How to Fix a Toilet Flapper?

An ordinary or a compact toilet that doesn’t flush well can be quite frustrating. It wastes water as well as your potty time and leaves you wondering what had gone wrong. Most toilet components are easy to fix, so you don’t need to call the plumber to do it for you.

Toilets differ in models, but most toilets use similar flapper system in controlling the flush. You don’t have to get worked on how to fix a toilet flapper. Apart from adjusting the flapper chain, getting a new flapper is a great option to explore any time.

Toilet Flapper

Toilet Flapper

Do you know what a toilet flapper is? It is the rubber mechanism you see inside the toilet tank that helps to prevent water from draining. This component keeps water in until you are ready to flush after using the toilet.

When you press the lever, the action pulls on a chain which moves the flapper upwards. At this point, water gushes out and flushes the waste product.

Important Tools and Materials for Fixing Your Toilet Flapper

The thought of fixing a toilet flapper can get you nervous. Whether it is how to replace toilet flapper of American standard toilet, you can do it. Here are some essential tools and materials to get you started.

  • Hand Gloves: Fixing a toilet flapper can stain your hands and clothes. So to maintain the best possible hygiene, wear disposable gloves.
  • Waste Bag: Keep a waste bag close by to put the flapper once you remove it.
  • New Flapper: Have a new flapper ready by your side.

Steps on How to Fix a Toilet Flapper

When your toilet flapper is faulty, using the toilet becomes a burden. Instead of worrying, fixing the fault should come to mind. You will get it right if you follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open the Tank

Step 1 Open the Tank

Hold the lid of the tank, lift it upward slowly, and place it on cardboard on the floor. The flush handle is usually connected to a long plastic or metal handle. First, you need to empty the tank to carry out this task.

Step 2: Remove the Chain from the Handle

Step 2 Remove the Chain from the Handle

Put your hand inside the tank and then disconnect the chain that links the handle to the flapper. A small opening in the link allows you to do this easily. Have your gloves on when you dip your hands into the toilet tank.

Attach a paper clip to the handle and gradually straighten it out. Bend the clip until it is circular and has a small opening.

Plug the circular part to the end of the handle where the chain is located. Use a plastic-coated paper clip to get the best result and to avoid easy corrosion.

Step 3: Attach the Chain to the Paper Clip

Step 3 Attach the Chain to the Paper Clip

You now should attach the circular paper clip to the chain by passing it through the open end. Squeeze all sides of the paper clip until all spaces are closed. Tighten it after making sure to select the link that gives room for the chain to sag a little.

Step 4: Flush and Test the Tightness of the Chain

Step 4 Flush and Test the Tightness of the Chain

Press down the handle and test how tight it. Also, check if the flapper stays open while you flush the toilet. If it doesn’t work that way, adjust the paperclip until you get the ideal tightness.

If the flapper isn’t working right and the chain not tight enough, move the chain closer to the flapper valve. If the flapper is not able to seal the hole, adjust the paperclip closer to the toilet handle. Another way to deal with this is to add 1 or 2 more paperclip links. \

Best Way to Replace Your Toilet Flapper Valve

Your toilet room is one of the places you don’t want to experience the least discomfort. This is why finding out how to fix a toilet flapper is one good step. If you’re thinking about how to replace toilet flapper valve seat or any toilet flapper types, here are a few great tips.

Remove as Much Water as Possible

Remove as Much Water as Possible

Go to the shut-off valve and turn it clockwise to cut off the flow of water. Next is to press down the flush handle to push out any water remaining in the tank. Keep holding it down until all the water comes out.

Then open the lid of the tank by dipping a sponge or thick towel inside the remaining water. Squeeze out the water into a bucket and repeat the same action until the inside is dry completely. An alternative method is to use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up the remaining water from the tank.

Take Off the Water Supply Tube

Take Off the Water Supply Tube

Find the nuts on the base of the supply valve connecting to the flapper and loosen them. Use an adjustable crescent wrench while handling this area. Pull out the water tube and place it somewhere close and safe.

Do not forget to remove the old tape on the supply tube or hose. But if there is a new hose in the house, use it to replace the old one.

Take Off the Old Flapper Valve

Take Off the Old Flapper Valve

Unhook the chain connected to the flush handle lever. The lever is that horizontal bar that begins from the handle to a place above the flapper. Undo the clip on the top end of the chain and replace it with the one that comes with the new flapper.

Pull out the ears of the flapper from the flush valve tube. Flappers made of plastic will snap lose while the ones made of rubber will slide off the pegs smoothly. However, every process should be done with care to make the work neat.

Install the New Flapper Valve

Install the New Flapper Valve

Fix the newly-purchased flapper to the flush valve and link the chain to its top before connecting the remaining end. Smooth the jagged edges on the flapper with an emery cloth to make it watertight.

Reconnect the water supply pipe to the hose and switch back on the water. Wait for the tank to fill up and then cover it with its lid. Observe for a few minutes to make sure everything is working as expected.

How to Keep Your Flapper in Perfect Condition

How to Keep Your Flapper in Perfect Condition

Making good use of the toilet also means taking good care of the components. You don’t want to be disappointed when you least expect. This is why you need to keep your flapper as in good working condition.

Change Your Flapper When It Fails To Work

It is better to face issues involving water supply than waiting for the problem to grow bigger. You don’t have to throw away money by ignoring little fixing that comes up once in a while. The long-term benefit is always economical.

When your flapper is getting faulty, you will often notice some visible signs. Some of these signs are constant refilling of the tank nonstop and even low flushing power. If you have to joggle the flush handle to get it working, it is a sign that something is wrong with the flapper.

A wise action to take at that moment is to replace your flapper right away. It is recommended that you change it once in 2 or 3 years to keep your toilet in good working condition.

Check the Valve Seal Seat

The toilet flapper is not the only component to blame when your water doesn’t run as expected. Sometimes, a worn-out, split or damaged valve seal seat may be the cause. Replace it with a new one at the same time you fix a new toilet flapper to keep the section watertight.

You can find a valve seal seat comes with its repair kits at the local store. This can serve as a flexible replacement for the faulty component.

A working valve seal seat is as good as a working toilet facility. Without it, your toilet will have leakages, and you won’t enjoy your time there.

Get a Professional Plumber to Fix It

Sometimes all your effort to get the toilet working may fail. Get the help of a professional plumber to fix the problem for you. Plumbers are used to fixing various kinds of toilet issues and can diagnose what has gone wrong with your toilet.

The cost of fixing a toilet and get it running well is usually affordable. Even if you may have to replace a new flush valve, the amount may not be above $50.

A trained professional can detect what you cannot find on your own and save you unnecessary complications. You will be happy you employed the services of a trained plumber after you get your toilet running again.

Buying the Right Flapper

Buying the Right Flapper

You can easily get a brand new flapper at your local home improvement store. But to have a good experience, you need to keep these things in mind before buying.

Flapper Size

You may be aware that not all toilets are of the same size, and the flappers cannot be the same. Most toilets use flappers of about 2 or 3 inches. While older brands come with 2 inches flappers, newer ones come with 3 inches type.

You can know if your flapper is 2 inches if the tank perfectly takes in something the size of a tennis ball. When a tank takes something the size of a softball, it likely makes use of a three-inch flapper.

Flapper Material

Flappers come as rubber or plastic material. Most homeowners use rubber flappers because they fit into valves that are at angles or oddly sized. If your toilet uses a plastic flapper, it is advisable to get a new one of the same type.

If you can’t get what your flapper is made of, go to your nearest local home improvement store to find out. They will help you get the exact type or find something similar to the original flapper. You may also consult a professional plumber for quick advice on this.

How to Know When Your Flapper Valve is Faulty

How to Know When Your Flapper Valve is Faulty

One way to know that your flapper needs replacement is when water leaks from the tank all the time. This indicates that the flapper isn’t doing its job due to some damage.

Another way is to sprinkle food coloring in the water in the tank. If the colored water is gone after 30 minutes, it is a sign that your flapper valve is faulty.

You can test the working condition of your flapper by putting a heavy object on the flapper. If the water stops running, then the flapper is bad. But if the water keeps running, something else is the problem and not the flapper itself.

Replace the flapper when you are not sure the last time you changed it. It is often advisable to avoid issues growing into big problems. Toilet flappers are usually cheap and affordable.

Wrap Up

Faulty toilet flappers and valves can spoil your toilet time. But you don’t have to remain sad the whole day if you know how to fix a toilet flapper. With a little knowledge of how it works, you can get your toilet flush working as good as new.

If you have any questions or issues concerning your toilet or any component, feel free to ask. It doesn’t matter if you have a dual flush toilet, or upflush toilet type. Use the comment section to make your contribution and have a chat with us.

Keep in mind the simple ways to get your toilet flapper fixed. Here they are one more time:

  • Test the flushing power of your toilet
  • If the flushing is irregular, check the flapper
  • Test the flapper
  • Fix it right away when you are sure

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