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Plumbing 101: How to Replace Toilet Flapper

Plumbing 101: How to Replace Toilet FlapperHave you ever wondered what that noise in your bathroom at 3 a.m. is when everyone in the house is asleep? Chances are the toilet flapper is worn out. If you know how to replace toilet flapper, you can easily resolve this issue on your own.

If you have a leaky or overflowing toilet, you should contact one of the many skilled plumbers Toronto. However, replacing the toilet flapper is quite easy, especially if you use this handy guide!

How to Replace Toilet Flapper in Bathroom

What is a Toilet Flapper?

Of course, before you attempt changing toilet flapper, you need to know what it is! The flapper is the part of the toilet that releases the toilet water from the tank to refill the toilet bowl after it has been flushed. Typically, it is mounted near the overflow tube base on two posts. The arms of the flapper will rotate on these posts and then pivot upward whenever the tank level is pushed.

Before replacing the flapper, you must figure out which type of flapper is used on your toilet. As they are not all the same, not all of them are interchangeable. Always purchase a flapper that is the exact replica of your current one. Otherwise, it will not function properly.

Items Needed:

  • Bucket
  • Crescent wrench
  • Cup (small)
  • Fill valve
  • Pliers
  • Rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Replacement valve

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to make sure that the water supply is shut off. You will find this on the bottom of the back of the tank. Carefully drain the tank water into a bucket. Completely disconnect the line to the water supply and dispose of the dirty water in the bucket. Keep the bucket under the tank in case of any leaks during the process.

Step 2: To disassemble the tank, you will need to take off the internal flapper (this is located over the orifice from which the water drains out of the tank). Next, remove the tank itself from the bowl in order to remove the gasket (located just under the fill tube). Using one wrench to remove the screws in the tank itself and another to hold the nuts under it, carefully unscrew the bolts that fasten the tank to the bowl. Once it has been removed, carefully set it aside in a safe spot (on a rag or towel) and remove any remaining parts.

Step 3: Finally, you are ready to install the gasket. Using the instructions in the manual that comes with the gasket, carefully install it, making sure it is straight. 

Step 4: Replace the tank on the toilet bowl, making sure it is securely in place.

Step 5: After making sure you, in fact, have purchased the correct valve for your toilet, install the replacement valve. Using the flexible tube that connects the overflow pipe and the lock nut (located under the tank), secure the valve.

Step 6: Finally, using the directions provided on the packaging, attach the flapper. Reconnect the water supply line and wait for the tank to fill.

Need help with how to replace the toilet flapper? Call the experts at DrainCom with any plumbing questions or concerns. We are happy to help you over the phone, or we can send out one of our certified plumbers!

How to Install a Sump Pump in Your Basement

How to Install a Sump Pump in Your BasementRead our handy guide on how to replace the sump pump in your home. If you need help, do not hesitate to hire a plumber to complete the job. However, with this guide, you should be able to complete the process on your own.

Not all homeowners know how to install a sump pump in their basement or crawl space. When your sump pump breaks, it can cause a lot of issues. Luckily, the sump pump installation is not that difficult if you possess some DIY skills and the proper tools. 

How to Install a Sump Pump

In case you do not know, a sump pump is typically located in the basement or crawl space of a home to protect the property from flood water. An electrical self-activating pump serves to redirect groundwater before it floods your home. Water causes not only structural and surface damage, but it can also lead to mold growth. Mold can cause health issues and lead to bug infestation. A working sump pump can help prevent these issues.  Learn more about how choose sump pump.

If you do not know how to install a sump pit or the pump itself, it is best to rely on the expertise of a professional plumbing company. But if you are confident in your DIY skills, you can use this guide to install it on your own.

Tools & Materials:

  • Cement
  • Check valve
  • Corrugated pipe
  • Drill bits
  • Electric drill
  • Fittings
  • Gravel
  • Hammer
  • Increaser
  • J hooks
  • Pipe cutter
  • Pressurized fittings
  • PVC pipe
  • Silicone sealant
  • Sump pump
  • Wire ties

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to find the spot in your basement or crawl space in which the groundwater is collected. For the most part, this is near the Ground Fault Interrupter Outlet (GFCI), which is where the sump pump gets plugged in. If you do not have this already, an electrician will need to install it before you can begin.

Step 2: Dig a hole that is approximately wider than the width of the sump pump itself by 10 inches. Also, it should be 6 inches deeper than the length of the sump pump. Place about three inches of gravel at the bottom of the hole.

Step 3: Place the sump pump on top of the gravel and surround it with more gravel, leaving about 1 or 2 inches of the exposed surface at the top.

 Step 4: Using PVC pipe glue, attach the discharge PVC pipe to the male adapter. Insert this into it the female adapter located on the sump. Use a ¼-inch drill to make a 6-inch weep hole above the sump itself.

Step 5: Attach the sump pump’s electrical cord to the discharge pipe with wires. Insert the check valve on the discharge pipe’s open end.

Step 6: Insert the pump into the sump, making sure that the valve is installed vertically.

Step 7: In order to ensure that the water is channeled away from the house via the pump, it is best to use 1½-inch and fittings that have been pressurized.

Step 8: Install J hooks on the joists to hang the PVC. Make a hole on the wall from the outside to run the PVC.

Step 9: Next, apply the silicone sealant to the hole outside where the pipe sticks out.

Step 10: Add the connections so that the water will be redirected four feet or more away from your home.

Step 11: Affixing a 1½-inch increaser at the end of the pipe will help the water to flow properly. The corrugated pipe and PVC pipe should be attached for even water distribution. 

Step 12: Around the corrugated pipe, add more gravel to hold the sump pump in place, while also covering it.

Step 13: Plug the sump pump in and then cover the sump.

Call DrainCom if further assistance is required or advice on how to install a sump pump. Call us any time to schedule an appointment for all of your plumbing needs.

Homeowner Handyman Tips: How to Solder Copper Pipe

Homeowner Handyman Tips: How to Solder Copper PipeDo you know how to solder copper pipe? Is this something you have always wanted to do but were not sure if you could pull it off without proper training?

Believe it or not, soldering pipe is easier than you think if you follow directions closely. This will help you with many DIY tasks including sump pump installation. Use this guide to get started!

How to Solder Copper Pipe


  • Copper pipe & fittings
  • Deburring tool
  • Fire extinguisher & fire protection cloth
  • Fine steel wool, sandpaper, or 120-grit emery cloth
  • Flux brush
  • Lead-free soldering paste (or flux) 
  • Propane torch/regulator with built-in igniter
  • Rags
  • Safety glasses/goggles
  • Solder wire
  • Tube cutter
  • Wire brush
  • Work gloves

*Take these safety precautions seriously. Always wear protective gloves and safety glasses or goggles when soldering copper pipes and fittings. Have the fire extinguisher readily available at all times!

*If the pipe you are working on is in place, first drain any remaining water and dry completely before you begin the process.

Step 1: Cut the Pipes to Proper Length

  • Place the pipe between the guide wheel & cutting wheel of the tube cutter and clamp it. If the pipe is longer, tuck one end underneath your leg or knee for stability. 
  • Score the pipe all around by rotating the pipe cutter.
  • To achieve a deeper scoring line, score it a second time after tightening the cutter knob a ¼ turn.
  • Repeat Step 3. Continue for approximately 8 total turns until the pipe has snapped off.

Step 2: Clean & Flux the Fittings and Pipes

  • Ream the innards of the pipe using a wire brush or deburring tool. If not thoroughly deburred, the water will not flow properly.
  • Clean the outer part of the pipe with the steel wool, emery cloth, or sandpaper. Take care not to touch the pipe without gloves, as this can render the soldering useless.
  • While wearing gloves, as flux is acidic and can cause bodily injuries, to the final inch of the pipe, apply the flux in a thin layer. Do the same on each fitting on the inner part where the pipes and fittings will join.
  • Insert the pipe into the fitting. Make sure it reaches the total depth of the pipe fitting. Remove excess flux with a rag.

Step 3: Solder Fitting and Pipes

  • Use the fire protection cloth to cover those flammable surfaces in and around the area in which you are working.
  • After cutting it approximately eight to ten inches, at a 90° angle and at least 2 inches, bend the solder wire.
  • Use the built-in igniter on the propane torch to light it. The flame should be adjusted to around 1¼ inches.
  • Making sure it barely touches the fitting, hold the torch and move it back and forth for even heat distribution. There is no need for the torch to directly touch the pipe, as the heat from the fitting will suffice. As the metal is heating, you will hear a sizzling noise from the flux.
  • On the other side of the fitting (opposite the flame), at the joint, place the solder wire’s end. The wire will liquefy as it heats up, thus filling the joint. Continue this process until the solder is dripping out. Depending on the size of the pipe/fitting, approximately ½ to ¾ of the solder wire will be needed. Let it cool for around half a minute to forty-five seconds and then apply a bit of pressure before removing the excess solder.
  • Finally, install the pipe. Test if for leakage. If there are any leaks, carefully take it apart and repeat until the leak is fixed.

Any more questions on how to solder copper pipe? Give us a call at DrainCom! We can give you expert advice over the phone or send one of our skilled plumbers to do the job for you!

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet A leaking toilet can be a real inconvenience, especially for those who only have one bathroom in their home. Even worse if it happens late at night or on a weekend or holidays when it is impossible to get a plumber to come out on short notice. 

If you have the right tools on hand or can readily pick them up at your local hardware store, you can fix the leak on your own. Fixing a leak, as well as toilet installation, do not require the help of a plumber.

Use the following guide on how to fix a leaking toilet.

How to Repair a Leaking Toilet: DIY

Items you will need:

  • Ballcock assembly
  • Flapper
  • Lip joint pliers

Step 1: The reason your toilet is leaking could be the ballcock’s inlet valve or the float. If the water has risen higher than the overflow when you peer inside the tank, this could be the case. The float will rise as the water rises, thus letting the inlet valve know that it is time for the water to stop flowing. If it is broken, it could cause the toilet to leak or overflow. Flush the toilet. As the water is rising, carefully lift the part that keeps the float in place to check if the inlet valve is damaged. If the water stops, the problem is with the float and not the inlet valve.

Step 2: Located at the top of the ballcock is the screw that you use to adjust the float level. This helps you to choose the level that the water will reach in the tank. The problem could be the float if the adjustment does not stop the water from going into the overflow tube. The float could either be too low or have holes, which will prevent it from tripping the inlet valve. If this is the case, you will need to replace the float and rod.

Step 3: If you have tried both steps 1 and 2 and the water has not stopped leaking, the ballcock could be the cause. It is better to replace the assembly on the whole rather than trying to repair only the ballcock. Turn off the water at the shut valve. Holding down the handle (and keeping it down), flush the toilet. This will remove the majority of the water from the toilet tank. Use a sponge to remove any remaining water from the bottom of the tank.

Step 4: Remove the supply line connecting the ballcock’s bottom (located in the tank’s base). Remove the nut that secures the ballcock on the toilet tank with slip-joint pliers. Carefully remove the assembly by pushing it from the bottom up. Place the new ballcock assembly. Underneath the tank, a new nut should be added and tightened using the slip on pliers (be sure not to make it too tight or it could cause the tank to break.) Reattach the water supply line and clip the new refill tube in its place inside the tank. At the shut-off valve, turn on the water.

Step 5: In the event that the water level is not rising as it should and there is still water going into the bowl, the leak could be located near the flapper. To see if this is, in fact, the case, turn off the water as above and watch to see if the water level decreases in the tank. After 15 minutes, if there is a noticeable decrease, the flapper chain could have a leak or be too tight. 

Step 6: You will need to drain the tank to replace the flapper. Make sure the water is off as in the above steps. Using a clean cloth, make sure that the seat of the flapper is free of dirt. Next, inspect it for splits or cracks. 

Inspect the flapper itself to ensure that it is not damaged and is fitted against the seat snugly. If it is indeed damaged, simply remove and replace it with a new one. Make sure to use the exact same flapper, as others will not work. Install the new flapper at the base of the overflow tube on the hinge.

If none of the above fixes repair your leaking toilet, do not hesitate to contact DrainCom. We will send a licensed plumber to your home to fix the leak.

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