If your toilet flapper is making a lot of noise, then there may be a problem.
Excessive noise coming from your toilet can be a sign of a leaking toilet flapper, which wastes water and is pretty annoying to have to listen to.
However, you don’t need to call a plumber just yet!
There may be a way you can fix your leaking toilet flapper entirely by yourself in just four simple steps!
We will discuss all in this article, so if you currently have a leaking toilet flapper, then read on for more!
What Does A Toilet Flapper Look Like?
First of all, we need to clearly establish what a toilet flapper looks like so you know exactly what you are dealing with.
So, the toilet flapper is a hard plastic or rubber valve seal situated in the middle of the toilet tank, right at the bottom.
Typically, it will be attached to an arm via a chain, which is also connected to the handle of the toilet.
Once the handle has been pressed, the arm will lift the chain and the flapper will open.
Once it has been opened, water will go into the toilet bowl, which is what creates the flush.
When the toilet flapper has closed, no water will be able to get through it. Unless, of course, it starts to leak.
Why Is The Toilet Flapper Leaking?
Your toilet flapper could be leaking for many reasons. Let’s check some out in more detail below.
An Outdated Flapper
If your toilet flapper is outdated, then it will become less efficient.
This is especially true if there is a lot of sludge and dirt build-up that has not been cleaned.
Drop-In Toilet Cleaners
By dropping in various chemical cleaners into your toilet tank, it can cause silicone, plastic, or rubber flappers, even those that are resistant to chemicals, to deteriorate at a much faster rate than usual.
This means they should be a last resort cleaning method, especially if you don’t want a leaking toilet flapper.
Hard water contains minerals that will often leave a residue behind that will stick to the toilet (Check out How To Get Rid Of Toilet Ring? Fast Results) flapper and eventually cause it to crack, warp, and need replacing .
It is a good idea to consider a water softener for your toilet to try and prevent this from happening.
Bacteria In The Water
It is very common for bacteria to cause issues for your toilet flapper.
So, it is a good idea to invest in a flapper that is antifungal, anti-corrosion, and hard-water resistant beforehand so you can prevent these leaking toilet flapper issues from happening.
Fixing Your Leaking Toilet Flapper In Four Steps: What You Will Need
It may seem complicated to fix or replace a leaking toilet valve, but it is actually incredibly easy.
However, first, you will need to make sure you have the following items:
- Mineral-removing cleaner
- Old towel
- Replacement toilet flapper (if necessary)
- Once you have all of these items, you can move on to fixing or replacing your leaking toilet flapper!
Fixing Your Leaking Toilet Flapper In Four Steps: The Method
Here are the steps that will help you fix your leaking toilet flapper!
Step 1: Determine If The Toilet Flapper Valve Is Easy
This step seems obvious, but it is a very important one to establish.
The first thing you need to do to fix your toilet flapper is to determine if it is actually leaking.
So, the first thing you will need to do is place some food coloring in the toilet tank.
Leave it a few minutes, it is important not to flush the toilet just yet.
If you notice the water in the toilet bowl changing color, then this is a huge sign that there is a leak in the tank and it is bleeding out into the toilet bowl.
The most common cause of a leaking toilet is a flapper valve that has been worn over time.
Step 2: Turn Off The Water Supply
The next step in fixing your leaking toilet flapper is to turn off the water supply.
For small repairs such as this one, the best way to turn off the water supply is to turn the supply valve so it faces the toilet or faucet.
If the repairs are bigger and necessitate the water being switched off for the entire home, then it is best not to do this part yourself, but to involve a plumber to ensure that the job is done correctly and you do not face further problems in the future.
However, for leaking toilet flappers, you can simply turn off the toilet’s water supply via the valve without having to turn the water off anywhere else.
You may find the supply valve difficult to find. It is usually located under the left part of the toilet tank and is typically quite low down.
It is important to note that you need to be cautious when you are turning off the toilet tank supply valve, as these handles are prone to breaking off (Check out this Step-By-Step Guide For Replacing A Toilet Handle), which will cause you a whole new host of problems!
Additionally, after you have carefully turned the handle, it is best to have a towel ready to make sure you can easily soak up any drips.
Once you complete this part, you can go ahead and flush the toilet so the water completely drains from the tank.
Step 3: Replace Or Clean The Toilet Flapper
The next step can look a little different, depending on how badly damaged your toilet flapper is.
So, the first mini step of this third step is to check over the flapper valve. It needs to be smooth and clean.
Step 3, Option 1: Replacing The Leaking Toilet Flapper
If you notice that the flapper valve is warped, pitted, cracked, or dried out, then it cannot be cleaned or fixed and needs to be replaced.
Here, you will also need to check for any cracks that may be in the flush valve.
The flush valve is what the toilet flapper will seal against.
It is rare that cracks will appear in the flush valve, but if you find this to be the case, then you may need to replace the entire toilet.
This is especially true if the toilet is old and you cannot find the parts to replace the toilet.
Step 3, Option 2: Cleaning The Leaking Toilet Flapper
If your toilet flapper valve is simply dirty, such as having a buildup of algae or minerals, then it can be cleaned and does not need to be replaced!
It is important to clean it because this is what is causing the toilet flapper to leak – it cannot close properly due to the dirt!
So, you will need to take an old rag and clean away all of the dirt build-ups.
Sometimes, you may find that the dirt is difficult to clean and if this is the case, you will need a liquid specially designed to remove minerals.
If using one of these substances, you should always follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
And, while you’re at it, you may as well clean the entire toilet tank, too!
Step 4: Checking The Toilet Flapper Chain
The last step in cleaning the leaking toilet flapper is to check the flapper chain.
So, before you change the tank lid, you will need to check over the chain that links the arm of the toilet tank and toilet flapper together.
It is best if there is a certain amount of slack to the chain.
This is because if the chain is too tight, then the flapper can sometimes remain open and this will allow leaks to continue, solving no problems.
However, if the chain has too much slack, then it can get caught between the drain and the toilet flapper, which will again cause a lot of different problems.
What To Do If You Are Struggling To Fix A Leaking Toilet Flapper
If you find yourself struggling to follow the steps and fix the leaking toilet flapper, then this is okay!
However, it is best to call a plumber in this instance to ensure that the job is done properly and no further problems are created.
A leaking toilet flapper can be loud and can waste a lot of water, which is very inconvenient and bad for the environment.
It can be caused by various factors, such as bacteria or minerals in the water that corrode the flapper valve overtime, the chain that connects the flapper to the arm being too light or too loose, or the fact that the flapper is old and is coming to the end of its lifespan.
However, they are very easy to fix. All you need to do is follow the steps above and your flapper will be as good as new!
However, if you notice your flapper is warped, dried out, or cracked, then it will need to be replaced.