What You Need to Know Using a Toilet Repair Kit

Our toilets are an essential aspect of our modern homes. Without at least one that’s functioning, we all know that things can get awkward and unpleasant very swiftly. Of course it can be quick and simple to contact your local plumbing contractor. However, along with that expertise comes the requisite labor, materials, and call out fees. For the DIY-minded among us, most toilet repairs are actually well within our capabilities.

Rather than simply heading to the hardware store and picking up individual components, it can actually make a lot more sense to get a toilet repair kit. This isn’t an area that many of us are entirely familiar with — it’s unlikely to feature in our everyday chores. So, we’re going to take a closer look at what these are, how to use them, and a selection of the best options on the market today.

What is a toilet repair kit?

Let’s be clear; a toilet repair kit is not going to solve all your problems. It doesn’t come packaged with everything you need to repair a cracked toilet bowl, or fit a new u-bend. Rather, they’re designed to provide you with all the components you need to help solve some of the variety of plumbing problems that commonly affect the cistern tank.

The problems that a toilet repair kit is most suitable for include:

  1. A noisy toilet
  2. A slow filling toilet bowl
  3. A leaking toilet
  4. A running toilet
  5. A weak flush

You’ll notice that these problems are all centered around issues inside the cistern tank in some fashion. Each toilet repair kit comes loaded with components that may need to be replaced whenever one or more of these issues arise. Some people take the route of swapping out the individual parts as needed. However, many take the opportunity to replace all the old hardware, including the nuts and washers. This approach can give a fresh overhaul to your toilet’s plumbing, and save time in the long run.

How Do You Install a Toilet Repair Kit?

While it’s certainly viable to utilize the individual parts of toilet repair kit to make adjustments as needed, we’re going to cover the basics of a full installation. Before you get started, though, it’s vital that you perform a quick check on your toilet to find any non-standard specifications. This is particularly important if you have opted for a one-piece toilet design. Having a unusual toilet type is not a deal-breaker, but it will limit the brand of repair kit that will be available to you.

  1. Prepare your working area. Close off the water valve behind the toilet, and then flush the tank. Use a sponge to mop up any excess water in the cistern tank and squeeze it into a bucket.
  2. Detach the tank. Unscrew and remove the flush handle. Remove the bolts that attach the tank to the bowl. Unscrew and remove the direct fill line that connects the water supply to your tank. If you can’t do this by hand, use a channel lock. Remove the the tank from the bowl.
  3. Remove the old gasket. Remove the old rubber gasket at the back of the bowl. Use a flat head screwdriver to scrape away any gasket residue so that you’re left with a clean area to crate a good seal between the new gasket and the porcelain.
  4. Remove the underside hardware. Use a channel lock to loosen and remove any bowl bolts at the underside of the tank.
  5. Remove the lock nuts. These are also on the underside of the tank, and connect to the flush valve and the fill valve. Loosen these with the channel lock if necessary, then continue by hand.
  6. Remove the internal components. With all the locks and bolts taken off, you should just be able to pull these out by hand.
  7. Insert the new components. Start with the flush valve, tightening it with the new lock nut on the underside. Insert the new toilet gasket over the new lock nut. Insert the fill valve, tightening it with the new lock nut on the underside. Insert and screw tighten the new flush handle and rod. Connect the new refill tube to the refill valve, and clip the other end to the flush valve. Connect the new flapper chain to the flush rod. Insert any new hardware and screws — do not use the old ones.
  8. Set the cistern tank in place. Rest the tank on top of the bowl. Attach the water line. Attach any new washers to the underside, then screw the tank in place.
  9. Test your flush. Place a towel on the floor. Turn on the water supply and fill the tank with water, then flush. Check for any leaks. If there are leaks, you’ll need to tighten the bolts more.

5 Best Toilet Repair Kits


1. Fluidmaster 400ARHRKP10 All-In-One Toilet Repair Kit

Fluidmaster are one of the primary brands on the market today. They know their product, and they have taken the time to produce a variety of specifications to fit most common styles of toilet. If this particular model isn’t suitable for your model, there’s likely to be one in their range that does.

This toilet repair kit is designed to fit cisterns that contain a flush valve that is 2-inches in diameter. The whole package of components is designed to be high performance, too. They’re constructed using premium materials, and likely to be long-lasting. Many DIY-enthusiasts have taken to using this particular model not simply to repair their toilets, but also to upgrade them in terms of quality and performance.

One key component of note is the flush valve flapper. Fluidmaster has constructed this using a solid, durable frame, rather than one of the rubbery flexible types you often see on the market. The robust nature of this flapper means that it tends not to twist as a result of use. This means that the propensity for ghost flushing and leakage is practically eliminated.

Basic features

  • Plastic Materials
  • For use with 1.6 gallons per flush toilets
  • anti-siphon operation
  • 7 year warranty
Pros
  • Solid flapper prevents twisting and ghost flushing
  • Fits most brands of toilet
  • Parts are chlorine and hard water resistant
Cons
  • Can be among the higher priced products
  • Only fits a 2 inch flush valve

2. Next by Danco HYR451T Repair Kit

Most of us will be using our toilet repair kits for emergency replacements and maintenance. However, Next by Danco’s product in the range strives to go that little bit further. They have an eye of sustainability, and as such their kits are designed not only to fix common plumbing problems, but also significantly save on water consumption.

Perhaps the stand out feature of this particular model is that it’s not so much your standard repair-and-replace; it’s a conversion. Its components are designed to fit standard toilet models, while at the same time changing them into 2-handle, dual flushing mechanisms. There is a short center lever that activates the quick-flushing setting, which uses a lower volume of water to clear the bowl of liquids and paper. The second push lever allows for the full amount of water to clear solids.

This in itself has the ability to reduce water consumption. But for those of us who want a bit more control, there’s also the option to make adjustments to calibrate the exact amount of water needed to fill the tank and flush.

From a components perspective, this product is designed to be long lasting and slow to wear. It uses a Permafit silicone seal that is chemical resistant and designed to fend off warping. The manufacturers have also designed this toilet repair kit to be easy to install. It’s drop-in design means that no tools or tank removal are required. On the whole, this is ideally suited to the homeowner that has less experience with home repairs, and is making eco-friendly upgrades a priority.

Basic features

  • Conversion to dual flush
  • For use with 1.6 gallons per flush toilets
  • For standard 2 inch flush valves
  • Split flush handle design
Pros
  • Dual flush saves on water consumption
  • Drop-in design limits need for tools
  • Fast-fill valve provides efficiency
  • Detects leaks and signals when faulty
Cons
  • Not suitable for some toilet brands
  • Not compatible with 1.28 GPF toilets

3. Hibbent Universal Toilet Repair Kit

Many toilet repair kits on the market are designed to fit most toilet specifications — whether these are Kohler or American Standard. However, Hibbent’s repair kit is designed to be a bit more tailored. To look at it, you’d consider it to be much like any similar product you’d find at your local plumbing supplier. But beneath the surface lies an excellent product that you can shape to your needs.

It’s worth pointing out that there are certainly some limitations. While it’s advertised as being a “universal” toilet repair kit, it’s still only suitable for flush valves that are 2 inches in diameter. That said, it does have certain adjustable elements that can make for a more agile plumbing experience. The valve stem itself has a telescopic element. This means that it can be made to fit cistern tanks designed to fit valves between 7.8 inches and 13 inches in height. Sure, you could take a hacksaw to a standard valve and trim it down, but this takes all the hassle and risk out of that approach.

Excellent attention has also been given to the basic hardware on this toilet repair kit. Rather than simple standard nuts and bolts, Hibbent have opted for options that help to create greater stability. The nuts come loaded with compression cone seals, and the bolts themselves are heavy duty, extra long versions. This means that you have the freedom to adjust the connection of your cistern tank in a way that gives the best possible balance on the bowl, improving the performance of your flush system.

Basic features

  • Adjustable flush valve
  • 2 inch flapper seal
  • For use with 1.6 gallons per flush toilets
  • Compression cone sealed lock nuts
Pros
  • Flapper constructed from durable rubber
  • Valve can be adjusted from 7.8″ to 13″
  • Quick-install requires no tools
Cons
  • Flapper may require trimming
  • Only suitable for 2″ valves

4. PlumbCraft 7029000 Repair Kit

Most of the examples in this list are designed to be relatively easy to install. That said, the PlumbCraft toilet repair kit is specifically geared toward helping the amateur plumber achieve better water efficiency. Yet it still manages to maintain high quality manufacturing standards that boost longevity.

How is it designed to improve ease of use? Well, they’ve taken the time to implement a color coded system that guides homeowners to use the correct type of cap in order to adjust the flow of water to their requirements. This can be especially important in California, where toilets are required not to exceed 1.28 gallons per flush. But it’s great for general home sustainability efforts too. By utilizing the colored caps correctly, this kit has the potential to reduce water consumption by up to 40%.

The parts in this toilet repair kit have been manufactured in order to improve their lifespan. Everything from the adjustable fill valve and flush valve, to the flapper, bolts, and washers are made of advanced corrosion-resistant materials. Toilets aren’t just subject to natural solids and liquids, we also tend to flush a variety of harsh cleaning chemicals. This kind of attention to materials can help ensure that homeowners are able to make economically intelligent choices about their plumbing repairs.

As with the Hibbent model, the PlumbCraft 7029000 has an adjustable flush valve stem. In this case, it can be positioned between 8 inches and 13 inches in height. It’s also geared toward most standard models of toilet, fitting a valve of 2 inches in diameter.

Basic features

  • Adjustable flush valve
  • Color coded flow caps
  • For use with 1.6 gallons per flush toilets
  • Constructed from corrosion-resistant plastic
Pros
  • Water flow adjustment caps to limit consumption
  • Valve can be adjusted from 8″ to 13″
  • Materials are designed for longevity
Cons
  • Fits limited brands of toilet
  • Only suitable for 2″ valves

5. LDR Industries 503 1340 Toilet Repair Kit

We all want to give our homes the best possible products and upgrades. However, there are always going to be some circumstances in which you want absolute basic components in order to get the job done. That doesn’t mean to say that you have to compromise on quality, which is where the LDR Industries toilet repair kit comes in.

This model comes with the core parts needed to replace the guts of your cistern tank. Namely, the flush and fill valves, ball cock, float rod, flapper, and ball. That’s about it — it doesn’t come with hardware such as nuts and bolts. This model largely comes into its own as a quick fix with some relatively durable, chemical resistant materials. You’re unlikely to be using this kit to upgrade your home set up, but it can be perfect for guest room bathrooms that don’t see a ton of use.

That said, what keeps this toilet repair kit in the top 5 is that it comes with some nice little additions. The flush valve can be extended from 8 inches to 12 inches, and it comes with anti-siphon technology with a built-in float. It’s a good solid product, but you need to make sure that you also buy some attaching hardware and a gasket.

Basic features

  • Adjustable flush valve
  • Anti-siphon valve
  • Non-corrosive Delrin construction
Pros
  • Built from non-corrosive materials
  • Valve can be adjusted from 8″ to 12″
  • Includes an anti-siphon valve with built-in float
Cons
  • Doesn’t include all attaching hardware
  • Not supplied with gasket

F.A.Qs

Question 1: Do I need an expert to install a toilet repair kit?

Not at all! In fact, most toilet repair kits are designed to be easy to install. Some manufacturers have build them to be dropped into place and adjusted by hand, and most include easy-to-follow instructions. If you’re unclear on how to proceed, there are plenty of tutorial videos on YouTube.

Question 2: What tools do I need to install a toilet repair kit?

You’ll need very few tools to use a kit, if any at all. Though most of the hardware is designed to be screwed together by hand, it can be useful to have a screwdriver and channel lock nearby too. This will largely be used during the removal of the old toilet components, which may be too tight to loosen by hand, or have gathered rust and residue that cause them to stick in place.

Question 3: Can I cause damage by installing a toilet repair kit myself?

It’s not common to cause damage, but it’s certainly possible. The risks are mostly present in the adjustment of nuts and bolts, and attaching the cistern tank back to the toilet bowl. Some amateur plumbers tend to take an over zealous approach to tightening the bolts, which can cause the porcelain to crack. Take it slowly, err on the side of caution, and make slight adjustments if the nuts are too loose.

Question 4: What is in a toilet repair kit?

Toilet repair kits usually come with everything you need to replace the flushing mechanism of the cistern tank. This will include the fill valve, flush valve, tank-to-bowl gasket, bolts & washers, water saving caps, toilet flapper, and flush lever. Some come with additional components that can help improve water consumption efficiency.

Wrapping Up

We live at a time in which we have excellent access to repair and upgrade resources. While we’ll always need expert contractors for the complex plumbing projects, there are some that we can perform perfectly well ourselves. Toilet repair kits give us all the components we need to fix some of the common problems with the flushing system — from running water to a noisy toilet. Manufacturers have taken the time to design these in a way that they can be easily installed and maintained.

While they each have their benefits, the Toiletsman pick is the Next by Danco HYR451T repair kit. It is certainly the most comprehensive option of all those we’ve examined, but it really comes down to a handful of key features:

  • It combines the ability to repair or replace a faulty flushing system, with the opportunity for an environmentally sustainable upgrade.
  • The quality of the parts used is largely comparable with the top-range kits such as the Fluidmaster and PlumbCraft models we’ve discussed. However, in some areas it even pushes this quality further, as is the case with it’s Permafit silicone seal.
  • It makes a significant sustainability upgrade accessible to even amateur plumbers. The manufacturers have put clear thought into how homeowners can reduce their water consumption without needing to invest in a new type of tank, or make any structural alterations.

It’s this last point that really seals the deal for us. This kind of simple, plug in and play approach empowers homeowners to feel in control of essential repairs and sustainable upgrades. Best of all, it doesn’t break the bank while doing so.

In the end though, it’s important to bear in mind what your own requirements are. Balance out how advanced upgrades might affect your budget. Even on the lower priced models, you’ll find that your repair kit comes bundled with high quality components.

Leave a Comment