Replace a Broken Toilet Flapper

by Jewellmartin
2 Materials
5 Minutes

Who, me? It’s so easy, even your cat could do it. Or not, I don’t know your cat.

Toilet running after flush.

How do you know the toilet flapper is broken? After the toilet has flushed, the tank doesn’t fill up with water, and you hear water dripping or rushing through the tank. My granddaughter said it sounded like the toilet was brushing its teeth. If you let it run for a few days, you might see a rise in your water bill. This is one of those repairs for which there is no need to call a plumber. You can fix this with one trip to a hardware, home improvement store, or Walmart.

Essential step!

First turn off the water. My hubby and son put in emergency turn off valves behind the four sinks in our house 13 years ago or so, but fortunately the two toilets already had them. Right-tighty turns the water OFF, so Lefty-loosey opens the valve. But you can tell if your valve is different by the sound.

Broken red flapper.

Over time, the little holder at the end of the rubber or plastic flapper is worn through use. The flapper is what shuts the water off from inside the tank, once the talk is full. The water keeps running until this happens. Unhook the broken flapper from the end, and unhook the long chain that comes on it. This may be messy, but one paper napkin held the wet flapper for me.

Before and after repair.

The ugly red toilet flapper lasted 13 years and only broke on the right little hook. The new one is only guaranteed for one year, but we’ll see. Directions are on the back.

One hook on, one off.

Place the new flapper over the drain hole. And put each hook over the little plastic knobs at the bottom of the long plastic pipe.

All chained up.

The attached chain then clips to the short chain and thin holed bar. Unless the chains are different sizes, no further adjustment is needed. If needed, move the old short chain up or down the bar.

Pretty in purple?

Turn the water valve to the left to allow water through to the tank. Adjust inside if the bowl is not filling up quickly enough, or too fast to get a good flush. Otherwise, you’re through! It took me 30 seconds for the repair, and four minutes running back and forth with the camera.

Suggested materials:
  • 2” toilet flapper   (Walmart)
  • A napkin   (My kitchen)
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2 of 5 comments
  • Katelyn Katelyn on Aug 07, 2018

    Thanks for sharing! I'll be sure to save this post :)

  • Diane Diane on Feb 13, 2023

    I had my toilet for 30 years and now it’s not working the right way. Do you think I should replace the toilet Or get parts fI had my toilet for 30 years and now it’s not working the right way. Do you think I should replace the toilet or get parts for it.