How to Change a Toilet Flapper
A toilet flapper is a simple device that is an essential part of the toilet. The toilet flapper is the valve that opens and closes creating the rush of water needed to flush your toilet. However, if the flapper is faulty and is allowing water to pass it by then a toilet flapper can cost you a lot of money. A faulty toilet flapper can waste up to 100 gallons of water a day. That’s 100’s of gallons of fresh clean drinkable water literally being flushed down the toilet. Over time that can cost you hundreds of dollars.
Sometimes you can’t even tell that there’s a problem with your toilet. It may be slowly leaking without you even noticing it. We suggest putting some food coloring in the tank of the toilet and allowing it to sit for about a half hour. If you see the color show up in the bowl then you know that your flapper is allowing water to pass by it.
If your flapper is leaking here’s what you should do:
Turn off the water at the isolation valve.
This valve is located on the wall back behind your toilet. If you do not have an isolation valve you can either work with the water running or shut the water off to the whole house.
Flush the toilet to get the water out of the tank.
This is not an absolutely necessary step but it is nice to not have to put your hands into the cold water to do the repair.
Remove the flapper from the toilet.
Unhook the flapper from the flush valve and unhook the chain form the toilet tank lever. The flapper will normally bend and slip over some ears on the flush valve (like the picture below) but it if you flapper is made of hard plastic it will snap on to the ears.
BRING YOUR FLAPPER WITH YOU.
Bring your flapper to the store or to us at LeVahn Bros Hardware Hank so that you can get the correct flapper to put back into your toilet. Not all flappers are the same. We carry dozens of different models and many of them are specific for certain toilets.
Reattach the flapper to the flush assembly and to the flush handle.
Make sure to adjust the chain for the flapper to the proper length. The flapper cannot be too tight or it may not allow the flapper to fully seat properly. Making the chain too loose may allow it to bind up when the toilet is flushed.
Finally, listen for leaks to make sure that your flapper is working properly.
You could also put more food coloring in the tank to test it again. If you find that it is leaking try cleaning the rim of the flush valve that the flapper seats up against.
If you feel like you need more help or aren’t up to the challenge you could contact us at LeVahn Bros Plumbing and Hardware Hank and we can try explaining things further or we can send out one of our licensed professional plumbers to do it for you.