Toilet flap sometimes hangs and toilet keeps running!


Old 12-28-14, 09:26 AM
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Toilet flap sometimes hangs and toilet keeps running!

When I flush the toilet, it is very inconsistent. Sometimes, the rubber flap will close down and the toilet flushes normally. However, what I'm noticing is that the flap is beginning to stay up after the flush, causing the water to continue going down the drain and the toilet water keeps running. I'm not sure what is causing the flap to stay up and I'd like to know what to do. The only way I'm able to fix this for now is to lift the toilet cover and manually push the flap down.

I tried turning off the water to check it out, but when I turn the knob below, the knob just goes round and round but doesn't stop. I've attached a photo of the inside of the toilet with the flap along with a photo of the knob underneath.

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Old 12-28-14, 10:45 AM
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I'm not a Plumber by any means; but I think those flappers just rely on the original rubber mold to snap them back into their original horizontal position. Over time, rubber fatigue sets in and they don't automatically snap back as they did when younger. It's an easy fix because the flapper just has holes in it that stretch to fit over little nubs at the base of the overflow tube.

I can talk about this because I'm a Real Estate Broker and I just recently gave a fresh new "flapper" to a couple women as a Closing Gift . . . . they intended to buy a whole new toilet because they knew the toilet was continuing to run at their new purchase.

A new flapper shouldn't set you back more than $3.00 . . . . even cheaper if you shop around. And I think flappers still fall in the category of "one size fits all" !
Old 12-28-14, 12:41 PM
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Unless you notice the flapper catching on the pull cord just replace it.
Old 12-28-14, 06:05 PM
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Agreed with above. However, one size does not fit all. You need to get that valve fixed. You have no way to shut off the flow of water to the toilet. Ideally you want to bring the old flapper to the store match it up with a new one. Some are universal but that's not entirely true.

To get back to the faulty valve. Pick a day that you have about 2 or 3 hours. Shut off the watet to the whole house. Empty toilet with flushing and bailing. Remove old valve and replace with a new 1/4 turn in either a Shark Bite, solder, compression or screw-on valve. Then turn on water and open new valve. Now when you have a toilet problem you can fix it and still have water in the rest of the house.
Old 12-28-14, 07:14 PM
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The only problem with Norm201's answer is if someone replaced the flapper with the wrong one previously. Get Manufacture and mdl # before you go for a replacement flapper.
Old 12-29-14, 08:11 AM
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In case you don't have the tools or skills to cut out your valve and put in a new one, here's a quick-and-dirty fix for a running toilet. Watch the toilet tank as it refills after flushing. Figure a way to stop the dingus that does the filling so it stays where it's full - wedge it with an old toothbrush, or stuff a rag in it, something to make it unable to go to its "refill now!" level. Go buy a flapper at the hardware store or plumbing shop - fortunately it won't break the bank, so a trial-and-error process won't be too burdensome. Flush the toilet and jam the works so it can't refill. Use a plunger or toilet brush to force the water out of the toilet bowl on down into the drain. Inside the tank, use a little piece cut from the green scrubber cloth on your kitchen sink to rub around the edge where the flapper seats, be sure it's not been made uneven by accumulated liming. Change flapper. Hook in new chain where old one was, adjusting length so flapper will lie flat but can easily be raised for flushing. Restore filling process to normal. Flush toilet a couple times - if it works, you're done. If not, pick up a different flapper when you get time and repeat the above process. Throw away the little piece of green scrubber cloth. (Last time I did this, I bought the more expensive flapper - $5, I think - since that ought to be the best quality, right? When I got home I found it wanted me to dial in a couple numbers, based on what brand of toilet I had - and mine's anonymous, no brand anywhere I could find! - so I just left the dial at the factory settings, and it works.) ........... I figured out this amateur process when I found that my shut-off valve is stuck open - overpainted that way - and this process is a whole lot cheaper than a plumber's call. (I do know where the shut-off valve for the whole house is, and it works, so that's what I would use in case of a bathroom flood.)

Last edited by marynurse; 12-29-14 at 08:16 AM. Reason: clarity
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