Troubleshooting Common Toilet Flapper Problems

A toilet flapper is a rubber mechanism in the toilet tank that opens to allow water out of the tank and closes to let it to refill. Many average households have to deal with several common toilet flapper issues discussed below.

Readjusting the Toilet Flapper

If the flapper closes too quickly, the quantity of water inside the tank is not sufficient, and water left in the toilet bowl is below the proper level. To deal with it, you may try readjusting the flapper to make it stay open longer. To correct this, remove the back cover of the toilet and check the length of the flapper chain. If the chain is longer than needed, remove it, pull it and loosen by one link.

Replacing the Toilet Flapper

Over time, in-tank chemicals and cleaning products damage the flapper. Check it every year, making sure that it fits tightly over the flush tube. Otherwise, a leak might occur, resulting in a waste of water that may cost many dollars a year. To find out if the flapper is to blame, you can put a dye tablet or a teaspoon of food coloring inside the toilet tank. If you have colored water in the bowl in 20 minutes, you may also have a problem with the flapper and you need a new one.

Follow the instructions below to replace your toilet flapper.

Step 1: Turn Off Water Supply

Turn off the water supply to your toilet with the help of the valve located behind the toilet. The water supply valve is the only valve coming from the toilet. If do not have such a valve, turn off the water supply to the house.

Step 2: Disassemble

Drain the tank. Take down the lid of the toilet tank and drain the water out of it. Remove the flapper and look at bottom of the tank where you will see the flapper valve linked to the water supply tubes via two arms. Unsnap the two arms from their posts and then remove the flapper chain from the arm that links to the flush handle.

Step 3: Clean

Clean and dry the inside of the tank with a cloth before installing the new flapper.

Step 4: Piece Together

Attach the flapper chain to the arm that connects to the flush handle. Hook the chain so it stays at the proper length in order to seal water into the tank when it closes, allowing water out when opens.

Step 5: Restore Water Supply and Do Necessary Adjustments

Turn on the water supply. The toilet tank should fill in with water. If it doesn’t or if you find leakages, jiggle the flapper until it matches properly. You may also check the chain length.

Helpful Tips When Choosing a New Toilet Flapper

Toilet flappers are inexpensive but there are dozens of brands and the right choice is not an easy one. Do not dispose of the old flapper or al least make sure that you know the brand of your toilet. It is usually printed on the toilet bowl. Buy the same brand: it will match better and work longer.