other end of this pipe should be a connection to the wall.
It’s important to note that some older toilets do not have shut-off valves behind them. In this case, shutting off the main water supply of the house or performing the wooden board method are recommended. With the wooden board method, slide a small section of wood underneath the float lever within the main tank to hold it up. This wooden board should be positioned so that the bottom of it is resting on the bottom of the tank. With the wooden board method, the wood will hold the float lever up, and in place so that the tank doesn’t refill after a flush.
Once you’ve located the shutoff valve, you’ll want to turn the valve clockwise as far as it can go, turning off the water supply to the toilet. The shut-off valve should not be hard to turn, so if you find that you’re having some difficulty, do not force the valve if it won’t easily turn. If the water valve looks rusty or is overly difficult to turn, try using some WD-40 or similar lubricants to get it to turn. If this still doesn’t work, it will likely have to be replaced by professional plumbers like the team here at Stan’s Heating, Air & Plumbing.
With the water supply cut off from the toilet, the water in the back tank should empty out and not refill upon flushing. If the toilet is clogged, water can be tested by lifting the float lever in the tank. This lever is typically attached to the hollow, sealed float that sits on top of the water in the tank. If the water is still on while testing the clogged toilet, more water will be added when you push this lever on. If the water is still on, make sure you quickly push the float lever back into position to prevent the tank from overflowing.
Once you're done performing your repairs and you're ready to turn the water back on, simply turn the shut-off valve counterclockwise, or for older toilets remove the piece of wood. If you were unable to fix the issue you're experiencing with your toilet, and need more assistance, reach out to the team at Stan's Heating, Air & Plumbing today. We happy to provide both standard and emergency plumbing services in Austin so that our customers can receive the best service at a time that's appropriate for their needs.
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