Did You See Blue?
After using the blue dot, if you saw blue in your toilet bowl – you have a leak. But don’t worry – it could be a simple fix.
- 80% of leaking toilets are caused by a cracked flapper
What is a flapper?
A flapper is a rubber mechanism in your toilet tank that is the moving part of the flush valve, sealing water into the tank and allowing water to exit the tank when you flush.
How to change a flapper
- Close the water supply to your toilet. This is typically located behind the bowl, below the tank. If there's no valve or the valve is stuck, turn off the water to the house.
- Flush the water in the tank and note the length of the chain from the flush handle to the flapper. This will save time when installing the new flapper.
- If the flapper is connected by a circular ring around the tube, remove the refill tube from the overflow tube. (If not, go directly to step 4.)
- Remove the chain from the flush lever, then remove the old flapper by sliding it up and off of the overflow tube. Or, unhook the flapper ears from the overflow tube. For new plastic flush valves, you may have to bend the flapper ears out and off the pins on the flush valve.
- Take the old flapper to a plumbing supply store or home improvement store that carries replacement flappers. The cost to replace a flapper is $2 - $10 for the right flapper. And don't forget to get a beaded metal flapper chain replacement.
- Install the new flapper by sliding it down and over the overflow tube until the ring touches the bottom of the tank, with the flapper bulb centered on the valve opening.
- For plastic valves, cut the ring off of the flapper along the lines marked "cut" and slip the ears of the flapper over the pins on the flush valves.
- After changing the toilet’s flapper test your toilet with another blue dot. If you still see blue you may want to contact a plumber.
Need a plumber?
There are many other reasons a toilet leaks, for more complicated fixes, speak to your plumber. If you do not have a plumber, see the following accredited plumber association websites:
Save money and more by improving the water and energy efficiency in your home. Visit the RBC Royal Bank® Advice Centre to learn how.
A demonstration with Mag Ruffman
You can refer to Mag's first demonstration video on our Will You See Blue? page.