A flush valve is the part inside the tank of the toilet that moves the water into the bowl. Toilet flush valves come in different sizes from 2” to 4” depending on the manufacturing of the toilet. If you are thinking of buying a new toilet pay attention to which type of flush valve the toilet has because in most cases larger toilet flush valves are faster at moving the water resulting in a better flush. When changing the flush valve in an existing toilet make sure you get a flush valve that will... work for that specific toilet because you usually have to stick to the size that is in there already. If you happen to find that the flush valve is an uncommon size, such as 3.5”, try contacting the toilet manufacturer for a replacement valve. They may end up sending you a new flush valve for free.
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Standard Flush Valve
Most toilets have a standard flush valve. This is just a basic 2” flush valve and flapper that lifts up when you push the toilet handle down. Standard flush valves can be used for low flush toilets or even for older larger tank toilets with a 2” opening in the tank. Changing a flush valve in a standard toilet is a fairly easy project that can be done by most homeowners. If changing the flapper in a running toilet did not stop water from leaking out of the tank then your toilet may require a new flush valve.
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3” Flush Valve
Having a larger flush valve means getting the water into the bowl and down the drain more quickly. The difference in flushing power between a 2” to a 3” flush valve can be really substantial because much less water is required to get a good flush versus the standard flush valve. There are some great toilets using only 1.28 gallons per flush with a 3” flush valve. If you have a 3” flush valve and it needs replacing make sure you get another 3” flush valve to replace it with. There are quite a few manufactures of 3” universal flush valves that should work well. Replacing a 3” flush valve is almost exactly the same as replacing the standard flush valve just; it is just a larger valve.
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Tower Style 3” Flush Valve
Like the 3” flapper flush valve the 3” tower flush valve has a 3” opening in the tank where the water goes into the bowl. The tower style valve allows for water to leave the tank from 360 degrees which can produce a faster flush. Changing a tower style flush valve seal can be as easy as changing a flapper.
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4” Flush ValveThe 4” flush valve is the largest of the flush valves with a piston that goes up and lets water escape from the tank at 360 degrees into the bowl. This type of flush valve delivers the water into the bowl faster than any other type of flush valve and it has great flushing power with very little use of water.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Dual Flush Valve
A dual flush valve allows you the option of a half flush and a full flush with the same valve. Dual flush valves that are compatible with a handle work by releasing half the water when the handle is pushed up and the full amount of water when the handle is pushed down. Other dual flush valves work with a double button for toilets that have a flush button at the top of the tank instead of a handle. There are dual flush valves that are made specifically to convert a normal toilet into a water-saving toilet. Installing and using a dual flush valve can provide significant water savings every year.