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Plumbing in the Home/Flapper doesn't fall in place


toilet tank
toilet tank  
Hello Dana,

My toilet tank has a prob that sometimes after flushed and the tank has refilled again, small amounts of water keep escaping thru the flapper. This happens b/c the flapper doesn't completely cover the flushing opening at the bottom of the tank. The flapper is big enough, but when it falls on the opening it falls slightly to one side, so there's a slight opening on the opposite side and the water escapes thru it. This does not happen all the time, but at random. Sometimes the flapper falls on top of the flush opening and closes it completely, and it works fine.

I noticed that the chain that pulls the flapper up when the toilet is flushed, pulls the flapper towards a side (the front wall of the tank where the flushing lever is, b/c the lever's arm runs parallel to the tank wall, while the flapper is in the center of the tank. Please check the attached drawing of the toilet tank seen from the top. The thick arrow shows how the flush arm pulls the flapper slightly away from the center of the flushing opening where it should seat to close the water flow.

Currently, when I hear the water running I have to open the toilet tank and manually correct the placement of the flapper :-) Do you know how could this prob be corrected? Your help is greatly appreciated.

Best regards,


Hi John,
You could be right. Overtime, the rubber portions of the flapper are attacked by the chemicals in the water which weakens them.
Probably the easiest thing to do is just try replacing the flapper. There are several types that are "universal" that would likely work and they are pretty cheap, only a couple of dollars. This would probably be the easiest fix as opposed to replacing the whole flush valve assembly which would require taking the tank off the toilet.

This sort of reminds me of the old Archie Bunker routine about "jiggling the handle" just right to get the toilet to stop running. LOL

Good Luck,

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Dana Bostick


Pretty much any residential plumbing questions. For "item specific" details such as a specific model of fixture, I will need to research and there may not be any useful information available. Note: I live and work in Southern California. We do not, as a rule, use hot water or steam heating systems, oil fired boilers or private water wells so my knowledge in those areas is pretty limited. There are others here on AllExerts that can probably answer those questions better.


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