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Last Updated on January 11, 2023 by acechapman
Your toilet may run indefinitely after you flush it. This could be caused by a malfunctioning flapper. It can be very annoying, especially if you hear the water dripping at night. If your toilet is running water, but not flushing, it’s time to replace the flapper. This guide will show you how to remove a hard plastic flapper from your toilet so that you can replace it seamlessly.
Why is a toilet flapper important?
A toilet flapper is an important component of a toilet’s flush valve. It controls the release of water from the tank into the toilet bowl when the toilet is flushed. The flapper, which is typically made of rubber or plastic, sits on top of the flush valve and seals the opening to the toilet bowl.
When the flush lever is pulled, the flapper lifts up and allows water to flow into the toilet bowl, which then flushes the waste out of the toilet. Without a functioning flapper, the toilet would not flush properly, resulting in poor performance and potentially wasted water.
Different Types Of Toilet Flappers
There are three types of flappers that you can use on a toilet: rubber, metal, and plastic. It is easy to identify the type of flapper that you have by removing the top from the tank and inspecting the inside. The process of removing the flapper will vary depending on its type.
When Should You Replace A Toilet Flapper?
Your toilet flapper may need a new replacement if your toilet isn’t flushing or doesn’t turn on and off. The flapper, a rubber seal that blocks water from getting into the toilet’s hole and prevents it from leaking, is what you need to replace. It opens when you turn the handle to flush the toilet tank. If the flapper is damaged, it may not seal properly and water may continuously leak.
Here are some signs your toilet flapper might be leaking and need replacement:
- The toilet tank will not fill up completely.
- Toilets run intermittently between flushes. The toilet bowl is drained into the bottom by water that runs from the top of its tank to the bottom.
- Sometimes water can seep into the toilet bowl.
- Toilet water can run intermittently or for longer periods than normal.
- Between toilet flushes, a lot of water runs down the toilet bowl.
- Low flushing power and a hissing sound when the toilet tries to flush after a flush.
- When you jiggle the flush handle to stop the toilet from completely flushing, the flushing continues.
Rubber flappers wear out over time. They become less durable and stop sealing well. Let the flapper dry while you switch on the water supply. This is often the case with older flappers.
How to remove a toilet flapper?
Below are the steps to follow if you have to take out a flapper from the toilet:
- Turn off the water supply for the toilet.
- Next, take the top off the toilet and flush it. You don’t have to remove the chain linking the flush lever and flapper if you can locate it easily.
- Then, remove an open flapper by removing the plastic arm from the post holding the overflow tube.
If the flapper has easily-removable arms, slide the loop that holds it in place from the post as far as you can. If removing the flapper from a regular toilet is difficult due to the shape of the toilet and its hardness, you can use a small knife to cut through the plastic flapper arms. You can easily remove the plastic flapper and install a new one.
A toilet that leaks water from its flapper can cause your toilet to malfunction. This is a common problem that frustrates many people with their toilets. It is simple to replace a hard plastic flapper from a toilet, even if your plumbing skills are not the best.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to removing a hard plastic toilet flapper
Turn off the water
Locate the water supply valve before you do anything else. It’s usually located inside the toilet tank. This small handle is located on the pipe connecting the toilet tank to the floor. A water line feeds into the pipe. To stop water from flowing to the toilet, turn the valve handle clockwise.
Take out the tank lid
Remove the toilet tank lid, and place it in a secure location where it will not get in your way or cause any damage. The flapper should now be visible after you have removed the toilet tank lid. It is a small, black object that fits around your flush lever handle. Toilet flappers are usually placed between the toilet’s side and the tank’s bottom. The chain runs usually from the flush lever to the top of the flapper. To flush the toilet, turn the handle and the flapper will rise.
Flush the Toilet
To empty the tank, flush it with water after you have removed the tank. The main water supply will be shut off at Step 1. No more water will enter your tank. It may take several flushes before the tank is completely empty. You can hold the handle down until you see the tank flapper drain completely.
Unhook the Flapper chain
Once you have flushed the toilet as dry as possible, you can start to remove the flapper. Start by unhooking your flush handle chain. Next, move to the top of your toilet tank. You can usually remove the end of the chain with a small clip. You should not attempt to remove the flapper by removing its chain. Some toilets don’t do the same.
Take out the Flapper
The flapper is held in place by two arms. This assembly gives the flapper a hinge that opens and closes automatically when you flush the toilet.
You can remove the flapper from the support post if you find open loops in the arms of the flapper. With one hand, hold the flapper against the toilet post, and with the other, try to lift its arm upwards with your other hand.
If this fails, you will need to remove the flapper’s arms. The flapper will fall off the toilet tank when you take it out. You can simply remove the flapper from its arms. Continue this process until you remove all four arms from the post. Your flapper will detach eventually.
Flappers with closed loops at the arms of their flappers will not come out if you pull them down. To free the flappers’ arms, you will have to cut them. The flapper will stop being flexible and able to move through the toilet if it is too old. To let the flapper slide off the toilet, you will need to remove its arm.
The flapper should be pulled to one side. Next, push the toilet posts in the opposite direction. You can then repeat the process on the opposite side until the flapper is removed. Start on one side, then move to the other. Next, move to the opposite side of the toilet.
You can get rid of hard plastic flappers by following the three steps described above. Rubberized toilet flappers can harden over time so it is possible for some flappers to no longer bend or flex as intended. To ensure smooth removal, it may be necessary to cut through the flapper’s arms.
Are Toilet Flappers Universally Acceptable?
Toilet flappers are typically universal, meaning they are designed to fit most standard toilets. There are various types of flappers, including those made from rubber or silicone, and with various sizes, shapes and designs that are usually compatible with most toilet models.
However some toilet brands, models, or manufacturers use their own designs, sizes, or shapes of flappers, in this case, you may need to find a flapper that is specifically designed to fit your toilet, that you can find either on the manufacturer’s website, or home depots. It is always recommended to check the brand, model, and type of your toilet before purchasing a replacement flapper.
What is the reason why the flapper has sprung to life?
It is likely that water has leaked from a valve and is now entering the bowl. This leak is usually found at the valve’s mouth, where the flapper should be sealed properly. Gently lift the flapper and push your finger along any hole where water might be spilling out of the flush valve.
Is it possible to remove the flapper from the toilet without turning off the water supply?
It is always a good idea not to turn the water on first before you change the flapper. However, you can do it in minutes.
How often should you replace a toilet flapper?
Your toilet flapper will need replacing every 4 to 5 years. To prevent water damage from leaking, it is important to replace the toilet flapper as soon as you see any damage.
Can I put Vaseline on my toilet flapper?
Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, can be used as a lubricant to help the toilet flapper seal properly. However, it may also collect dirt and grime and can be difficult to clean. Some plumbers recommend using a silicone-based lubricant instead, as it is more water-resistant and can be wiped clean more easily.
Keep in mind that before using the lubricant, you should turn off the water supply to your toilet, then flush the toilet to empty the tank, and this would be the right moment to replace the flapper if it is old or damaged.
It is best to press the lever down if it is a hard plastic flapper. It should slide across the overflow tube and outward when it comes out of the toilet. Sometimes, flappers can become harder as a result of aging. If the flapper won’t let you unhook it or is stubborn, use a utility knife to carefully remove the main body as well as the attached arms.
Toilet flappers can help you conserve water by reducing water consumption. You can also save money by having your monthly bills reduced by a significant amount. Professional help is often recommended, but this is not necessary. Follow our DIY instructions and you will be able to remove the flapper from your toilet.