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A Homeowner's Guide to Troubleshooting Toilet Flapper Problems

A Homeowner's Guide to Troubleshooting Toilet Flapper Problems

A toilet that continues to run after the tank has filled with water isn't exactly a plumbing emergency, but it sure can be an annoyance. A running toilet also wastes precious water and increases your water bill. If you're tired of jiggling the toilet handle every few minutes and don't want to waste water, consider these tips for troubleshooting toilet flapper problems. 

Adjusting the Chain and Flapper

When you flush the toilet, a chain attached to the flush lever lifts the toilet flapper to release water into the toilet bowl. A properly functioning flapper will fall flush back into place on the valve seat when the flush is complete, and the tank refills with water.

Problems with the chain can prevent correct operation. If the chain is too long, it may lodge between the flapper and valve seat, which results in the handle-jiggling troubleshooting technique. Shorten the chain distance to the flapper one or two links. You may need a pair of needle-nose pliers to make the job easier.If the flapper doesn't fall flush on the valve seat, you may need to adjust the flapper at the hooks. If the flapper is off center, try rotating the flush stem a hair.

Mineral Deposits

Mineral deposits on the flapper or valve seat can cause water seepage into the bowl. If your toilet runs every 10 or 15 minutes, this may be the problem. Turn off the water at the water valve behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to drain the tank. Gently clean the flapper and valve seat with an old toothbrush or scouring pad.

Worn Flapper

Inspect the flapper for signs of wear. If the toilet flapper is more than five years old or there are signs of wear, it's better to just replace the entire flush valve assembly. However, dealing with toilet problems involves water, which can quickly turn into a mess. You may want to contact a plumbing professional.

If you need assistance troubleshooting toilet flapper problems or other plumbing issues, contact the plumbing pros at Air Assurance today. We've proudly served residents of the greater Tulsa metropolitan area for 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Anna Yunak/Shutterstock”