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How to Replace a Toilet Tank Flapper

September 24 / 2021

How to Replace a Toilet Tank Flapper

Your toilet might just be the most used appliance in your household or building, so it pays to know about its components and how to make minor repairs and replacements. Of course, Rooter Hero Plumbing is always ready to help when you need professional service. However, we are also here to help by providing tips and guides. In this short article, we will go over replacing the toilet tank flapper. A faulty flapper can make bothersome noise and waste thousands of gallons of water per year. The repair is simple, so let’s get to it as soon as possible.

What Is the Toilet Tank Flapper?

Your toilet has two primary components: the tank where water and other components are housed and the bowl upon which you sit. The toilet flapper is located in the toilet tank. It is a rubber seal that shuts the flush valve to keep water in the toilet tank. When you pull the toilet lever for a flush, the flapper is lifted, allowing water to rush from the toilet tank into the toilet bowl.

Detecting a Damaged Flapper

The consequence of a damaged or worn flapper is a toilet that runs constantly. This leaking can end up costing you hundreds of dollars in wasted water every year, so it will pay you to have the flapper replaced as soon as possible.

However, a running toilet does not necessarily mean the flapper is damaged. Remove the toilet tank’s lid and carefully place it somewhere secure. Look down into the bottom of the toilet tank and you should see a rubber flap, usually red or black, connected to a chain which connects to the lever. When you pull the lever to flush the toilet, the lever should lift up the flapper to allow water to rush into the toilet bowl.

If the flapper lifts but does not re-seal the flush valve, and if water continues to trickle into the toilet bowl, then you must replace the flapper.

Replacing the Flapper

Assuming you have the replacement flapper and lift chain in hand, let’s get started on the replacement which is a quick and simple process.

Turn off the water supply by rotating the shutoff valve counterclockwise. The shutoff valve is usually located behind the toilet near the bottom. Next, pull the flush lever a couple of times to drain the toilet tank. You can also hold the lever down to release all of the water.

Now, you can clearly access the old flapper. Disconnect the damaged flapper from the flush handle by unclipping the chain from the lever and remove the flapper from the flush valve. Take your new flapper and put it into place, then hook it onto the pegs of the flush valve. Connect the new chain to the flush lever and you are done.

Turn the water back on and test the new flapper by flushing a few times. Watch to see if the flapper is sealing sufficiently. If you are having issues, you can always call Rooter Hero Plumbing to have a nearby plumber come by.