Plumbing leaks, faucets left dripping and toilets that won’t stop flushing can all add up to a major water drain in your Calgary home. In the case of a toilet, endless water cycling is usually caused by a fault in the toilet flapper. These issues are often simple to fix, but can be expensive if left unaddressed, so it pays to know a bit about toilet flapper troubleshooting.
The flapper is a rubber plug inside your toilet tank that is connected to your flush button or lever. When you flush the toilet, the flapper unplugs a pipe, allowing the tank to drain, flush the toilet and refill the bowl. Normally, as the water level in the tank lowers, the flapper sinks down to plug the pipe so that only a set amount of water is used. If the flapper doesn’t plug the pipe again, the tank will continue draining even as it refills. Following are a few ways to remedy the issue.
- If your toilet tank is continuously draining, check to make sure that the chain attached to the flapper isn’t tangled. The chain needs to be long enough to allow the flapper to sink down to its resting position.
- Inspect the flapper itself for tears, corrosion and size. If it isn’t large enough or doesn’t make enough contact with the pipe walls, it can’t stop the flow of water.
- Flush the toilet and observe the flapper function. When it settles down as the water drains, it should move directly into the pipe and plug it up. If it’s not positioned correctly, adjust its position so it’s not hitting the walls of the pipe or otherwise misplaced.
- If there’s any residue or grime on the flapper, clean it with a rag or soft brush. Your toilet tank fills with clean tap water, but sediment from the tap can build up on the flapper and interrupt the seal.
- Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners placed in the toilet tank, as these can cause your flapper to degrade.
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