How to replace a toilet flapper and line

How to replace a toilet flapper and line

Replacing a Toilet Flapper and Line: How to Replace Guide

The most common problem with the standard toilet is continuously running water fixtures, even after the flush cycle is complete. A broken toilet flapper can waste multiples gallons of water if not fixed.

The issue happens because the rubber seal of the flapper softens or hardens over time. Therefore, the valve can no longer seal properly—Resulting, in continuous water draining from the tank into the toilet bowl.

The flapper is made of plastic that wears out over time, causing the excess of running water into the toilet bowl. If the toilet has the same problem as discussed, it’s time to change the toilet flapper.

What is Toilet Flapper?

The rubber seal that turns on and off the flush valve to keep water in the toilet tank when the flush lever is pressed is called Gravity Flush Toilet or Flapper.

Materials and Tools Required

  • A Pair of Pliers
  • Toilet Flapper with Lift Chain
  • Bucket
  • Heavy Duty Cutter

6 Steps Guide for Replacing Toilet Flapper and Supply Line

Step 1: Remove the Water

                       remove toilet water                         

Start by turning the valve to the right to switch off the water supply. Now, remove the lid from the toilet tank and flush the toilet until most of the water has drained. Then dry vac any remaining water in the tank. Then suction the remaining water in the toilet bowl.

Step 2: Remove the Water Supply Line



Take out the remaining water by detaching the water supply line from the tank. Water will start pouring down. Thus place a bucket so that water won’t splash on the floor. Put seal tight pressure on the top valve inside the tank while taking the nut off.

Step 3: Remove the Existing Toilet Flapper


Separate the flapper chain from the flush lever handle. The lever is sited above the flapper. Disconnect the hook of the chain into the hole on the handle. Drop the chain, and replace this later as the new flapper will install.

Take the valve out and remove the old flapper. Slide from side groves of the flapper extending from the sides of the flush valve tube. As flapper is made of hard plastic, the groves will loosen up easily.

Even if the flapper is of soft rubber, the side groove will remove without difficulty. Clean around the flapper seal and tank as much as possible.

Step 4: Arrange the New Toilet Flapper

Attach the seal on the flapper tube. Then adjust the height of the flapper tube, the same as the toilet tank. Put the fill valve in the same hole where the previous one was placed.

From the bottom outside, firmly tie the bolt with the help of pliers. The valve should be fixed in the same place as the previous one.

Step 5: Attach the Fill Valve and Tube



Connect the tube line to the fill valve and the toilet. Cut off the excess tube if needed with a heavy-duty cutter.

Now, clip the flapper into the hole and hang each side on the flush valve. Then attach the flapper chain hook to the handle lever one of the holes. Change the chain length as required.

Step 6: Put New Supply Line


Put the 3/8 compression fitting right on the water valve. Tight the line with a plier. Connect the line to the toilet tank as well by tying the bolt firmly.

Finally, turn on the water and let the toilet tank fill. Adjust the fill valve direction if needed. Check the tank’s water level and change it as per requirement by turning the float valve to the right, which will bring up the level a little bit.

Now, close the lid of the toilet tank and test the flush one or more times. Clean around the toilet as the work is completed.

Important Toilet Flapper Repair Tips to Keep in Mind

Fill Valve Direction

Put the hook face of the fill valve towards the handle lever direction. As later, the lift chain and tube will be connected to the hook. The direction of the valve will decide the water flow inside the tank.

Tube Line Valve

The tube connected to fill valve and overflow tube has a valve that controls how much water actually goes into the toilet bowl.  Sometimes water-filled too much, that wasting water.

Keep the check of how much the valve is open. Therefore, less wastage of water will be noted.

Flush Lever Hook

While connecting the hook of the chain line to the lever hole, be attentive to placing the hook. Make sure the hook is secure and attach to the hole.

Check Your Toilet Model Flapper

Always better to know the model of the existing flapper before purchasing a new one. So no confusion and mismatch can happen. Check the factory parts and buy similar from any hardware shop.

The flapper kit rate varies from store to store. Nonetheless, it will cost around $20-$30 but not more than that. Though, the toilet flapper is still cheaper than the labor of a plumber.

Length of Lift Chain

If the lift chain is too loose, it can get caught under the flapper. Similarly, if the chain is too tight, the flapper will not close completely and prevent it from fully sitting in the flush opening valve.

How Much a Plumber Charge to Replace a Toilet Flapper?

Plumbers can charge around $80/hr to fix your toilet, or through this guide, you can save your money up to $55. By replacing the toilet flapper, at home can cost around $25.

Flush leakage can waste so much water as the toilet functionality depends on flushing. The simple yet most important replacement of the toilet flapper and water supply line can save all the struggle.

Flapper wears out is a common problem that can be solved with less than an hour of work. Anyone can do this with a simple understanding of the working steps.

For a visual explanation, check out the video talking through each working step for replacing the toilet flapper and line.


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