What You Should Know about Toilet Flappers

Water leaks are annoying, regardless of where they happen inside your home. They occur when you least expect them, but once they do, they cause all sorts of problems unless you take care of them promptly. Toilet leaks mostly happen in the water supply line, wax ring, and flapper. However, flapper leaks are the most common of these in a majority of the cases. A defective flapper is tricky because you cannot hear the water dripping into the water bowl. It is, therefore, crucial to fix toilet flapper leaks by calling a professional plumbing service and preventing the wastage of water while ensuring you have quality flush every time you use the toilet. What are some things you must know about this small but vital device in the toilet system? Read on to know. 

What Is a Toilet Flapper?

A flapper is a valve located inside the toilet bowl that sits on top of the flush valve. A chain connects it to the lever. When the water moves from the tank into the bowl, the flapper gradually descends until it sits on top of the valve again. When the water moves from the tank into the bowl, the flapper gradually descends until it again sits on top of the valve. Once the flapper stops the water entry into the bowl, the valve refills the tank with water, preparing it for the next flush. 

Types of Toilet Flappers

Toilet manufacturers mostly use a combination of rubber and plastic to make the flappers. Since plastic is relatively rigid, it connects the flapper to the overflow tube, while the rubber prevents water from exiting the tank by creating a seal over the valve. Most of them vary between two to four inches in size, though you will also come across universal-sized ones in the hardware stores. However, what flapper size you should use depends on various factors. Modern toilets work best with three or four-inch flappers, while 1.6 and 1.28 gallons per flush toilet require three-inch flappers. Seat disks, tank balls, and rubber are the three most popular types of flappers you will find in most bathrooms. 

Seat Disk

These are the oldest valves and consist of a small circular disk that covers the overflow pipe, thus preventing the water from escaping through it. Once you flush the toilet, it exposes the overflow pipe. But because of their size, people have replaced them with tank balls and rubbers. 

Tank Ball

Tank balls sit atop the overflow pipe, and once you flush the toilet, a chain lifts the ball off the overflow pipe, allowing the water to pass through. Before using this device, you must ensure the length accuracy of the chain holding the ball. 


Most toilets use rubbers nowadays because they are convenient and practical. Their working mechanism is similar to a tank ball, whereby a chain attached to the rubber lifts it when you flush and, once complete, drops the cap to its original position.

How Will Your Plumber Fix the Flapper?

You can call a plumber to fix a defective flapper. They will start the process by locating the shut-off valves and stopping the water supply to the toilet. Once they drain the tank by flushing it, the plumber will remove the old flapper by detaching it from the prongs and replacing it with a new one. Once they adjust the chain to the desired length, they will run a flush test to check for water leaks. 

It is advisable to call a professional plumbing service to fix toilet flapper leaks because you might lack the expertise to correct the problem. They will replace or repair the flapper and stop the water leakage quickly.

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