How to replace and buy a toilet flapper

Greg shows how to remove the flapper valve in the bottom of the toilet tank and what to look for when purchasing a replacement.

You would want to replace your flapper if it is leaking water from the tank, into the bowl. You would have determined this by use of a dye test (see this video on finding toilet leaks). A leaking flapper can waste hundreds of gallons of water over time, which is not good for your budget or water conservation.

A major cause of flapper failure is drop in bleach tablets and blue water tablets which damage all the rubber parts in the toilet tank, you should not use them.

Once the flapper is removed, you'll want to take it with you to the harware store/home center to find the replacement part. This is because when you get there you will find a daunting variety of replacement flappers and flapper seal rings, and you'll want to be sure to get the exact one. If you buy the wrong one, your toilet may not flush properly, or it may use more water than its design - therefore wasting water.

This assumes that the flapper you are removing is the correct one to begin with. If it was a replacement part, and you're not sure it was a correct one, you may need to seek professional advice, the toilet's owner's manual, manufacturer website or other resources to be sure that you get the right one.

Also shown in this video are common installation mistakes made and how to avoid them, including:

  • Improper flush chain adjustment
  • failure to remove unneeded parts from universal replacement flappers


Time to complete 10 min, plus a trip to the store
Materials Replacement kit for the appropirate flapper
Costs Replacement flappers are usually inexpensive
Skill level easy
Troubleshooting Re-run dye test if needed to be sure the problem is solved.