Toilet Flapper Valve Video
Paul's toilet is leaking or running all the time. Until recently, Paul's toilet would fill the tank and everything was fine. Now after filling, the water is running all the time. To examine the problem, Tim asks Paul to take the lid off the toilet tank. Be sure to place the toilet tank lid flat on the floor, do not lean it against the wall. A little nudge and it will slide down, hit the floor and crack in half.
Looking down into the tank on the left side, there should be an arm with a chain attached to it. In the center of the tank, there is a metal tube that comes up above the water line. Off to the left, there is either a mechanism with a ball float or a cylinder type shut-off valve.
Tim wants Paul to reach down into the water to the end of the chain. However, Paul has some concerns about putting his hand in the water tank. Tim assures him that the water in the toilet bowl tank is clean water. There is no problem placing your hand in this water. As a matter of fact, this water can be used for brushing your teeth, washing your face and shaving on those days with the water is turned off in the house. This is the same water that comes out of your faucets.
After some convincing, Paul reaches down into the tank and pulls up on the end of the chain. This raises the toilet flapper valve and allows the water to flow out of the tank. If the chain is released, the flapper valve will fall back down and stop the water flow.
The flapper valve can be getting hung up on something so it does not fall back into place or it is worn out. In either case, the water will continue to flow out of the toilet. If the flapper does fall back into place, then it is probably worn out. Head off to the store and purchase a replacement flapper valve. Be sure to get a replacement that has the flapper valve and the seat. The package will also include a putty ring so you can seal the seat. Many of these replacements have a timer cup on the flapper valve. This holds the flap open long enough to get a good flush.
To install the replacement valve, shut off the water source to the toilet. Usually located just underneath the toilet. Then flush the toilet to remove the water from the tank. Sponge out the remaining water from the tank. Install the replacement flapper valve by following the directions on the package. In most cases, this will stop the running toilet problem.
This is an easy, do-it-yourself repair. No plumber needed this time.