How to Replace a Toilet Flapper

The Toilet Flapper is a valve at the bottom of the toilet tank. You may need to remove it in the case of it leaking water in the bowl of the toilet from the tank. If you notice such occurrence it is advisable that you fix it as soon as possible. Buying a replacement flapper is not very costly, replacing it is even easier. If you know the make and model of your toilet, you can easily buy a replacement flapper at your nearest hardware store. Alternatively, if you do not; then you just need to remove the old flapper and take it along with you to the store. The whole process will take less than 10 minutes, and a trip to the store. And the good thing is, it is, quite easy, anyone can do it, and here is how to.

  • Stoop the water supply. You can either simply turn of the valve located at the back of the toilet, somewhere below the tank. Or if you want to be super sure and/or the particular valve is stuck, just turn off the water supply for the whole house, it won’t take long.
  • When you flush the remaining water, make a note of the length- of the distance between the flapper and the flush handle. Keep this distance in mind when you are installing the new flapper.
  • In some cases, the flapper might have a circular ring, about the tube. In such a scenario – get rid of the refill tube, away from the overflow tube. If there are no rings, then just ignore this step.
  • Now, to remove the flapper; firstly take out the chain from the flush lever. Now, gently take out the damaged flapper from the top of the overflow tube. In case the flapper is attached by means of flapper ears, unhook them from the tube. Some newer models have to be removed by bending the flapper ears out of the pins on the flush valve. Don’t worry, you’ll figure out what to do when it is in front of you.
  • Now is the time to make that trip to the plumbing supply store. Although taking the old flapper along with you is a solid step, knowing the Toilet’s model no. and manufacturer info might be a good idea. Especially if the current flapper itself, was a replacement too.
  • In case you do not know the manufacturer’s name, you can hope to find it; in the vicinity of the seat hinges- on the outside. Mostly the name is stamped there. As for the model no.; look for it in the tank interiors, on the backside perhaps.
  • The new flapper should not cost you much. You might also want to get yourself a beaded metal flapper chain replacement. It is recommended.
  • Now do the opposite of when you were removing the flapper. Place it over the overflow tube and push it down till the ring of the flapper is in direct contact with the bottom of the tank. The bulb of the flapper should be directly above the valve opening. In case of plastic valves, with a different make, follow the instruction on the packaging.

Make sure you have done everything properly and turn on the water supply back again to check out your handiwork. In case it is still not working then try getting an expert opinion. Leaking and damaged flappers lead to lots and lots of water being wasted. It is bad for the environment (Duh!) and also makes a dent in your pocket in the guise of the water bill. Hope this guide helps you in avoiding all that.

  • January 16, 2017
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