I'm not, nor have I ever claimed to be a "handy guy"; we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I for example can build you a computer from a pile of parts. I cannot however fix a faulty toilet flapper. Here's the scenario...
My toilet sounds like it's running and running all the time, I dismiss the issue for more pressing matters, I got my next months utility bill and the water usage had quadrupled from last month. The toilet now has my attention. As previously mentioned, not being that handy I survey my local friends and family for a reputable plumbing service and get several votes for Liberty Plumbing And Septic (Well deserved plug: Offices in Auburndale, Lakeland, Plant City, and Winter Haven Florida FL) So I call their office and Joel answers, he's polite, courteous and get's me an appointment the next business day. The serviceman who arrives, surveys the situation and diagnoses the issue as a faulty flapper. He very honestly and graciously advises he can fix it, but for parts + time + labor it would be three times as much as if we were to do the repair ourselves, and that the repair is quite easy, as toilet repairs go. My wife calls me with the prognosis and we take the kind repairman up on his offer to fix it ourselves.
I just want to pause briefly to say, you just don't see that kind of business ethic very often anymore. Yes he could have charged me the full amount, tripled his fee and been about his day. However the fact he was upfront about the repair and what it entailed meant he still collected his service call fee and now has created a very happy customer who will recommend everyone he knows to Liberty Plumbing And Septic. Also I'll come back to him for future service because I know if I can trust him on this little job, I won't have to fear getting taken advantage of on bigger calls. Other companies would be wise to follow this model, as it turns a one time sale, into a lifelong customer.
Back to the story...
I stop by my local Lowes with my old flapper in hand. I match it up exactly to the Plumb Pak Rubber Flapper. I go home, do the install, and aside from having to remove a few links from the chain, it went great. I felt pretty good about myself for the next few days. Then all the sudden, the toilet won't stop running again! Taking what little knowledge I'd picked up, I removed the lid and flushed again looking for the problem. It turns out the flapper sometimes won't, well, flap shut. It's like it gets stuck right on the rim, I know now when people say "jiggle the handle" what's happening. You're shaking the chain inside until the flapper catches and falls shut to make the seal. I guess pretty commonly know to most plumbers, but I found it very insightful.
Getting to the real crux of the question then: How do I fix this? I have a few ideas, but I don't know what the best option is.
- Find a flapper with a smaller dome, as that's what's getting caught
- Weigh down the flapper somehow so it falls shut harder
- Continually tell guests to jiggle the handle
So if there are some seasoned plumbers, or do-it-yourselfer's out there, I'm sure many of you have seen this before. If you have a quick moment, please let me know what you think I should do with this faulty flapper fiasco.