Flapper Replacement In 4 Easy Steps

There are few things more frustrating with your plumbing system, than a toilet that doesn’t do its job correctly. This is an easy water leak to fix and will help you with water conservation efforts. When it comes to “how to plumbing”, repairing a toilet falls into the DIY plumbing basics. Maybe you hear that annoying running water noise every time you enter your bathroom. Or maybe your toilet doesn’t flush correctly, and the water drains poorly. Rather than assuming you have an expensive plumbing issue, it would be a good idea to check out your flapper first. Here’s how you can replace your leaky flappe r at home in just 4 easy steps .

Step 1: One of the first things you need to know about your plumbing is how to turn the water off. So, first things first, try to turn off your water at the toilet. You can do this by reaching down to the angle stop behind your toilet and turning the knob. Once the water is off check out your fill valve first. Reach down and move the fill valve up and down a few times and see if it’s making any strange noises or moving stiffly. If it is the problem might not be your flapper. After that, go ahead and flush the handle on your toilet, and hold it, to drain out as much water as you can. Some water will be left in your toilet around the bottom near your flapper, but that’s not a problem. If you can’t get the water to turn off, you may need to turn the water off to the whole house at your water meter. If you don’t know how watch this video, Click Here

Step 2: Once the water is out, go ahead and remove your bad flapper and unhook the chain from the toilet handle. Your old flapper is customized to your specific toilet, so it’s important to compare it to your new flapper to make sure you have the correct size, including the flapper chain length. You can set your new flapper chain length once you’ve removed your faulty flapper and have room to compare them side by side. If you have an ultra-high efficiency toilet you want to make sure it’s flushing the correct amount of water, so you probably don’t want to use just any flapper but make sure you have a one specific to your toilet. You can get the numbers out of the inside of your tank and contact the manufacturer to get the right toilet flapper.

Step 3: Now that you have the correct flapper and chain length it’s time to install the new flapper. This part is easy, but it can be done a few different ways depending on the kind of flapper you have, here’s how; if you have a rubber flapper with plastic clips, it will clip into place on the holders sticking out the sides of the bottom of the overflow tube. Just align the flapper and push down until you hear a clicking sound letting you know both sides are secure. Flappers with a round rubber ring are a little different. To put these flappers into place you need slide it over the top of the overflow tube and slide down until the flapper is in the correct position. After the new flapper is secured go ahead and connect the flapper chain to the toilet handle using the hook. The other type is a round washer that can be removed and replaced by rotating and lifting the float assembly and removing and replacing the washer, or O-ring-flapper-assembly in this type.

Step 4 : Once your new flapper is installed it’s important to make sure it is functioning correctly. The first thing you want to check is that there is a little slack left in the chain when the flapper is closed. If your chain is really tight the flapper might not close all the way, and that can cause the toilet to leak. Once you make sure the chain is the correct length go ahead and turn your water back on using the angle stop. You’ll slowly see the fill valve start to rise until the water is at the correct level and the fill valve shuts off. There is an adjustment screw that you can rotate to adjust the water level. Make sure the fill valve is above the top of the overflow tube but is adjusted so that the water level stops below the top of the overflow tube. You don’t want water spilling into the overflow tube and running all the time. If all these steps are complete correctly and everything looks normal you successfully installed your new flapper!

Here’s a video Roger Wakefield, The Expert Plumber, made on his YouTube Channel

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