Plumbing in the Home/Toilet Tank flush repair


My 16 yr old son reported the toilet wouldn't flush. We discovered the plastic connecting strap from the flush lever had snapped where it attached to the tank flapper. Looks like a twisted strand of DNA, possible reaction to chlorine or chemicals in the water. Went to Lowes and bought a $2.49 flush chain to replace. While working in the drained tank, I find my fingers are getting coated with a black inking substance that appears to come off the black flapper. It's getting everywhere!  What is this stuff and why does it always seem to appear in submerged toilet tanks, even though the water always appear clear and fresh?  Any suggestions on how long to leave that flush chain?  Secondary question: I've seen dual flush sytems in Europe and in upscale hotels...half flush for liquids, full flush for solids. Cost of kit is $ to save $125 per year. How effective are these conversion kits? Do you recommend them?  Our tank is 1.6 gallon Corona brand toilet. Thanks.

Kirk, The black stuff is the effect of the rubber breaking down. When this first appears it is a signal to replace the flapper. If you leave it in there it will start to leak by and waste water.  When you install the new one , leave the chain only long enough to trip the flapper and then allow it to close freely. excess chain will sometimes hang up on the flapper and the toilet won't fill. Those conversion kits are will sometimes work, but I question the actual savings. For $30 bucks, why not give it a shot?


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Jay Nicholas


Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)


40 years in the business, 40 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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