When your toilet flapper doesn’t close after flush, it can be a little bit annoying.
But don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to fix the problem.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the causes of this issue and give you some tips on how to solve it.
So read on and find out how to fix a toilet flapper that won’t close after flush.
Why Toilet Flapper Won’t Close After Flush?
Did you recently notice that your toilet flapper won’t close after a flush? The following are the likely reasons:
1. Slack or Tight Lift Chain
A tight lift chain will partially displace the toilet flapper, preventing it from sitting perfectly on the flush valve seat.
A tight lift chain will lead to a running toilet or ghost flushing.
On the other hand, a slack lift chain can get under the toilet flapper, preventing it from closing properly.
It can also get hooked on other parts in the tank, preventing the flapper from closing. A slack lift chain will lead to weak flushing.
2. Clogs and Mineral Buildup Around the Flapper or Flush Opening
This is very common with those with a hard water supply, where sediments settle inside the toilet tank.
Clogs and mineral buildup under/around the flapper will prevent the flapper from fitting properly and sealing the flush valve seat.
Buildup around the flush opening will also prevent the flapper from sitting properly.
Sometimes, sediments can get into the flapper hinges. This will prevent the flapper from flipping up and down perfectly when pulled or released.
All of these ultimately lead to a running toilet and an unwarranted increase in the water bill.
3. Warped, Worn-Out, Or Hardened Flapper (Rust for A Metallic Flapper)
Modern toilets come with rubber flappers while older ones have metal flappers.
Over time, rubber flappers can deteriorate and become warped, worn out, or hardened.
Metallic flappers, on the other hand, can rust and deform with time.
A warped, worn-out, hardened, or deformed flapper is ineffective and will no longer fit the flush valve seat.
Any of the three reasons above can prevent your toilet flapper from closing after a flush. Luckily, these are straightforward to fix without the need for a plumber.
How to Fix a Toilet Flapper that Won’t Go Back Down?
Here are simple DIY steps to fix a toilet flapper that won’t go back down after flush:
How to Adjust Toilet Flapper Chain?
Follow the steps below to adjust the toilet flapper chain-
1. Turn Off the Water Supply
Shut the water supply to your toilet tank. Look behind the toilet bowl, you should see the water valve, which can either be a shut-off valve or a push/pull valve.
Turn the shut-off valve completely in a clockwise direction or pull the push/pull valve to shut the water supply.
Empty the toilet tank by flushing the toilet. You may hold down the flush lever for some seconds to remove all the water from the tank.
2. Remove the Tank Lid
Carefully remove the lid and place it somewhere safe. If your toilet uses the flush button, carefully remove the duct connecting the button with the flush unit before lifting the lid.
3. Inspect Inside the Tank
Check inside the tank for the toilet flapper. It usually has a lift chain connecting it to the flush lever.
Carefully check the toilet flapper and its lift chain. Does it look too slack or too tight? Normally, the lift chain should be a ¼-inch slack. If the lift chain is too slack or too tight, adjust it appropriately.
4. Disconnect the Lift Chain
You may need to disconnect the lift chain from the flush lever before adjusting it.
You may also need to disconnect the flapper from the two pegs on the overflow tube to adjust the lift chain.
5. ReConnect and Adjust
Sometimes, the toilet flapper chain is slack or tight because it’s not connected to the right hole on the flush lever.
Connect the lift chain to the right hole on the flush lever so that it opens uprightly and it’s about a ¼-inch slack.
If the chain is in the correct hole and still hanging, you will need to replace it with one that’s of the correct size. Or simply use a zip tie to tangle a small portion so that it’s hanging correctly.
Reconnect the toilet flapper chain to the flush lever and reconnect the flapper to the overflow tube.
6. Check if the Problem is Solved
Turn the shut-off valve completely in an anticlockwise direction or push the push/pull valve to turn on the water supply.
Allow water to fill the toilet tank and flush your toilet.
Check if the flapper closes after flushing. If the flapper seats properly and there is no water running inside the toilet bowl, then the problem is fixed.
Close the tank lid and you’re done.
However, if the flapper won’t close after flush even after adjusting the toilet flapper chain, try the next solution.
How to Remove Clogs and Mineral Buildup Around the Flapper or Flush Opening?
Here are the steps to eliminate clogs and buildup-
1. Turn off Water Supply
Shut the water supply to your toilet tank. Empty the toilet tank by flushing the toilet and holding down the lever.
Carefully remove the lid and place it somewhere safe.
2. Disconnect Lift Chain & Flapper
Disconnect the lift chain from the flush lever. Also, disconnect the flapper from the two pegs on the overflow tube.
Take out the flapper.
3. Remove Clogs
Check for clogs and mineral buildup under and around the flapper. Also, check for sediments and mineral buildup around the flush opening.
If there are clogs, buildups, and sediments, clean the flapper gently but thoroughly with a sponge and vinegar.
Clean the flush opening also with the same cleaning solution. You can use a brush to clean the flapper hinges.
4. Finish it Up & Check
Reconnect the flapper and lift chain to the tank. Turn on the water supply and allow water to fill the toilet tank and flush your toilet.
Check if the flapper closes after flushing. If the flapper closes properly, then the problem is fixed, replace the tank lid. Otherwise, try the next solution.
How to Replace Warped, Worn Out, Hardened, Or Deformed Flapper?
This also requires same preparatory process-
1. Start with Water Supply
Shut the water supply and drain the toilet tank. Carefully remove the lid and place it somewhere safe.
2. Remove the Damaged Flapper
Disconnect the flapper from the overflow tube and bring it out.
Check the flapper carefully to see if it’s warped, rusted, or deformed. Feel it with your hand to know if it’s hardened. Try it on the flush opening to know if it’s worn out.
If yes, the flapper needs replacement.
3. Replace with a New Flapper
Remove the lift chain and replace the flapper with a new one of the same size and model. Our guide on what size toilet flapper do you need should help you pick up the right one.
Connect the new flapper to the overflow tube, ensuring that it sits properly on the flush opening.
Connect the lift chain to the toilet handle
4. Complete the Process
Turn on the water supply to the tank and flush your toilet. This should finally fix the problem of a toilet flapper that won’t close after flush.
However, if the flapper won’t close after flush even after applying these three solutions, you may need an expert plumber to assist.
For a better understanding of how to fix a toilet flapper that won’t close after flush, here is an instructional video to guide you –
A toilet flapper that won’t close after flush is a common problem. It can happen due to several reasons, such as mineral buildup, a bad flapper, or an incorrectly adjusted flapper chain.
In most cases, you can fix this problem by yourself without calling in a professional. However, if the problem persists, it’s better to call in a plumber for expert help.
We hope this guide was helpful and informative enough for you to deal with the issue on your own.
Do let us know if you have any queries in the comments section below. We would be happy to help!