The Tool Barn

Fixing a Leaky Toilet

Toilets have many rubber parts in the tank that wear out over time. The most common is the "flapper" that regulates how much water goes down with each flush. When a flapper is worn and can no longer maintain a good seal, it is time to replace it.  A bad flapper  is often characterized by the sound of running water coming from the tank when nobody has flushed the toilet. Fortunately, the part is cheap and the repair is simple.

New flapper
Items needed:

New Flapper

Safety Suggestions and Tips
Be sure water to toilet is off
Wash your hands thoroughly after you are completed.  This is a dirty job.
Level of difficulty

Time Required:
 15 minutes


Turn off water
Turn off water

Step 1:

Turn the water to the toilet off. There is normally a valve located behind the toilet that takes care of this. After the water is off, flush the toilet.

Remove old flapper
Remove old flapper

Step 2:

Remove the old flapper from the fill tube. Some flappers have "ears" and some have an adapter that goes around the fill tube. It is not uncommon for the old flapper to tear as the become brittle after being in contact with water for so long. The replacement will likely have both adapters. Next, disconnect the chain from the flapper to the handle.

Install new flapper
Install new flapper

Step 3:

Install the new flapper. Most replacement parts available today have both of the adapters included on one part. If your fill tube has the small prongs on it, you will likely (but not always) have to clip out the fill tube adapter (the round ring) in order to properly install it. If you need to use the fill tube adapter, carefully slide it down the tube.

Attach chain
Attach chain

Step 4:

Next you need to connect the chain from the new flapper to the handle. The chain should have some slack in it but not so much that it might become trapped under the new part. Do not forget to turn the water back on.

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