Toilet Flapper Troubleshooting in Your Bathroom – Sobieski Services | DE, NJ, PA, MD

Toilet Flapper Troubleshooting in Your Bathroom

Toilet in Public Restroom

A variety of common toilet malfunctions can be traced to the toilet flapper. This large rubber or plastic valve is located in the bottom of the toilet tank. When the flush handle is pressed, the flapper opens to release the contents of the toilet tank into the the bowl and initiate flushing. As the flapper closes, the tank refills. Problems relating to the flapper usually have to do with leakage, improper flush chain length or obstructed operation of the toilet flapper.

Leaky Flapper

A worn or deteriorated flapper valve doesn’t seal properly, leaking water from the tank into the bowl. Placing a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank can reveal a leaky flapper if the color becomes visible later in the bowl. The main symptom of a leaky flapper is the on/off sound of the fill valve automatically adding water to the tank at intervals to compensate for leakage. Replacement of the flapper is a straightforward procedure that can be handled by any plumber.

Tangled Flush Chain

The chain from the flush handle to the flapper valve opens the valve when the handle is pushed to initiate flushing. A tangled chain may prevent the flapper from closing fully. This allows a constant flow of water from the tank into the bowl, potentially wasting thousands of gallons of water a month. Adjusting chain length to eliminate excess slack that causes tangling is the remedy.


Objects placed in the toilet tank such as bowl cleaner products or bricks, bottles or other objects intended to displace tank volume and conserve water may shift position over time and obstruct proper sealing of the toilet flapper. Placing solid objects in the tank is not a recommended water conservation method. To reduce flush volume, ask a plumber to adjust the fill valve level.

At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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