Every once in a while the folks at this architectural firm like to share some nitty-gritty knowledge with people who have interests in maintaining their house. Once such common needed repair is the pesky water fill line that keeps popping off the fill pipe inside the toilet tank.
Nothing Earth-shattering in this, but at least a permanent solution that really gets this situation fixed. This company has asked plumbers about this, but have never received an answer that lead to a “forever” fix like this one. So, if you’re one of the millions of people in America and the World who have a leaky fill line situation, here is the way an Architect solved the problem:
Here is the BEFORE situation: a fill line inside the toilet tank, with a flexible vinyl hose connected to a white plastic fitting that is supposed to stay clamped to the top rim of the fill pipe, while water flows from the vinyl water line and into the interior of the rigid plastic fill pipe.
What actually happens is that the jet-like action of the water shooting out of the plastic fitting gradually loosens the hold of the side clamp, which was evidently supposed to keep the fitting in place from mere friction. Well folks, as you know all to well, this doesn’t work, does it?
So, the first attempt was made to try to a plastic zip-tie (also called a cable-tie). After 2 days, this failed as well. There just isn’t enough lateral pressure to keep the hard white plastic fill fitting in place, to resist the jet-action of the pressurized water blasting out of the fitting. And what happens then is that the flexible hose moves all around inside the toilet tank, spraying all over the place, including around the edge, leaking buckets of water down the outside of the toilet tank, flooding your floor and causing water damage, if you didn’t happen to notice this problem and left your house after flushing the toilet!
So, what’s the answer?
Senior staff Architect of the HOME ARCHITECTS ®, Rand Soellner, thought that a stainless steel ratchet band (also called hose clamp) might work. So, looking around a local hardware store (Jennings), he found a hose clamp 11/16″ to 1-1/2″ in size. The fill line in the toilets in question had a 1″ diameter PVC plastic fill pipe. The idea is to use the hose clamp’s ratcheting action (powered by a screw you rotate) to put considerable pressure on the hard plastic fitting that is supposed to remain seated at the top of the fill pipe.
Here are the tools and parts for the job: at the top, the all-stainless steel ratchet band (or “hose clamp), and at the bottom, a 5/16” diameter micro-wrench. You need the micro-wrench to rotate the hex-head screw of the ratchet band to make the band get tighter. You need this tool to be short, because you don’t have much room inside the toilet to move tools around.
And here’s the fix happening! How exciting! Notice the micro-wrench in action on the right side, tightening the hex-nut screw, which makes the stainless steel band tighten around the top of the fill pipe and most importantly, securing the hard plastic fill line fitting. Be Careful! You can exert enough pressure with the hose clamp to crush the lightweight fill pipe. You will need to provide enough tightening to slightly deform the pipe, in order to secure the fill line fitting to the side of the fill pipe. Just don’t over do it.
And here’s the complete AFTER fix. That fill line fitting will never come off of that fill pipe again, unless you get in there with your micro-wrench and loosen that screw. Enjoy your functional toilet with confidence, now that it works again.
And if you’d like a house specified to be assembled properly from the beginning, do consider contacting: Rand@HomeArchitects.com
tags: toilet fill line fix, residential architecture, house maintenance, cashiers, hendersonville, atlanta, asheville, aspen, telluride