What is a toilet flapper: types and sizes? The Best Answer

Toilet flappers help you to flush your toilet. They open when you flush and release the water. They close off the toilet tank and can be opened by pushing on the flushing button. They are generally made out of plastic and rubber. In standing toilets, they are quite easy to replace as you just have to open the toilet tank. In hanging toilets, they can be harder to reach. 


Toilets have a tank that stores water. This allows them to add more pressure when you flush. This pressure is needed to make sure that the toilet is clean after you have flushed. It is possible to adjust how much water you use per flush. 

If your toilet leaks, it is generally a problem with the toilet flapper. 

Toilet flapper types and sizes

Toilet flapper in standing toilet

Toilet flappers are generally connected to the flush with a small metal chain. It is possible to adjust the length of this chain. This can help you to save water or add more water per flush. You should flush with enough water to make sure that the toilet is clean so don’t make the chain too long. It is cheap and easy to replace a toilet flapper. You don’t need tools for this as it often will click inside the holder.

It is an easy 4 step fix:

1/ Close the water supply to your toilet. This is often done by turning a valve next to your toilet. If you don’t see it, you might have to close a valve somewhere else in your house. Each house is unique so you might have to spend some time looking around. If you really don’t find a valve, you can always shut off the main water supply. This is often found outside or in your garage. 

2/ Open the toilet tank. It is possible that you have to open up a screw but often you can just lift it up.

3/ Locate the flapper. Remove the chain that connects it with the flush. Once this is done, you can click the flapper out of its holder.

4/ Click the new flapper inside the holder. Be careful when you do this so that the holder doesn’t break. Connect the flapper with the flush using the chain and test it. Once this is done you can close the toilet tank again. Give it a few flushes to make sure that it works correctly. 

Flappers generally last about 5 years. If you don’t clean your toilet tank or use harsh chemicals to do so, the rubber might have to be replaced more often. Don’t push the flush too hard as this can break the chain around the flapper. It is best to check what flapper you have before starting the repair. Once you have removed it, it is not easy to use the toilet anymore. You can do it by using a bucket to flush the toilet but this is not very convenient. Therefore it is best to be prepared when you perform this repair. 

You can get a flapper that is made by the manufacturer of your toilet but generic ones often work quite well. This is a cheap part so there is no reason to spend more than 15 USD on it. Most flappers are 2 inches but newer models can be 3 inches.

Toilet flapper in hanging toilet

These flappers are smaller and harder to reach. Depending on the brand, you might have to use another approach. It is often possible to Google the name of brand of the toilet and the model number to find out how you can replace the flapper. This can be found on the inside of the cover plate.

It is generally be done by opening up the toilet tank. This is done by lifting the plastic piece with the flush (you might have to use a knife to remove some paint or silicone). Once this is opened, you will have to locate the flapper. Before we work on this though, we will have to close the water supply. There is often a knob inside the toilet tank to do this.

Turn this around counterclockwise to close the water supply. Be sure to do this as the water will keep flowing when you remove the toilet flapper if you don’t do this. The sensor is feeling that the water supply is low and will send more water. This can make it messy to repair the toilet. Once this is done, we can move over to the next step.

 Most brands use a click system to remove the toilet flapper and you can slide it out of the toilet. The flapper is often a rubber ring on a piece of plastic. Replacing this ring can work. In some instances, you can just turn it around and it will work again as well. This type of flapper doesn’t have a chain to connect to the flush as the plastic piece is pushed to open up the flapper. 

To conclude, we can state that toilet flappers are an essential part of your toilet. They hold the water in the tank and release it when necessary. This makes sure that there is enough pressure to flush the dirt away and clean the toilet bowl.

Toilet flappers can leak after a while and you might have to replace them. These rubber or plastic parts are often cheap to find (less than 10 USD). Doing the repair yourself shouldn’t be too much of a problem either as you don’t need tools. Toilet flappers are a great invention and as long as you maintain them and replace them when needed, they will work well.

If they break, they can lead to a leaking toilet. Leaking water can be expensive as there is a  lot of pressure on water and thus you can lose a lot of water without knowing it. For this reason, you shouldn’t postpone replacing the toilet flapper.