How to fix a running toilet without a ball float

By: GeraldJenkins

So, you have a new toilet cistern that’s been working fine for a while, but suddenly you have noticed that your toilet tank is running and maybe in the middle of the night, when no one is using the toilet at all. This means that your toilet is now running for some reason you have no idea of.

And you would have opened up the toilet tank and discovered that your modern toilet looks great, but it is missing the all-important ball float (ball valve) and start wondering what the heck to do now? Thinking to yourself “how to fix a running toilet without a ball float”.


Well actually this is not something that you should worry too much about because, fixing a running toilet without a ball float is much easier than fixing up one of those traditional ball floats you may have used in the past. The only major difference between your modern toilet tank and any other traditional toilet tank’s flushing system is that yours has a toilet Fill Valve instead of a ball float which functions the same way technically. But the advantage of a fill valve is that it’s smaller in size than a ball float, so it fits in any new compact cistern easily.

Understanding the fill valve
The fill valve is usually fixed onto the left portion of your cistern. This is the valve that fills in the required amount of water into the toilet tank more efficiently than a ball valve, making it more economical in the long run. They come with many different types of floats that does the job of the ball float even better.

Therefore, a cup float or something similar is built into them in a more automated way by giving it a more cost-efficient push every time you flush the toilet. This mechanism creates just the right water pressure it needs at the right amount. Therefore, the fill valve is more economical and produces a milder sound when flushing the cistern, when compared to a toilet that has a ball valve that produces the sound of a waterfall inside a small bathroom.

As you know now, this fill valve is our new gadget that controls the level of water in our toilet tank. It’s too bad that your fill valve isn’t responding the way it should, and replacing the assembly is the best thing to consider when looking for a proven method on how to fix a running toilet without a ball float.


This is especially true in a situation where it begins to malfunction due to any type of damage or if it seems to not shut off automatically as it should. As a plumber, I do suggest you to replace your Fill Valve every five to six years in order to minimize unwanted disruptions and also to ensure a smooth flushing experience throughout.

Let’s remove the existing valve and replace it with a new fill valve assembly unit

Just head on over to any local hardware store where you can buy a new fill valve assembly unit. A good one should include a refill tube, gaskets and a lock nut along with the Fill valve assembly.

You’ll be needing an adjustable wrench and a small bin or a container to collect water in order to do the replacement of the Fill Valve. But, before we begin, shut off the water supply valve first and then open up the lid of the toilet tank and give it a proper flush. Now we are officially ready for the replacement.


Take a look at your old Fill Valve. If you feel that it does not have much wear and tear with the base in usable condition, then that’s a good thing as the replacement process will be much easier for you. Simply pull up the lock ring by reaching to the base of the fill valve so that you can remove the refill tube by pulling the Fill Valve upwards from the base easily.

Now it’s time to take out the new Fill Valve for installation. Just like the old one, the new fill valve also comes with a base of its own. But, you won’t be needing it since we already have the base of our existing fill valve we had earlier. Therefore, you can install the new Fill Valve by simply pushing it down to the existing base of your tank. Now, lock the ring located behind the fill valve down into place and connect the refill tube to the overflow tube. At this stage we must keep in mind to properly adjust the water level accordingly, so that it’s not set too high.


And that’s how to fix a running toilet without a ball float in case if the base of your old fill valve is in a good and usable condition. That’s great, but what if the base of your Fill Valve isn’t in any suitable condition for further use. Well, in that case the whole unit will have to be removed and replaced accordingly. But this isn’t any harder than the previous task. So, let’s take a quick look on how to do a complete replacement as well. This is where we are going to use the tools mentioned above earlier.

Make sure that your toilet tank is empty and place the small bin or container under the water supply hose to let the water trickle down into the bin/ container we positioned, as there will be more than just a few drops of water flowing down. Now stick your hand to the base of the tank to unscrew the hose and you will also have to use an adjustable wrench to remove the lock nut properly.

That’s it, now you can remove the entire assembly and you can throw this old unit into the garbage straight away. Now you can install the new unit with ease by adjusting its height in order to match the height of both the tank and the overflow tube accordingly. So, that’s how to fix a running toilet without a ball float in case if the base of your old Fill Valve cannot be used due to damages or corrosion.

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