19 October 2012

Stop a Running Toilet

A toilet that runs and runs and runs is more than just an annoyance. It can be a real drain on your pocketbook not to mention the unnecessary waste of water. One common reason for a constantly running toilet is you may have a worn and/or damaged flapper that doesn't allow for a proper seal after the toilet has been flushed. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates a defective or stuck toilet flapper can consume 200 gallons of water per day...you can do the math using your local water charges to see what that might cost you. Plus, wasting water just isn't cool, soooo.....

While it might seem a daunting task, it really is an easy fix to replace a flapper yourself, which could save you $100 or more depending on what your local plumber might charge.

First thing to do is determine the type of flapper you'll need. Flappers are customized to the brand and even sometimes the style of toilet. The surest way to purchase the correct flapper for your toilet is to remove the one currently in your toilet and take it to your local home improvement or hardware store. With that, I'll begin by  showing you how to remove the old flapper:

1. Shut off the water at the valve by toilet. 

2. Lift the lid off the toilet's tank.

3. Flush the toilet to empty the water from the tank. 

4. Here's the old and much damaged flapper.
This is what you'll remove so you can replace it with the new flapper.

5. The flush lever holds the chain that lifts the flapper.

6. Disconnect the chain from the flush lever.

7. Remove the flapper totally by removing it from the overflow. The overflow is the tall,
plastic part in the center of the tank. The flapper itself has "hook" type ends on each arm that
simply snap off and/or onto the overflow allowing it to securely attach to the overflow.
Pop each arm end up from the overflow. 

8. The old, faded flapper is now out. Take this part to your local
home improvement or hardware store and ask for the proper replacement for it. 

The toilet being repaired here is a Kohler 2-piece, so I'm using the
Korky Toilet Flapper - purchased from Home Depot

9. Once you've got the correct flapper, putting it in is simply a matter of working backwards
from how you removed the old. Here, the new flapper is being securely attached to the overflow by making sure the hook ends of each arm of the flapper are snapped onto the overflow at the base. 

10. Attach the chain to the flush lever, adjusting the chain length so there's
just enough slack for the flapper to sit flat on the flush opening. 

11. Slowly turn water valve back on.     

12. Give a couple test flushes to make sure everything is working properly.                

13. Re-install the tank lid.

And done!


  1. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!
    Plumber Birmingham, Al

  2. Wow this such a great article and the tips are very comprehensive. I love your article.
    Plumber Alabaster, Al