Sponsored By Karsten’s Ace Hardware

One of the most common problems that customers walk into to our store with is “My toilet tank refills, shuts off, and then minutes later I hear it running again – where is the water going and why is this happening?”

Believe it or not, the toilets in your bathroom are pretty simple mechanisms that work very efficiently most of the time. Inside the toilet tank (under the lid where fresh water is stored) are a few basic components that can usually be easily replaced, and the MOST COMMON part failure is the FLAPPER.

With hard water and chemicals, the plastic/rubber parts of the flapper deteriorate over time and water begins to seep underneath and into the bowl. You won’t see the water leaking outside the toilet – it simply runs into the bowl and ultimately down the drain – wasting natural resources. Because of this slow draining of fresh water from the tank, the fill valve turns back on in order to keep the tank full and ready for the next flush.

Other replaceable parts include the FILL VALVE, FLOAT, and HANDLE. All of these parts can be replaced with only a couple of tools and basic hands-on knowledge.

So, let’s focus on that FLAPPER and have you leak-free in a matter of moments!

Step 1: Turn off the water
Turn off the water to the toilet by closing the shutoff valve located on the water supply line leading to the toilet. IMPORTANT: If valve will not turn, do NOT force it. If the supply valve has been installed for a long period, it may be a bit corroded internally and forcing it may break the valve causing external water leaks and damage.

If the valve is stuck, it will be necessary to replace the supply shut-off valve. In order to do this, the main water supply to the house will need to be turned off before replacing the valve.

Step 2: Drain toilet
Flush the toilet to drain the tank.

Step 3: Remove old flapper
Disconnect the flapper from the flush handle lever. Undo the clip and let the chain drop.

Step 4: Set up flapper based on toilet design
A. The most common design has the flapper attached to pegs on the sides of the flush valve. If there is one, cut off the ring on the back of new flapper, it won’t be needed.
B. If your Flapper doesn’t have pegs, use the ring on the new flapper to slide it into place over the overflow tube.

Step 5: Install new flapper
Put into place and hook each ear of the flapper onto one of the pegs on the flush valve.

Step 6: Connect flapper chain
Connect the flapper chain onto the handle lever and adjust the chain length leaving about one link of slack. When the handle lever is in the resting position, the chain should be relaxed with a little bit of slack. If there is too much slack, the chain will get caught under the flapper causing leaks.

Step 7: Turn the water back on
Turn the shutoff valve counterclockwise all the way.

Step 8: Test new flapper
Flush the toilet a few times to test the flapper and the chain length, watching the flapper go up and down.
Recommended Universal
Replacement Flappers:
• Ace Toilet Flapper (Item # 4208617, $6.59)
• Fluidmaster Black Universal Flapper (Item #426649, $3.99)
• Korky Universal Flapper Seal Repair Kit (Item #4126652, $9.59)

Ace also carries a full selection of brand-name replacement parts such as Kohler, Toto, and American Standard.