5 Different Types of Toilet Flappers

Different Types of Toilet Flappers
Photo by Giorgio Trovato

Toilet flappers are one of the insignificant parts of the water closet, yet they matter a lot. They open and close the water supply valve to flush the toilet.

And they are usually installed at the bottom of the tank or bowl of the toilet. These devices aim to prevent clogs from occurring in the pipes.

However, there are different types of toilet flappers, and we should understand each. Read on as we have discussed them in this article.

How Do Toilet Flappers Work?

Toilet flappers work by opening and closing the water supply valve. When you turn off the water supply valve, it closes the water supply valve. This happens so that the water will flow into the pipes when you turn on the faucet again.

But if the water supply valve doesn’t close properly, it will remain open until the water pressure drops below a certain level.

This means that the water supply valve will stay open even after turning off the faucet. In such cases, the water will keep flowing out of the pipes.

If you do not want your toilet to run continuously, a good toilet flapper is necessary. The toilet flapper will help you stop the continuous flow of water. It will also ensure that the water supply valve remains closed for a more extended period.

Different Types of Toilet Flappers

1. Seat Disk Tank Flapper

This flapper is the oldest among the different types of toilet flappers available. It was first introduced in 1885. Seat disk tank flappers consist of two disks that fit over the top of the tank.

One disk has an opening while the other has no opening. If you lift the cover plate, you can see the opening. You can use this device to control the amount of water going into the tank.

The seat disk tank flapper was the most common toilet flapper because it worked well. However, it does need some maintenance. For example, you need to clean the openings regularly. Also, the seats tend to wear out quickly. So, you may need to replace these seats every few years.

2. Non-Adjustable Rubber Tank Flapper

Rubber flappers are the most common in modern homes. They were invented in the 1970s. Non-adjustable rubber flappers come with a plastic ring.

The plastic ring fits around the rim of the tank. However, there is no opening in the plastic ring. You only need to pull the handle down to open the water supply valve. Then, you can release the handle to close the valve.

You can adjust the non-adjustable rubber flapper according to how much water you want to let go into the tank. But, you cannot adjust the height of the plastic ring.

So, you must be careful about the size of the tank. Otherwise, the plastic ring might get stuck inside the tank.

In addition, the rubber flapper needs regular cleaning. You can remove dirt using soap and warm water. Also, you can wipe the rubber flapper with a damp cloth.

3. Adjustable Rubber Tank Flapper

Adjustable rubber flappers are like non-adjustable ones. But, they allow you to adjust the height of the rubber flapper.

You can adjust the height of the adjustable rubber flapper by pulling up or pushing down on the handle. This allows you to let less or more water go into the tank.

However, adjusting the height of the adjustable flapper may require some effort. And you may have to readjust the height frequently.

4. Plastic Tank Flapper

Plastic flappers are relatively new. These flappers are made from polypropylene material. They are durable and easy to install.

They are very effective at stopping the continuous flow of water into the tank and easy to maintain. All you need to do is wash them with hot soapy water.

But, if you have a large tank, you should consider installing a larger flapper.

5. Tank Ball Toilet Flapper

A tank ball flapper is another type of toilet flapper. It consists of a ball on the top of the tank and a rod that goes through the ball. When you push the ball down, it opens the water supply valve. And when you release the ball, it closes the valve again.

This flapper works like a toilet plunger. Therefore, it is useful for removing clogs. It also helps prevent overflow when there is insufficient pressure in the water system.

However, it requires considerable force to operate. Also, it tends to leak after some time.

When to Replace a Toilet Flapper

Toilets flappers last for many years. However, they eventually fail. ThThat’shy, you should always check your flapper before replacing it.

If you notice any signs of damage, then you should replace the flapper immediately. If you see rusting or corrosion, you should clean the flapper thoroughly. Use soap and warm water. After cleaning, apply a coat of paint.

Also, make sure that the flapper is working correctly. Check whether or not it is closing the valve correctly. If it does not work as expected, then you should replace it.


The toilet flapper is one of the essential parts of the toilet. It prevents overflowing and keeps the toilet clean. Therefore, you should pay close attention to the condition of your flapper. If you notice any problems, then you should replace your flapper immediately.

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