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Flappers - The World's Easiest DIY Fix (Until It's Not!)

This week, we’re going to talk about what you would think would be one of the simplest DIY fixes, until you try it – toilet flappers!

Many of you have had a toilet that will sporadically sound like it is filling up. Whether it’s every 5 minutes or 5 hours, what the usual culprit is, is a failed flapper. The flapper in your toilet is what seals the water in the tank until you go to flush your toilet. Pushing down on the handle opens the flapper, allowing the water from the tank to rush into the bowl and subsequently down the drain!

I’ve seen it a thousand times – you correctly diagnose the issue, think “Yes! I can do this one myself!” and BOOM, you open the toilet tank and it looks nothing like you’ve seen in all of your online studies.

Many different brands have taken to designing “flushing systems” specific to their toilets. Many Kohler toilets use what they call a “Canister Valve”, older American Standard toilets use an “Actuating Unit”, and don’t even get me started on the “Dual Flush” Toto toilets. They have all have increasingly gone away from the traditional “flapper” flush. To top it off, even if you have a traditional flapper, there are different sizes!

Don’t let this stop you! If you are having trouble finding a replacement, many times there will be a parts list on the underside of the tank lid. If that’s not the case, simply take a few photos and send a message directly to the manufacturer. They are all quite responsive and will be able to tell you the exact parts you will need (some even send you a replacement free of charge!).

So next time you have a toilet that seems to be having issues like this, don’t be alarmed. While I can’t get into how to replace each flapper (we’d be here for hours), things like YouTube will be your best friend. Flappers and other flushing systems are something that are very simple and low risk to replace yourself – plus you’ll be proud of yourself when you’re finished!

That’s it for this week. I hope you all have another great week ahead!

PS – I had a ton of calls last week about leaky outdoor faucets. Make sure to give them a check when you turn them on for the first time this year. You don’t want a slow drip to go unnoticed and drive up your water bill all summer!



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