When we buy a toilet, we pay our attention to many factors. To choose the best toilet, we must look both on the inside and on the outside. A beautiful design and a comfortable toilet seat are just as important as a durable tank and a powerful flushing system. And every flushing system needs a toilet flapper to work.
A flapper is an essential part of the flushing system of any toilet. It is a component of the flush valve and is located in the tank. Apart from the flapper, the construction of the flush valve includes the overflow tube and the hole through which the water escapes the tank and gets into the bowl when you push the flush button. The flapper serves the purpose of covering this hole when the tank is full.
With time, toilet flappers tend to decay or store mineral build up. If the flapper is damaged, it cannot hold the water inside the tank. As a result, you get a leaky toilet. Apart from the stains that will be caused by constantly dripping water, such a leak will result in the increase of your water bill.
To fix this little problem, you will need to replace the toilet flapper. It is rather easy to find replacement parts for most modern toilets, despite their construction and flushing system. Look through our reviews to find the best toilet flapper that will be a perfect match for your toilet.
Types of Toilet Flappers
There are three types of toilet flappers, each with unique features. Understanding the difference between them is very important to achieve the highest efficiency of the flushing system of your toilet. Knowing how different types of flappers work will help you choose the best replacement part for your toilet.
The three types of toilet flappers are:
Rubber flappers are installed in the majority of modern toilets. They work like caps attached to the chain. When you flush, the chain lifts the flapper and lets the water through the hole and into the bowl. When all the water flushes out of the tank, the chain lowers the flapper so that it covers the hole. Flappers of this type are usually durable and reliable, as rubber is water-resistant and maintains its properties long even when it is constantly exposed to water. Another advantage of rubber flappers is their sturdy design with few moving parts.
Seat disk flappers are the oldest among all the types. They have a different action mechanism than rubber flappers. Their construction includes a small disk that covers the overflow pipe, holding the water inside the tank. Underneath the disk, there is a plastic tube that is hinged to the overflow tube. The flappers of this type use the weight of water to open and close the tank hole. The main disadvantages of seat disk flappers are their large size and disks that get damaged quickly.
Tank ball flappers, as the name suggests, consist of a ball that sits on top of the overflow pipe. Similar to rubber flappers, they have a chain connected to them. When you push the flush button, the flushing mechanism pulls the chain, lifts the ball off the pipe, and lets the water through. The chain should be the perfect length. Otherwise ball flappers fail to offer faultless performance. If the chain is too long, it will not be lifted when you flush, and if it is too short, it will prevent the ball from covering the overflow pipe.
How to Choose a Flapper for Your Toilet
Selecting the right flapper is very important to make sure that the flushing system of your toilet works efficiently. When you realize that the flapper needs to be replaced, you need to consider all the options carefully to choose the best match for your toilet.
When it comes to toilet flappers, there are two common sizes – two and three inches, corresponding to two sizes of overflow pipes. Two-inch flappers are usually installed in older toilets. However, some modern models also come with flappers of this size. Three-inch flappers are a part of the flushing system of most new toilets. It is critical to purchase a flapper of the right size, as a larger or smaller model will not create a tight seal.
Apart from these two standard sizes, there are odd-sized flappers. Some toilets have unique overflow pipe size and require a flapper of the same size. There are also the so-called universal flappers. Their construction allows using them with both two- and three-inch pipes. You can also choose the flapper of an appropriate size if you know how many gallons of water your toilet uses per one flush.
Please note that you should purchase a flapper of the type that is installed in your toilet. Only a flapper of the same type can be used to replace an already existing one. A rubber flapper cannot be installed in place of a seat disk or a tank ball flapper.
How to Replace a Toilet Flapper
Replacing a toilet flapper is an easy job that requires little time and effort. Virtually anyone can do it, even those of us who are not familiar with plumbing fixtures work. These simple steps will help you remove the old damaged flapper and install a new one quickly and easily.
- Remove the lid of the tank.
- Shut off the water supply valve.
- Drain the water from the toilet tank.
- Remove the old flapper from the flush valve. For that, you will first need to remove the chain that holds the flapper, and then the flapper itself.
- Clean the area beneath the flapper. Use a paper towel, a cloth, or a sponge to remove any dirt from the seal area.
- Install a new flapper.
- Attach the chain to the flapper and to the lever arm.
- Turn on the water supply.
- Close the tank with the lid.
Top Three Best Toilet Flappers
1. Flapper and Chain from American Standard
This flapper is compatible with two-inch flush valves. The diameter of the flapper is 4.8 inches. It comes complemented with a chain, hook, float and clips – everything necessary for easy installation and perfect performance. You can regulate the duration of the flush by installing the float lower (for a longer flush) or higher (for a shorter flush).
This flapper and chain set from American Standard is a great choice for toilets from this brand. It matches even models that are 25 and more years old! It will create a durable and reliable seal that will keep the water inside the tank and eliminate any leaks. With this flapper, you will get superior quality from one of America’s best plumbing fixtures brands.
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2. Flapper for Two-Piece Toilets from Kohler
This genuine flapper replacement part will match most two-piece toilets with Class Five technology. 3 ¼ inches in diameter, it is a perfect choice for standard toilet units. Thanks to its unique design, it will fit perfectly into the overflow valve, creating a watertight seal that will not let through even a drop of water.
This toilet flapper from Kohler comes with a chain and a hook that gets attached to the lever. Made of durable high-quality rubber, it will serve you for many years without signs of wear and tear. This is a nice model that comes for an affordable price.
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3. Universal Flapper from Toto
This standard rubber flapper matches all toilets with a three-inch flush valve. Its high-quality construction will ensure that there are no more leaks from the tank of your toilet. This flapper will make sure that all the water stays in the tank unless you push the flush button.
Like most similar products, this flapper from Toto is complemented with a chain and a hook – everything necessary to make the installation quick and easy. The dimensions of this flapper are 7.5 x 6 x 3 inches. The seal comes in a red finish, while the flapper itself is black.