Most of us have had to deal with a nagging toilet not holding water and constantly running. Not only is it aggravating listening to it but it hits us in the pockets when our water bill comes in the mail. Fortunately, replacing a flapper is inexpensive and can usually be taken care of without the help of a plumber.
First, lets make sure the flapper is the problem. This can be done by simply putting pressure on the flapper. If the water stops running with pressure and starts right back up again when let go you know the flapper is the culprit.
Start by cutting the water off to the toilet. Find the water supply line near the base of the commode and turn the valve on the wall all the way to the right. Once you have the water shut off make sure you flush the toilet until there is no water in the tank, usually once will do the trick.
Now you are ready to move on to some repairs! Carefully remove the flapper. Most flappers are held in place with tabs attached to pegs on the overflow tube and a chain attached to the flush handle lever. Simply slide the old flapper off of the pegs attached to the overflow tube and unclip the chain from the flush handle lever. The chain will be replaced with the new flapper.
Any of your local hardware stores should carry several different styles of flappers. Most replacement flappers have a list of compatible toilets listed on the packaging. But beware! There are lots of options to choose from because of this it may be beneficial to carry your old flapper along with you from comparison.
To reinstall the new flapper simply follow the instructions provided on the packaging. Just like removing the flapper, you will only have to hook the ears back into the pegs and clip the chain back to the flush handle lever. The most important thing to get correct here is the length of the chain. The chain should be lax with just a slight bit of slack in it. If the chain is too tight you will not get a good seal around the flapper, too loose and it could catch on the flapper not allowing it to drop back into place.
Now that you have the new flapper in place cut the water back on to the toilet. Test your work by flushing the toilet a couple of times. Once you have confirmed the flapper is holding simply replace the tank lid and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
Hopefully this has helped you make your own plumbing repair. If you are still in need of service do not hesitate to give R. A. Styron at call to schedule with one of our experienced plumbers. We can always be reached on our website here or by phone at 757-420-5488