Are you having issues with your toilet? Let Champion Plumbing identify the issue and fix it when you call 405-889-1318!
If you’re like many homeowners, you may not think much about your toilet flapper. However, this small component is integral to keeping your toilet functioning properly. A worn-out toilet flapper can lead to a wide range of issues, including leaks that could increase your water bill.
A warped flapper can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, costing you hundreds of dollars yearly. Flappers deteriorate over time due to in-tank cleaning agents and chemicals used by utility companies.
Knowing when to replace your flapper will help you avoid issues with your toilet. But how long do toilet flappers last?
Champion Plumbing, Edmond’s toilet repair and installation services provider, explains everything you need to know about toilet flappers.
What Is a Toilet Flapper?
The toilet flapper is the component inside the toilet that allows water to flow out of the toilet tank into the toilet bowl when you flush. Also known as the flush valve seal, the rubber disc attaches to the bottom of the overflow tube by mounting arms that hook onto ears on each side of the overflow tube.
When you flush the toilet, you pull the chain attached to the flapper, causing the flapper to lift and let water flow out of the tank to the toilet bowl. As the toilet tank empties, the flapper sinks, blocking the opening and allowing the tank to refill.
A leak in the flapper can lead to costly water damage. You can identify such leaks by listening for the continuous trickle sound or a surge of water on top of the tank. While you can sometimes fix this problem temporarily by simply jiggling the handle, this remedy eventually becomes ineffective, subjecting you to more serious leak issues.
How Long Do Toilet Flappers Last?
While toilet flappers are quite durable, it comes a time when they need replacement to ensure efficient function. The average toilet flapper lasts about four to five years before it requires replacing. It’s critical to replace your toilet flapper as soon as you notice constantly running water to avoid damaging leaks.
Common Signs Your Toilet Flapper Needs Replacement
If you hear the water running continuously in the toilet tank or if it takes too look to fill, you probably need to replace the flapper or the flush valve. Another sign that it’s time for flasher replacement is when the toilet flushes on its own occasionally.
If you’re unsure if your flapper is worn out, add some drops of food coloring to the tank at the back of your toilet. Don’t flush the toilet. If the colored water trickles into the bowl after about a half hour, call in a professional plumber to replace the flapper.
How to Replace a Toilet Flapper
When your toilet flapper nears the end of its life or exhibits other signs of disrepair, don’t hesitate to replace it to avoid serious issues down the road. Flapper replacement is an easy process that you can quickly accomplish by following these steps:
Cut Water Supply to the Tank
The first and one of the most important steps in replacing the toilet flapper involves closing the water supply line. If the valve appears weak or corroded, turn off the water at the main instead of the supply line.
Once you cut the water supply, flush the toilet to empty the tank. An empty toilet tank ensures a stress-free replacement process without any mess.
Get a New Toilet Flapper
Toilet flappers differ based on your toilet’s make and model, so it’s critical to buy the right type. Consider bringing your old flapper to the store to ensure you’re getting the correct replacement. The cost and replacement process are similar for most types of toilet flappers.
Prepare the New Flapper
It’s critical to set up the new toilet flapper to fit your toilet’s design. You may need to cut off the ring if your toilet has a flapper that attaches to the side pegs on the flush valve tube.
If your toilet doesn’t have the pegs, leave the ring intact. You’ll use the ring to slide your new flapper over the overflow tube.
Install Your New Flapper
Depending on your toilet’s design, you can install the flapper by hooking each ear to the flush valve’s side pegs or sliding it over the overflow tube. Next, you must attach the flapper chain to the handle lever.
You can adjust the chain’s length if necessary. Ensure the chain has some slack when the handle lever is in a rest position.
An excessively tight chain can prevent the flapper from closing completely. Conversely, excessive slack on the chain can prevent the toilet flapper from dropping down.
Turn the Water Back On
After installing the new flapper correctly, turn the water back on. Testing the flapper and the chain length several times is critical to ensure everything works as it should.
Simply flush the toilet several times and observe how the flapper behaves. If it opens and closes correctly for every flush and the chain doesn’t get caught, you’re good to go.
Give Champion Plumbing a Call Today
Now that you know how long toilet flappers last and how to replace them, you shouldn’t ignore a worn-out or leaky flapper. You should replace your flapper as soon you notice a sign of malfunction. This action will prevent the leak from escalating to a bigger problem, potentially causing costly damage to your property.
Have you replaced your toilet flapper but still experiencing problems? Or are you not confident performing the task yourself? If so, consider contacting a professional.
At Champion Plumbing, we have years of experience installing American Standard toilet flappers and flush valves in the OKC metro and surrounding areas.
Our highly trained and friendly technicians answer questions like “how long do toilet flappers last?” and commit to making your repair as stress-free as possible. Call us today at 405-889-1318 or book an appointment online for a professional toilet flapper replacement or to learn how to deal with an overflowing toilet.