As with other replaceable components that make the toilet function properly, toilet flappers will get faulty sooner or later, depending on the quality.
Most of the time, when there is a problem with toilet flappers, the toilet tank begins to leak or fails to refill with water after a flushing process. If you’ve considered replacing the toilet flapper, the following line of thought should be, “how long do toilet flappers last?”
This pretty much connects with the question of the day because the variety of toilet flappers in consideration is a crucial factor when discussing longevity.
Also, once you’re able to figure out the time frame at which a newly purchased toilet flapper will work properly, you won’t be taken by surprise when it wears out or develops a sudden fault.
Hence, this article will also touch on related factors like things affecting toilet flapper’s longevity, how to know if you have a terrible toilet flapper, as well as a guide on DIY toilet flapper replacement.
Before discussing any of the above, how soon should you expect a toilet flapper to start deteriorating?
How long do toilet flappers last?
Under normal circumstances, the flappers in toilet tanks usually last for up to 4 or even five years before they deteriorate in functionality. The same longevity range applies to other replaceable toilet parts such as washers/seals.
However, note that this is based on average and far from guesstimate because some toilet flappers may not even last up to such time, especially when chemical bowl cleaners are used. At the same time, others can last up to a decade under normal conditions.
Again, the quality of the toilet flapper also determines its longevity.
Toilet flappers allow the flushing process when you press the lever as water is released into the bowl.
One of the ways you’ll know when this flush seal is faulty is when water runs into the toilet tank continuously, or it takes longer than usual for it to get filled. The faulty flapper can also cause toilets to flush on their own.
Do toilet flappers wear out?
Yes, as explained above, toilet flappers may last for a couple of years but will eventually wear out over time.
No matter how durable the flapper is, it takes a step closer to wearing out each time it is used, gradually resulting in less of a perfect seal.
So, even though you consider all the precautions to increase the lifespan of the flapper, it would still eventually become bad but will take a reasonable number of years of working perfectly.
This is why flapper manufacturers always use rubber as the sole of production – to make it more flexible and work well for a long time. In addition, rubber flappers are affordable and can be easily positioned.
Factors affecting toilet flappers longevity
You probably won’t realize the importance of a good toilet flapper in a household until it begins to give problems. Without this seal functioning properly, enough water won’t be supplied into the toilet tank to aid the successful flushing process.
As flappers get old, they begin to fail gradually due to the development of bacteria on and around them, such as when mildew or mold is introduced to the environment.
With these, flappers may change their position on how it sits on the flush valve after developing cracks or shrink at the edges.
Another factor that accelerates the deterioration of flappers is some of these drop-in bowl cleaners, which can have a destructive impact on the rubber material.
Once the flapper begins to experience these challenges, leakage becomes inevitable. Of course, flippers aren’t one of these things we replace often, but as discussed earlier, they should be checked, fixed, or replaced every four to five years.
How do you know if you have a bad toilet flapper?
The indicator that you have a bad toilet flapper is when the toilet continues to put water into the toilet bank; at this point, you continuously hear the toilet running. It is also a sign that you need to replace the already faulty flapper as soon as possible.
In other cases, one would have to open the cover of the toilet tank and then examine it to realize something isn’t sitting right in there. For example, take a look at the toilet chain.
It is the link between the flapper and the rod attached to the handle that is used to initiate flushing. The binding point of the flapper and toilet chain has a little eyelet.
Your flapper is bad when this is ripped off; hence there’s a need for replacement. You won’t even flush until this is fixed because it connects directly with the flushing mechanism.
How to replace toilet flappers
Replacing a flapper itself is a straightforward process, and you don’t need prior plumbing knowledge to do it. And, it is sold almost anywhere plumbing supplies are purchased.
But, ensure that you buy the correct size and type that matches the old flapper you are replacing.
In a recent post, we have discussed the various inches and types of toilet flappers often found in old and newer toilets, which would help you make the right choice.
Alternatively, you can reach out to a professional, especially after you’ve replaced the flapper and still experiencing the same issue.
Toilets seem to be a topic people don’t like to talk about because we all have awful stories about toilets gone bad. But with this, one might miss out on helpful information about the toilet problem they are faced with, which might later cost a fortune to repair.
Well, knowledge is everything, and I hope this article has helped you know how long toilet flappers last and how to detect when the rubber seal is faulty.
Got any questions? I’d be in the comments, so we continue the conversation.
As the resident shower expert at ShowerJournal.com, Wayne Lee loves to share the helpful tips and tricks he’s picked up over the years during his job as a handyman.