If the toilet is flushing by itself or running all the time, you might need to replace its hard plastic flapper. Usually, most people want to call a plumber to do the job. However, replacing the toilet flapper is actually a pretty simple thing to do.
Toilet Flappers and Their Function
A flapper is a part that you can find in the toilet tank. It creates a tight seal on the tube and prevents the water from reaching out. When you pull the flush lever, it rotates the flapper and causes the water to flow. However, if the flapper gets damaged and doesn’t seal properly anymore, it will cause water to run continuously. Obviously, it will increase your bills, and prevent the toilet from having a powerful flush.
Types of Flappers
There are a few types of toilet flappers, but they can all be replaced in a relatively similar way. You just need to make sure if your flapper is a tank ball, seat disc, or rubber flapper. A tank ball is a large ball usually made of rubber that seals the overflow tube. However, if the chain is the wrong length, it might not make a perfect seal. On the other hand, a seat disc is basically a plastic disc that seals the overflow tube. With the seat disc, the weight of the water will hold it open until the flush is complete. Finally, a rubber flapper is connected to the chain and is released during the flush. They work pretty fine but might cause problems if the chain length is not correct. In that case, you might need to do a few simple adjustments.
It might happen that your flapper is not damaged and that you simply need to adjust it. At first, you need to turn off the shutoff valve for water, which is usually near the floor, somewhere around the toilet. Simply rotate it counterclockwise and the water will stop running to the toilet.
Then, detach the lid and place it in a safe location. It will allow easy access to the inside of the tank. You will notice a chain that’s connected to the lever arm. Detach the pin and move it up the chain. Put everything back and test the toilet. If it’s still not working, try adjusting the pin a bit more and it should solve the problem.
Removing the Flapper
If the flapper is damaged, you will need to buy a new unit and replace the old one. However, don’t worry – it’s pretty simple to do. At first, you need to make the tank completely empty before removing the flapper. Then, turn off the supply line and flush the tank.
It might happen that the flapper falls off by itself. If that doesn’t happen, simply disconnect the pegs. Then, detach the chain from the lever, and that’s it!
Obviously, the first thing that you need to do is to buy a new flapper, but make sure it’s the same as the previous one. It will save you from any possible troubles. Then, you need to attach the flapper to the valve. Simply snap it on or align the flapper holes with pegs. Then, attach the chain to the arm, but make sure to leave a bit of slack so that it’s not overtightened.
Turn on the water by rotating the shutoff valve clockwise. The water will fill the tank, but make sure to check the water level. If it’s too high or too low, turn the screw on the fill tube to adjust it.
If that’s the case, simply turn off the waterline, drain the tank by flushing, and remove the supply hose. Detach the hose from the valve and replace the fill valve with the adequate model. Install everything back as it should be, and that’s it! However, make sure to carefully follow the manual since the replacing process might differ between models.