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How to troubleshoot and replace a toilet bowl flapper.


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How to change a flapper:

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Many toilet flappers look alike, and in many cases a basic corky universal flapper will do fine, but some toilets require a specific flapper , a universal flapper just will not work. Many American Standard toilets, old and new need a specific flapper, Kohler toilets in most cases require a unique flapper, for the specific Kohler toilet you have. Not all Kohler flappers will work on other Kohler toilets.
To turn the water valve off , turn this handle clockwise till it stops. It's not a big deal if the valve does not stop 100 percent
This is an old universal flapper, it got damaged by bleach drop in tablets. Drop in bleach tablets and blue water tablets damage all the rubber parts in the toilet tank, you should not use them.
This old flapper is less then 1 year old it was the same color as the new one I will be replacing it with.
Click on any image to see a larger image. Notice how the front of this flapper is rippled, this was caused by either hot water in the toilet or bleach drop ins
This is a universal rubber flapper, in most applications part of the flapper will need to be cut off,
Use a sharp knife to cut the rubber, cut away from your self.
This is what it will look like with the piece cut off.
At the bottom of the tank notice the two little pegs sticking out of either side of the overflow tube.

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This website is designed and run by: Thomas Petito Reardon: a Master Plumber.
Hooking up the chain to the
flush handle. adjusting the chain is important, too little slack will prevent the flapper from sitting properly and will cause the toilet to run
Hook  both sides of the flapper to the pegs and test to see if the flapper moves up and down freely. Leaving too much slack on the chain will cause the flapper to slam shut once you release the handle, causing you to have to hold the handle till the toilet flushes completely. Play with it till you get it just right. once you are sure the chain is connected correctly, you may need to tie up or remove the excess chain because it can get caught on the flapper keeping it from going back down

American Standard seat disks. Older American standard toilet have an actuator in place of a flapper. it looks like a big black thing with a round tube on top that the chain attaches to, when you flush this toilet the actuator seams to lay on it's back for a few seconds and then drops back down, and the tank refills. On the bottom of this actuator is a rubber disk, this disk is what you need to replace, there are two kinds of disks, one snaps on and the other screws  on. most stores sell a disk that can be used for either. Screw or pull the old one off (this is a very dirty job The black comes off on to your hands) clean the seat and put the new one on, test a few times. You are done. 


By Thomas Petito Reardon
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