What Is A Toilet Overflow Tube?

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Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by acechapman

Toilets can overflow at any moment. In order to prevent this, the toilet overflow tube is installed to control the water level in the tank. This part of the toilet tank ensures that water is at the correct level.

Continue reading to learn more about the overflow tub, its function, its replacement, and what to do in the event that it stops working or runs.

What is a Toilet Overflow Tube

An overflow tube must be at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) above the tank lever. It is a tube vertically located inside a toilet tank. Thus, preventing excess water from leaking onto the floor. It directs the water into the bowl. 

The toilet flush valve assembly is made up of the flapper and the overflow pipe, which is usually located in the middle of the tank and covers the hole in the tank’s bottom when it is full. 

toilet overflow tube

What is the purpose of the Toilet Overflow Tube?

Its only purpose is to transfer water into the bowl in case the flush system fails and to keep the tank from overflowing, especially if the fill valve doesn’t turn off.

This tube also serves as the conduit through which the float valve delivers water to the bowl during the refill process.

The flush lever is pressed to open the valve. The valve will open and water will flow into the toilet bowl when the chain is pulled.

The tank’s water level will drop after a flush. Also, the water level drops immediately and it begins to refill. When the tank fills, some water from the fill valve flows through to the refill tube and into an overflow tube.

The overflow tube is responsible for sending water to your toilet bowl in order to stop the tank from filling up.

Is a toilet required to have an overflow tube?

The toilet bowl will overflow if it does not have a functioning refill tube. The refill tube extends upwards from the fill valve and drains into the flapper. Thus, releasing clean water into the bowl.

Toilet overflow tube replacement

Sometimes the overflow tube for your toilet might have become damaged or old and not work properly. This issue should be addressed immediately to avoid further damage and costly repairs later.

You can either replace the overflow tube yourself quickly and easily or hire a professional plumber.

These tools are necessary for this task. A plumber’s wrench must have a large mouth opening. You will also need an Irwin wrench with enough openings for work. It can be used to adjust a crescent wrench, an adjustable screwdriver, and a pair of scissors.

Follow these steps to replace your toilet overflow tube:

  • Shut off the water supply. The shut-off valve should be located in the wall near your toilet. To close the valve, turn the knob clockwise.
  • Then, drain all water by flushing the toilet.
  • Next, take off the tank’s lid. To avoid any damage, place the lid on your tank in a safe location.
  • If the tank is still full of water, drain it. To drain the tank, lift the flapper chain.
  • To drain any water remaining in the water tank, you could use a towel, a piece, or a sponge. A towel can also be used to minimize water spillage on the floor. Check to make sure the tank is not full.
  • After the tank has been completely empty, it is possible to replace the overflow tube.
  • The water supply tube should be disconnected. Look underneath the tank to find the point where the water supply tube feeds into it.  
  • Place the bucket or basin under the supply line, and then gently pull the line out of the bottom.
  • Remove the chain from the rod in the tank.
toilet overflow tube

The toilet overflow tube keeps running

A toilet overflow tube that runs continuously is most likely due to its height. If the toilet overflow tube for the toilet is too long, water will continue to flow into the tank from the tube.

This could happen if the toilet is not compatible with the flush valve or if the overflow tube was cut too short during installation.

The only solution to a short overflow tube is to replace it. To prevent water from dripping continuously, make sure the flush valve you choose is compatible with your toilet.

An overflow tube that is too short can cause you to stop running after the normal flush cycle.

  • False float height
  • The flapper has sprung a leak and must be replaced
  • Too long a refill tube

Follow these steps to fix it.

Verify the water level

To ensure that water doesn’t flow continuously into the tank through the overflow tube, the water level in the toilet tank must be below the fill valve and the overflow tube.

You can check the water level by taking off the lid of the tank.

If water is leaking into the overflow tubes, the water level should be decreased. However, if water is not leaking into the tube, the problem is most likely with the flush valve.

Adjust the Float Rod and Float Cup

Adjust the float rod, or float cup to lower the water level in the toilet tank. Follow these steps to do this:

  • Check the horizontal float from the horizontal rod that extends from the fill valve to the float ball is the float rod.  
  • Next, locate the screw that connects the float rod to the fill valve.
  • To lower the water level, use a screwdriver or set of channel locks.
  • The fill valve is most likely to be the problem if the water keeps flowing regardless of whether the float rod or cup is in the correct position. If the water stops flowing but there isn’t enough water in the tank to flush the toilet properly, it is likely that the overflow tube has become too short.
  • Water-logged floats can also lead to constant running. If your float is clogged with water, you should place it lower in the water. If possible, remove the float and shake it. If you hear water, replace the float.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the size of an overflow tube for a toilet?

This is the hollow tube with a diameter of approximately 1 inch to which the refill tube connects. This is where the water makes up the water spot/sanitary seal and enters the bowl.

Why doesn’t my toilet have an overflow pipe?

Modern toilets will come with an internal flush valve. This is a great feature because it eliminates unsightly overflow pipes and doesn’t require drilling holes in your home. However, you should be aware of signs that your cistern may be overfilling.

How can you adjust the toilet overflow tube?

To ensure that water doesn’t flow continuously into the tank through the overflow tube, the water level in the toilet tank must be below the fill valve and the overflow tube.

To where does the toilet overflow tube drain?

The Overflow Tube can be inserted directly into the toilet bowl. This water increases the water level (refills) in the bowl. The bowl would only have a very small amount of water if it wasn’t for the Refill Tube.

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