Last Saturday, one of my tenants called me and complained that the toilet water wouldn’t stop running upon flushing. They had to open up the tank lid, push down and hold down the flapper after each flush to stop the water flow, otherwise the water would keep refilling and going out to the toilet at the same – a sure way to waste lots of water that the apartment owner, I, may end up paying and wouldn’t serve the public good since we in California are in a serious drought situation. I was happy to take a look.
I noticed the flapper was really hard and not forming a good seal on the neck of the drain pipe into the toilet, hence the leak that results in the non-stop filling of the water into the tank. I suspected the flapper was too old and hardened as it aged after several years of service. I drove to the local Home Depot and purchased a set of 3 flappers like the picture below for ~$10:
I quickly snapped the old flapper out of the drain and snapped in the new flapper. It didn’t take more than 2 minutes. Now the flapper formed a nice seal on the neck of the drain and was no longer leaking.
However, I had to adjust the chain (by slipping the clip to the right position of the chain) that’s connected to the flush handle tight enough to hold the flapper in open position upon each push of the handle and yet lose enough to keep the flapper floating without re-sealing itself too quickly such that the solid waste would not be flushed out. It’s a delicate balance that takes some time and lots of trials and errors. But it now worked like a charm. I left the remaining two flappers with the tenant and hope they now learned how to do this on their own without bothering me.