How to Replace a Toilet Flapper Valve — by Home Repair Tutor

How to Replace a Toilet Flapper Valve — by Home Repair Tutor

Is water leaking from your toilet bowl or
your toilet tank? You have to jiggle the handle on your toilet to make the water stop.
Hi there! I’m Jeff with Home Repair Tutor. And if your toilet keeps running, you probably
have to replace the toilet flapper valve. So stay tuned, I’ve got a ton of tricks for
you. This isn’t a hard repair, but there are some things that you should consider, and
I’m going to show you those tips right now. Let’s get to it.
The first thing you want to do is pick a flapper that has Microban technology. Microban helps
prevent bacteria from breaking down the flapper. This is a 501 flapper by Fluidmaster. And
it’s for toilet’s that have 3.5 gallons per flush. It’s for older toilets. Now if you
have a newer toilet, you want to use the Fluidmaster 502. And newer toilets have 1.6 or 1.28 gallons
per flush. And these are toilets that were made since 1994. What makes this flapper so
cool is you can adjust it to adjust the min or max of the flush. Now you can also find
how many gallons per flush your toilet has by looking on the toilet bowl.
Turn the shut off valve clockwise to turn off the water to the toilet. Flush the toilet
by holding down on the lever and most of the water will be gone after doing this, which
is great. Now in this case, I’m going to be choosing the Fluidmaster 502 flapper because
I have a 1.6 GPF toilet, so it’s a newer toilet. I’m going to take off the top of the tank.
And as you can see here, again, most of the water’s gone which is awesome.
Now all you have to do is remove the flapper from the right tab of the overflow tube, and
then remove the left portion of the flapper from the left tab of the overflow tube. You’ll
have to remove the chain from the toilet handle arm. And that’s it.
As you can see here, there is some bacteria growth on this flapper. And that can cause
the flapper to distort and create a bad seal with the seat of the flush valve. So you’ll
want to clean that seat really good in case you have hard water because if that seat isn’t
smooth—and you’ll want to feel it with your finger—the flapper won’t seal properly.
As you can see here, there’s Microban in this flapper which will help prevent the breakdown
of the flapper due to bacteria. And you can adjust the 502 flapper from min to max. So
I want a maximum flush capacity, and that’s why I turned it the whole way to 9. Take that
flapper. Put it on the flush valve seat. Press down on the left side to get it on the left
tab. And then press down on the right side to put it on the right tab.
Now you want to adjust the chain to have about ½” of slack. Attach the chain to the arm.
Then all you need to do is trim off any excess chain so that it doesn’t get caught between
the flapper and the flush valve. Turn the shut off valve on and allow the toilet
tank to fill with water. And a good rule of thumb is to have the water level about 1″
below the overflow tube. Flush the toilet and make sure that the flapper goes up and
down smoothly, that the chain doesn’t get caught between the flapper and the flush valve.
And that there’s a good seal between the flapper and the flush valve. That good seal will make
the water stop eventually in your toilet tank. Now at this point, I decided to clean the
toilet. Fun times… fun times… The soap suds in the toilet bowl allow me
to see whether or not there’s a good flush. And as you can see here, all the water is
removed from the bowl. So that flapper valve is good. And all you have to do is put the
top of the toilet tank on and you’re done. Well that’s it. That’s how you replace a toilet
flapper valve on a toilet that keeps running. Pretty easy, right? Can I get a high five…?
You’re leaving me hanging… See if I can do it, you can do it, too. You’ll
be able to save a lot of money on your monthly water bill by buying just a $5 piece of equipment
known as the toilet flapper. So that’s it for today. Thank you so much
for joining me. Remember, if you haven’t already done so,
you can click on the subscribe button at YouTube. That way you’ll see all my videos that come
out every single Friday. And you can head out on over to and sign
up for the email newsletter. That way you’ll be updated on my weekly tips that come out,
again—you guessed it—every single Friday. So take care. Have a great day. And I’ll see
you in the next video. Can I use the toilet now? Yes.

38 thoughts on “How to Replace a Toilet Flapper Valve — by Home Repair Tutor

  1. Great tutorial. Helped me replace my flapper with confidence. Just changed it today following these instructions. Yay, all is good again toilet wise 🙂 

  2. Jeff patterson
    awesome info I am fixing a friends toilet its leaking your video is awesome subscribe to my channel I will be uploadong a video of the repair

  3. Sorry for aking but what other stuff do you have on your toilet?

    I have that awfull ball that rises up and i noticed that you have a different system
    What is the name of the thing you are using?

  4. Thanks! so much 🙂 I saved over $500 by doing it myself. A plumber told me to replace the whole toilet. What a rip off!

  5. Whoda thunk there's so much to fixing up the crapper. I was going to buy a whole new assembly but all I need is a quality turd flapper. Thanks dude.

  6. Great video! Unfortunately, I replaced my flapper, but now I have to hold down the handle for a couple of seconds in order for the toilet to fully flush (whereas before I replaced the flapper, I didn't have to hold down the handle). I tried shortening the slack of the chain (so now it is very taut), but the problem is still occurring. Any suggestions?

  7. 2:13 is that just a normal sponge you're using to the clean the flapper valve seat? or is there a certain amount of grit to it?

  8. Great and easy instructions. I'm waiting for the plumber who replaced the fill valve and REUSED the flapper which must be ages old (more than twelve years, and possibly a decade more). Of course, the water was still leaking. I'm angry since he told me he could "repair" the flush, which I told him I could also, and then told him I wanted ALL NEW since my toilet is from the 1940's and I'm betting so was the old fill valve. Next time I'll replace the flapper myself, I think at 70 I can still manage to do better than the "39 years of experience" plumber. I'm betting rip off old lady, so she has to call again.

  9. don't plug the hole in the bottom of the flapper valve. plug the hole in the side of the red flapper valve or any valve. you get a little more power on the flush.

  10. I have a toilet that was bought in Canada some time ago and it has 3.5 gpf. What kind of flapper would be best for this toilet?

  11. Thank you! Excellent video. My toilet is no longer making noises. I
    did have another issue that this video didn't address all the way and
    that is the water level in my tank was too high. You said where the
    water level should be, but didn't explain what to do if it the water level is too high, which I found out is a common issue that's easily fixable.
    If your water level is too high all you need to do is lower the float on the left of the tank by turning the thing that looks like a screw counter clockwise.

  12. thanks! 🙂 Although I already knew how to do this but I haven't done it in a long time and as you had said in your video, "newer tanks need this.." and I have one, so I didn't want to mess something up! 🙂 still easy, just like before! …and you finished off with a positive vibe, so I know I get this done myself without having to call a plumber dude to rip me off.. you wouldn't believe how bad our hardware stores are here in SC with the "are you sure you know how to use that screwdriver, miss?'re just a woman." < yes, they've actually said that. (one guy even used a clothes iron as an example for fixing something) : If they only knew that I do most of the damn repair jobs around my house. 🙂 (and damn proud of it) thanks again! 🙂

  13. Thanks for this. Saved me $100 by not calling the plumber. Just a $6.00 flapper…and that was the premium one! Easiest fix ever. Took more time to cross the street to my local Home Depot than it was to attach the new flapper. WOW!

  14. great video….the plumbers in canada are thieves….scamming people with unnecessary repairs…i did this fix and it cost me $5..two plumbers wanted me to replace the toilet…fucking a holes…thanks

  15. I'm sure something else will need to be fixed in my home. Today it's my flapper. Thanks for the great video.I'll check your videos first before I need help!

  16. Thanks for this! After watching the video I was able to fix the running toilet that has been plaguing me for months. So easy!

  17. I have a toilet of the brand Universal-Rundle, and the Flapper has hard plastic at the hinges, so I can't remove the Flapper easily. It seems like I have to use cutting pliers to cut the hard plastic to remove the Flapper, but what if the Universal Flapper doesn't fit? I need to replace the Flapper only because the flush lever connects to the Flapper by hard plastic also (instead of a metal chain), but over time, the hard plastic "fatigue" and broke at the point where hard plastic connects at the top of the Flapper. I could use some Gorilla glue to glue it back but the Gorilla glue swelled under water, and the glue can fail to attach to the surface of the hard plastic and the top of the Flapper. Maybe using a plier to cut the hinge of the old Flapper is a better way (just hope that new Universal Flapper will fit). I wonder why the Universal Rundle brand is not made to be easily repaired. Many plumbers suggest just replacing the whole toilet… would cost about $200 for the new toilet and $300 for the labor.

    P.S. I watched and it turned out that semi-hard Flapper can be removed in that video, and it worked to remove the Universal Rundle one (this one is 360 degree surrounding the hinge)… and fortunately, the universal Flapper also fits. I just had to cut the hard plastic dangling and hook the extra chain to the top hook so it is not dangling which otherwise could block the 2 inch flushing hole.

  18. Ok I found the flapper 502….1.6….. BUT there is another measurement Im not sure about…2'' flapper? 3"…3.5''? is that the flush value seat measurement? Or the total flapper size?

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