How to Adjust Water Level in the Toilet Bowl

The water level of your toilet bowl can be responsible for several common toilet issues. Learning how to lower the water in a toilet bowl is relatively simple. Since water bowl levels usually relate to tank water levels, the solution is usually to adjust how much water is in your tank. 

The first step in how to change the water level in the toilet bowl is to move the ball and arm float in the tank. This controls the amount of water in the tank and will give you a full flush. If this solution does not work, it may be necessary to completely change the fill valve in your system. It might also be necessary to check for cracks or blockages in the vents of your toilet. 

Each toilet performs differently based on the manufacturer’s specifications, so adjusting water levels will need to be done differently for each toilet bowl. In this article, we’ll take a look at how to change the water in most common toilets, and also look specifically at Fluidmaster and Kohler toilet bowls. 

Steps to Adjust Water Level 

How do you know the correct watermark of your toilet? It should be at the end of the toilet’s p-trap. If it’s higher or lower than this line, that is when you’ll need to alter your tank’s water level. 

How to Change the Ball and Arm Float 

The level you should always aim for is one inch below the overflow tube. So if that is not the current level, it’s time to make some adjustments! 

Steps for adjusting ball and arm float: 

  • Take off the lid and place it somewhere sturdy.
  • Investigate the water level, and be sure it’s at a proper level. The usual standard is 2.5 to 5cm below the fill valve. It’s also possible to see how it compares to the overflow tube. If the amount is not correct, move to step 3. 
  • Turn off the water in your home. You will need to locate and turn it completely off. 
  • Get rid of all the water in your tank. Simply flush until there is no water in the tank and you can freely take care of the float. 
  • Have a look and see if you can notice any damage. If you do find any, it’s probably best to call a plumber at this point. 
  • If all is in working order, check how high the float is. It is a plastic ball you should be able to see. Set it at the correct height so that when the water refills, everything will come out correctly. 
  • Adjusting the height is simple, just use a screwdriver at the point at the top end of the fill valve. If you need it higher, turn clockwise, or counterclockwise to lower. 
  • Now when you flush, check where the water level ends up. If things are still not working correctly, it will be time to call a professional! 

Keep in mind that if you’re unable to see the height on the water level, you can check the line etched on the porcelain tank. 

How to Replace a Fill Valve

If the ball and arm float seems to be working correctly, the problem may be the fill valve. To replace this, follow the steps below: 

  • Remove all water from the tank. Find the toilet’s water supply valve and turn it completely off. 
  • From outside the tank, take off the fill valve. You should be able to see screws at the water supply line. Pull out the line, then the valve will be visible. You can unscrew this with pliers or a wrench if required. 
  • Take out and discard the old fill valve and put in the new one. 
  • The new valve will need to be fitted through the hole, located at the bottom of the tank. Make sure it is tight as you don’t want any leaks! 
  • Replace the parts to the toilet and attach the water supply. 
  • Screw back in all nuts you have removed. 
  • Turn the water supply back on and let the tank fill. Note the water supply level. Flush and check if everything is in working order. 

Look For Leakages in the Bowl

If you have tried the above steps and still have not had any success, the next step will be to see if there are other leakages around the bowl. 

There may be some cracks, allowing water to escape, which will of course lead to a low water level. You will need to fix this as quickly as possible before damage to your bathroom occurs. It may be necessary to call a plumber for help with this. 

Unblock Vents 

If the problem is still not solved, the culprit may be blocked plumbing vents. 

Vents are required to allow air in. If there is no air available, air will of course not get in. This will lead to poor water flow in your plumbing. 

Is it possible to check for blocked vents? Yes! If you are noticing that your toilet bubbles when flushing another toilet, or when you drain a bathtub or put a lot of water into your plumbing, then plumbing vents may be faulty. 

Clearing the vents will mean you need to get onto the roof of your property. You can flush the pipes out using your hose. To make sure the problem does not recur, cover the vents in such a way that air can enter, while leaves and debris are blocked. 

If this does not solve the issue, call a local plumber and ask for their assistance. 

How to Adjust Water Level in a Kohler Toilet 

The most common toilet manufacturer in the USA is Kohler. They have toilets unlike other brands with different working parts. Newer Kohler toilets will also have one-piece floats, as opposed to ball and arm floats. So you may be wondering, how do I adjust the water level in my Kohler toilet bowl?

Steps to adjust water level: 

  • Notice the cylinder float at the fill valve’s rod. This will be simple to take off and replace, so you won’t need a plumber for this. 
  • Start by taking off the lid to the toilet and noting the water level. Check if it’s too high or too low. 
  • As usual, turn off any water supply to the toilet as this will make it easier to work. You should also have a towel in case of any extra spillage. 
  • Find the adjustment stem. This will usually be on the side of the float. This is the overflow tube and will be attached to the fill valve. 
  • If you cannot see any valves, take a look on the side. 
  • Now using the one-piece adjustment stem, move the water level up or down. 
  • You can find a release clip near the float, which you will be able to use when adjusting the water level. You will just need to raise or lower this to get the result required. 
  • Now, open the water supply and let the water return to the tank. Notice the level and adjust accordingly. 

Some toilets will be easy to alter and have an adjustment dial you can manipulate easily. You just need to twist this clockwise or counterclockwise. When you have found the height you are after, flick on the water supply and flush your toilet. You might have a stem that is very tight and requires a wrench to alter. 

Adjusting Water Levels in Your Toilet with Fluidmaster 

If you have a Fluidmaster fill valve, you are in luck. These are said to be one of the more convenient and powerful on the market, so maybe a purchase worth considering. 

They give you two times the speed to refill the bowl and have 400AH, which is very powerful for a fill valve. 

These valves also come with a guarantee that they will prevent inadequate filling or overfilling of the toilet take. For this reason, they are the best replacement fill valve. Below are the steps on how to adjust the water level in the toilet bowl with Fluidmaster.

Steps for toilet fluidmaster adjustment: 

  • Take off your tank’s lid. Note where you want your fill level to be. 
  • As always, shut off all water supply to the toilet. Make sure the tank is completely dry, using a sponge if necessary. 
  • Remove the old connector and fill the valve. 
  • Install the new Fluidmaster. When placing it, make sure the flat side is facing upwards. 
  • Make sure that the upper section is set three inches above the overflow tube. On top of this, you will see a sign that displays the water level. 
  • Check the stem and adjust accordingly. 
  • At the valve’s lower part, press down and tighten from outside the tank, being sure not to tighten too severely. 
  • Reconnect the toilet’s refill tube and attach it to the side of the overflow tube (this will be at the fill valve).
  • Turn all water back on, let the water refill and adjust as required. 

Having the right water level will ensure that there is always enough water available to fill the toilet bowl to the correct level. If the water level is too low, it will mean that waste will not be effectively flushed. 

If water levels are too high, this probably means you have some form of clog in the toilet. If this is the case, try to fix it as soon as possible, as it may cause further problems down the road. Clogs can be fixed in several ways, either through DIY methods or with the assistance of a plumber.