How & When To Change A Toilet Flapper Valve

How do you know when you need to change your toilet flapper valve? The most common inexpensive sign is a weak flush in your toilet. The signs can be more expensive when you hear running water in your toilet due to frequent refills.


Common toilets have a diameter of 2”, but be sure to double check when you install that the flapper valve fits and stops after a quick flush check.  


Some of the top brands that we recommend are: 


Now that you have shopped and purchased your new flapper valve, let’s walk you through on the next steps of “How to Change A Toilet Flapper Valve.” 


  1. Taking out your old flapper
    1. Let’s get started by turning off your water to the toilet by turning off the valve which is commonly beside or behind the toilet on the left hand side. 
    2. Once the toilet valve is turned off, flush the toilet to get rid of any water in the tank.
    3. Remove the chain that is attached to the flapper valve. Once that is detached, detach the chain from the trip lever so the chain does not accidentally fall into the toilet. (Only detach the chain from the trip lever if the new flapper came with a new chain.)
    4. Once the chain is removed, grab the flapper and pull out from the sides which will be attached to two pegs on the side which helps the flapper align. 
  2. Installing new flapper valve
    1. Once you have unpackaged the flapper, place the flapper in the tank and align with the two pegs. Make sure the flapper sits perfectly before you move to the next cue.
    2. There should be enough tension in the chain connecting the flapper to the toilet handle lever to open the valve easily when the toilet is flushed, but not so much that it pulls or weakens the seal. Give the handle a push and see how the action feels. You may need to change the position of the chain a few times to get a perfect flush. 
      1. From an experienced plumbers perspective “when adding the chain link and setting up the tension, set it on the third link, that is a good rule of thumb.
      2. More force will be required to depress the handle when the tank is full. Right now, you’re just feeling a comfortable range of motion.
      3. Don’t let the chain have enough slack where it would be pulled under the flapper when you flush the toilet.


If you have any difficulties installing your flapper or this doesn’t fix your problem with weak flushes or running water, call Option One Plumbing today to fix your toilet needs.