If you have a toilet that intermittently flushes on its own, or you can hear water running, the problem may be an old leaky flapper valve. The flapper valve is basically a large rubber or silicone check valve that prevents water from constantly seeping into the toilet bowl. It opens to allow water to enter the toilet bowl, but then closes to seal off the flow. Replacing a flapper valve on a toilet is easy to do if you follow the simple instructions in this do-it-yourself video.
There are a couple of different types of flapper valves available. If you have water with a normal PH value and do not use any chemicals in the toilet tank, an inexpensive rubber flapper valve may work well. However, if your water tends to be alkaline (such as in the Phoenix area) or you use chemicals in the toilet tank, a better quality chemical resistant flapper valve made of silicone would be a better choice. Chemical resistant valves are slightly more expensive, but are more cost-effective in the long run.
- A flapper valve and chain kit.
Steps To Replace a Toilet Flapper
- Turn off the water to the toilet. There should be a small valve on the wall or floor beneath the toilet tank.
- Remove the lid on the toilet tank.
- Flush the toilet to empty the water from the tank.
- Disconnect the flapper chain from the flush lever.
- Remove both sides of the flapper from the pegs on the overflow tube and remove the old flapper.
- Wipe the seat of the flush valve with a cloth or paper towel. Sometimes you may find a buildup on the seat that prevents the valve from sealing properly.
- Place the new flapper valve on the seat and connect the two sides to the pegs on the overflow tube. Make sure the flapper is centered over the flush valve seat.
- Connect he chain to the flush lever. Most flapper valves come with a chain with a small stainless steel clip. The flapper valve should be closed and there should be a small amount of slack in the chain.
- Turn the water supply back on and let the tank fill completely.
- When the tank is full, press the flush lever to test the new valve. The valve may stay open for a few seconds after releasing the flush lever, but should close on its own and seal the flow of water. If the valve is not closing properly, check the chain to make sure it is not hanging up, or adjust the slack until it operates properly.
- Replace the tank lid.