What You Should Do If Your Toilet Flapper Isn't Flapping

Published: 16th July 2010
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Without special training, you may be able to fix some of the common problems with toilets. However, before starting, you need to understand the mysterious inner workings of an average modern toilet. When a toilet gets flushed, the tank water refills the bowl within a few seconds through the flush valve. This valve is then sealed by the flapper, or what used to be called the flush valve seat ball.

As the tank refills, the weight of the water pushes down on the flapper and seals it tight. The flush valve is the flapper's ball shape piece which measures two and one half inches wide. The flapper is hinged on an upright overflow pipe that is on the side of the valve. A tiny chain attaches the flapper to a trip lever which you can move with the outside handle.

Toilet's most typical problem is the flapper (flush valve) leaking. This causes the fill valve to run every so often. At times, there might only be a piece of foreign material stuck on the flapper or on the discharge opening where it's sealed. You can simply wipe the stuck material away and the leak should stop.

However, rubber flappers do wear out from different causes and let water leak into the toilet bowl. You can have the it replaced by a reputable plumbing company in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, you may do the repair yourself, since flappers generally don't cost very much and are sold in most hardware stores. Don't delay getting the flapper replaced.

The toilet won't completely flush if the flapper shuts too fast. Check to see if the flapper is correctly hinged over the overflow tube, then look at the length of the chain and tug it tightly. Finally, remove a single link off the chain and gently reattach it. If replacing the flapper doesn't help, the situation may be more complicated so call a professional plumber in your area that has lots of experience.

A low flow type of toilet runs 1.6 gallons of water every time you flush. Regular flows use nearly 3.5 gallons of water in toilets. Shower heads with low flow run nearly 2 and 1/2 gallons per minute. That is instead of the 4 to 5 used by conventional shower heads.

Every year, when an toilet leak gets ignored, nearly 80,000 gallons of water may get wasted. Checking your toilet is smart, both economically and environmentally. Older flush ball valves for tanks are available for homes as well. If you prefer more up-to-date parts, you may use plastic parts with a rubber flapper instead.


In the Joliet and Orchard Park Illinois area for Joliet plumbing visit Courtesy Plumbing at Plungeit.com - Plumbing service available 24/7/365. Call 877-758-6448 - http://www.plungeit.com

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