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What’s Causing Your Toilet Issues? Troubleshooting Tips for the Flapper

If the flapper valve in your toilet is leaking, not only can it waste large amounts of water, but it can also cause distracting noises as the toilet continues to run after it’s flushed. Using these toilet flapper troubleshooting tips, you can quickly and easily get your toilet back in working order:

  • Shut off the toilet’s water supply by turning the valve, usually located on the wall just behind the toilet, completely clockwise.
  • Remove the toilet’s tank cover and place it somewhere safe; it can easily be broken.
  • Depress the flush lever and watch the flapper as the water drains out of the tank.
  • If the flapper doesn’t seat all the way into the valve seat when the tank is empty, disconnect the chain from the flush arm and lengthen it. The chain is too short or the arm may be bent.
  • Check the valve seat and the underside of the flapper for dirt and mineral accumulations. Carefully clean any debris off both surfaces with an old toothbrush or a scrubbing pad.
  • Make sure the flapper is properly mounted. If the flapper can move side to side, it may not seal correctly. Adjust the mounts if possible.
  • Check the flapper for surface damage, such as cracks, cuts or other problems. If the flapper is damaged, or if its mounts are broken, replace it. Disconnect the chain connecting it to the flush arm, then unhook the mounting arms from the mounting bolts or clips. Mount the new flapper and connect the chain to the flush arm.
  • Test your work by turning the toilet valve counterclockwise. When the tank is completely full, flush the toilet and make sure the flapper closes correctly. Wait a few minutes to make sure the toilet shuts itself off correctly.

If you’re still having problems after following these toilet flapper troubleshooting tips, feel free to contact our plumbing experts at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions for assistance. We’ve been serving Orlando and the surrounding areas since 1969.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about toilets and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Anna Yunak/Shutterstock”