How Do I Stop Siphoning in a Toilet?

Written by paul massey
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A toilet is one of the most frequently used plumbing fixtures in a home. Over time, the flush mechanism within the tank can develop minor problems, the most common of which is a constant slow leakage of water from the tank called "syphoning." Siphoning is caused by a worn or cracked tank flapper and the replacement of this inexpensive part is a simple repair.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Replacement toilet flapper

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  1. 1

    Turn off the water supply to the toilet at the small valve protruding from the wall below the tank and behind the toilet. Flush the toilet to drain the water from the tank.

  2. 2

    Remove the toilet tank lid to access the flush mechanism and locate the flapper at the bottom of the tank. The flapper is a rubber or plastic gate hinged by two arms from both sides of the vertical overflow tube and lifted by a thin chain attached to the flush arm.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the lower end of the flush lever chain from the flapper.

  4. 4

    Remove the old flapper. The hinge arms of the flapper typically snap over a small tab or post on each side and are removed by gently pulling outward or upward on the arms.

  5. 5

    Install the new flapper. Position the new flapper in the tank and snap the hinge arms onto the overflow tube.

  6. 6

    Reconnect the flush lever chain to the flapper. Hook the open link at the bottom of the chain to the formed loop on the top rim of the flapper.

  7. 7

    Turn the water supply back on to refill the toilet tank, then flush the toilet to evaluate proper drainage and water control. Adjust the lever chain, if necessary, to regulate the closing of the flapper during operation. When the tank is flushed, the flapper should be pulled vertical and slowly drop downward to seal the drain opening when the tank drains.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have installed a water dam or other water-saving device inside the toilet tank, it shouldn't interfere with the proper operation of the flush valve and flapper.

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