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How to Fix

Leaking Flush Valves

Leaks at the FLUSH VALVE are caused
by the following problems...

A worn out or defective tank-ball, flapper, seal, disk or whatever part is attached to the handle and acting as a plug in the bottom of the tank.

A damaged flush valve seat...the rim of the large hole in the bottom of the tank is rough or pitted.

A split or hole in the overflow pipe

A damaged gasket under the flush valve.

The wrong type of flapper is being used. For example, some Kohler toilets require a particular flapper, the one size fits all type often will not work.

The chain or strap is too long and getting stuck under the flapper or ball.

A piece of foreign material such as a bowl cleaner is stuck under the flapper or ball

Principle parts of a flush valve...

Cutaway of toilet tank

1. Lift rod or chain connecting trip lever (handle) to tank-ball or flapper.

2. Tank~ball or flapper (the stopper).

3. Flush valve seat ( big hole in bottom of tank).

4. Trip lever (handle) connection to lift rod.

5. Overflow pipe (vertical pipe standing in center of tank)

All Flappers are not Created Equal

While they may look similiar, there are significant differences in flappers today. Newer toilets may have a 4" flapper while the older toilets use a 3" one. There are adjustable flappers that permits you to decide how fast the flapper will close. Some flappers use "ears" to attach them to the valve while others have a "ring" that slides down the overflow pipe, and some use a "tab" to attach to the valve. Which all means you can save yourself a trip to the hardware store and some frustration if you pay attention to the brand name of your toilet and what type of flapper is presently installed in your toilet tank; better yet take the old flapper with you to match up to a new one.

Flapper Strap Attached to Trip Lever

Once you have decided the flush valve needs attention, turn the supply water off to the tank, flush the toilet and hold the handle down to allow as much water as possible to drain out of the tank. Disconnect the chain, strap or rod from the trip level (handle).

Hunter Flapper Attaching Flapper Using the Hooks

A flapper attaches in several ways. One is attached by little wings that slip over hooks on the sides of the overflow pipe at the bottom; another type has a thick ring that can be pushed down over the overflow pipe. Installing Flapper Using the Wide Tab

Then there are some tanks such as one of the Crane models that doesn't have an overflow tube, but instead has a wide tab over which the flapper fits. Some Kohler models require a flapper that doesn't look very different from most, but it requires a flapper made expressly for the Kohler.

The above drawings are the courtesy of
Hunter Plumbing Products
1775 La Costa Meadows Dr. #130
San Marcos, CA 92069

Fluidmaster Flusher Fixer

There are a variety of flappers on the market today. Fluidmaster offers a clear set of instructions in both English and Spanish for installing their Flusher Fixer Kit and their Adjust-A-Flush flapper.

Continue to American Standard
and Mansfield Flush Valves ...>>>


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LeakFrog® is the small water alarm with a big job. Behind the cute smile is a brain that knows when you have a water problem. Water causes more damage annually than smoke, and the mold that occurs after a water leak can be deadly.
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either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties
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