When you go to flush your toilet, you want it to work properly for sanitary reasons. A toilet can develop problems over time though so it is best if you know how to fix it. The toilet flapper is often the culprit and can be repaired in just a few minutes. This is one household repair that everyone should know how to make.
The toilet flapper is the piece which keeps water in the tank between flushes and allows it to escape when the handle is depressed. If it is not working properly, you can lose up to 200 gallons of water every day. Just imagine the water bill you will get then. This could cost you hundreds of dollars every year.
When you discover that your toilet is leaking, the first thing you need to do is locate the faulty piece. If you suspect your toilet flapper is at fault, it is easy to check this. Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. Wait a minimum of fifteen minutes. Now see if you have colored water in the toilet bowl. If so, your flapper needs replacing.
Cut off the water supply to the toilet behind the tank and flush the toilet to empty the tank. While flushing, pay attention to the chain connecting the flapper to the flush handle. You will need this during installation of the new flapper. Some flappers will be connected with a circular ring. If yours is, you need to remove the refill tube located in the overflow tube. Take the chain and disconnect it from the flush handle. Now you can remove the toilet flapper. Just slide it up and over the tube holding it. Some models will have flapper ears and those will need to be disconnected. If your toilet contains a plastic flush valve, the flapper ears may need to be bent out and then off.
Now it is time to install the new flapper. Take your old one to the hardware or plumbing supply store to ensure you get the right one. Match your old toilet flapper with the new one and purchase a new flapper chain while there. Just slide your new mechanism down the overflow tube. The ring should touch the tank bottom and the bulb should be centered on the valve opening. If you have a plastic valve, cut as directed on the flapper and then slide it on the pins as directed. You are ready to cut the water back on and flush away.
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