How to Remove the Hard Plastic Toilet Flapper

Learning how to remove a hard plastic toilet flapper is a skill every homeowner should know. When the toilet is running or flushing by itself all the time, it means you need to place the flapper. Of course, you might want to call a technician, but removing the toilet flapper is a hassle-free task.

toilet flush system with flapper

A flapper is a piece found in the toilet tank. It’s designed to create a tight seal that prevents water from running out. But since toilets differ in designs and models, so do toilet flappers. The flapper is designed to remain sealed when the water tank is full.

The flapper is typically attached to the tank lever by a chain. When the lever gets pressed, it pulls the flapper chain that later lifts the flapper. There is also a tank ball that remains floating when the tank is full. But the ball cannot float on an empty tank, which makes the flush valve seal.

But over time, cleaning products and in-tank chemicals may damage the flapper. So ensure you check it occasionally to ensure it fits properly. Otherwise, a leak may occur, leading to a waste of water. If you notice a flapper has any problem, it means you need a replacement flapper.

But how do you remove the plastic toilet flapper? This guide gives you a step-by-step guide to make your process seamless.

Before you begin the removal process, you’ll need the following:

  • A sponge and towel
  • Latex or rubber gloves
  • Scissors or pliers
  • A cup and a big container or bucket

Step #1: Turn of Water Supply

The first step is to shut off the water supply. You may shut off the entire water supply or the toilet overflow pipe only. In most cases, the water supply faucet is on either the left side of the toilet or on the wall.

Step #2: Remove the Lid

Once the water supply is off, remove the lid to access the hard plastic flapper. Keep the cover in a safe place to prevent it from getting damaged. Ensure you have your gloves on to remain safe. You can empty the toilet tank by flushing or scooping the water out.

If you’re conservative, scoop water using a small cup and pour it into the container. You may use this water to water your small indoor greenhouse.

Step #3: Remove the Old Flapper

Now comes the crucial part of removing the flapper. The first step is to remove the chain from the flush lever. After that, it depends on the type of hard plastic flapper the toilet has.

For a closed-loop toilet flapper, you’ll be required to move the entire set. Remove the lever arm towards the side you had removed the arm from. If you remove it toward the left, you’ll have to remove the left side from the peg.

With the open-loop, you’ll remove one arm. Ensure the post is kept down and removed from the post, which you have to repeat on the other side.

Step #4: Clean and Replace

With a clean cloth, sponge, or towel, clean and dry the toilet tank before installing the new flapper. The replacement flapper should be the same as the previous one. Then attach the product to the flapper valve and align of snap the flapper holes with pegs.

Attach the chain to the arm lever and ensure you don’t overtighten it. Now turn on the water supply by rotating the shutoff valve for water to fill the tank. Check if the water level in the tank is too low or too high. Next, adjust the screw on the refill tube to get the right amount of water in the tank.

The Bottom Line

The flapper reduces excess water consumption, thus lowering your utility bills. In addition, advancements in the manufacturing industry have made toilet flappers more reliable and durable than before. Therefore, if you follow these DIY guidelines, you can effortlessly remove and replace the toilet flapper.

Remove hard plastic toilet flapper

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I replace a hard plastic toilet flapper?

Like any plumbing, you need to turn off the fill valve. Turn the toilet handle clockwise, and the valve will completely turn off—flush water out of the toilet tank to using the flush valve. However, you may conserve water by scooping it out and pouring it into a bucket.

Remove the silicone or rubber flapper by removing the strap or chain from the tank lever arm. Then, with a clean cloth, sponge, or paper towel, wipe the residue from the lip of the flush valve.

Now replace the hard plastic flapper by sliding the new flapper onto the L-shaped post. Repeat the procedure on the other side.

How do you remove an old toilet flapper?

Removing the old toilet flapper is an easy and less time-consuming task. You need latex/rubber gloves, a small cup, bucket, scissors, replacement flapper, and a sponge, rag, or towel. Remove the tank lid and turn the flush valve to flush the toilet tank empty. Alternatively, you may scoop water and pour it into a large container.

Now you can access the old hard plastic flapper. In addition, you can replace the old flapper with a hard plastic flapper for durability.

How do you know if my toilet flapper is bad?

The toilet flapper, just like other pieces, can get damaged. But before it becomes completely inoperable, it will send some warning signals, like:

  • Toilet running without stopping
  • You can’t flush the toilet bowl properly
  • Toilet leaks
  • Some funny noises coming from the toilet when you flush it

Can you just replace the flapper in a toilet?

Although replacing a flapper is a hassle-free task, it’s unnecessary to replace it if it’s still functioning. But there might be reasons for replacing the plastic flapper like hard water or the use of strong cleaners.

You can also replace the hard plastic toilet flapper if you installed the wrong size or type.

How long do toilet flappers last?

Generally, a new flapper has a lifespan of about five years. However, it depends on the material used in designing the flapper. The use of strong chemical cleaners and the presence of hard water can lead to corrosion and rust. You should, therefore, be careful of cleaners.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.