The 411 On A Toilet’s Flapper Valve

Running water and phantom flushes are all annoying issues you may face with one or more toilets in your home. Although common, these problems do require proper diagnosis and efficient repairs. While they are annoying, the problems can also be costly. As a matter of fact, a running toilet can waste gallons of water over a period of time, which affects the environment, but also your finances. Fortunately, repairing a running toilet or a toilet that flushes randomly is possible by understanding and repairing a flapper valve. This guide will help you understand the location, purpose, and tips for replacing your flapper valve.

The 411 On the Flapper Valve

Before you can understand what it does, you need to know where is.

Remove the cover of your toilet tank and set it safely aside. Look inside the toilet tank and flush the toilet.

Once you flush, notice the drain opening at the bottom of the tank. There is a rubber or plastic piece covering the drain opening, which will lift up and open up the drain when you flush. This rubber or plastic cover is the flapper valve.

If the flapper valve is visibly worn, water will still seep through the toilet tank into the bowl, which causes the constantly running water and periodic flushes. Because it is worn, it will not be able to seal the drain opening properly.

The chain connected to the flapper valve may also be the issue. If it is loose, tight, or broken, it will not provide the support necessary to open and seal the drain opening.

To determine if the flapper valve is sealing properly or not, add a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. Wait a few minutes. If any coloring appears inside the water of your toilet bowl, the flapper valve is allowing water to leak, which indicates it is not sealing properly and needs to be replaced.

Replacing the Flapper Valve

Your plumbing contractor can easily replace the flapper valve/chain if necessary. If you choose to replace this piece on your own, remove the flapper valve and chain from the toilet tank so you can take it with you to the home improvement store. This ensures you purchase the right size and type of flapper for your specific toilet.

Assemble the new flapper valve in the toilet in the same position as the original. Make sure the chain connected to the valve is adjusted properly – it should have some slack, but be tight enough that the flapper valve seals over the drain opening completely.

With just a few steps, you can diagnose and repair a worn, broken flapper valve. Visit a site like for more help.