How to Troubleshoot a Toilet Flapper That Isn't WorkingIf your toilet is making dribbling sounds or running continuously, a problem with the flapper is the most likely culprit. You can troubleshoot toilet flapper issues to end the irritating noises and costly water waste by following these simple steps.

Troubleshooting Tips for a Faulty Toilet Flapper

  • Check the chain running to the toilet handle. It needs to be the right length to let the flapper sit properly on the flush valve. If it’s too short or catching under the flapper when it’s settling into place, adjust the length accordingly, and then give the toilet a test flush to see if this solves the problem.
  • Inspect the flapper. Flush the toilet and watch if the flapper lifts up off the flush valve, then settles back fully into place. If necessary, twist the mounting ring to reposition the flapper so it’s completely sealing the flush valve.
  • Shut off the water supply, then flush to empty the toilet tank. Lift the flapper and examine the sealing edge. If you see mineral buildup on the flapper or the valve seat assembly, gently scrubbing it away with a scouring pad or brush may solve the problem. If the sealing edge appears damaged, replace the flapper.
  • Let the tank refill and take a close look at the shape of the closed flapper. If it looks oddly folded or cupped inward, it should be replaced.

How to Replace a Defective or Worn Flapper

If troubleshooting tells you a new flapper is needed, take the old one along to the hardware store so you get the right replacement. Install your new flapper with these steps:

  • Shut off the water supply and unhook the chain from the lever arm.
  • Unhook the bolts or hooks attaching the old flapper to the pipe bottom.
  • Put the new flapper in place, attach it to the pipe bottom and hook on the chain.
  • Turn the water supply on again. Test flush the toilet and make any needed adjustments to the chain length.

If you’d rather have an experienced pro troubleshoot toilet flapper issues in your Grand Traverse County home, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about toilet flappers and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Anna Yunak/Shutterstock”