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Toilet Flapper Closes Too Soon? (With Solution)

The flapper is an important tool in flushing the waste down the toilet. A flapper must be adjusted appropriately for proper flushing in the toilet. 

It controls the water flow from the tank. For a complete flush, this flapper needs to open for a longer time, allowing more water to flow. 

What causes a toilet flapper to close too soon?

The flapper may close too quickly for numerous reasons, resulting in an incomplete flush. The problem may lie in the flapper itself, other reasons may include a long or very short chain, or a low water level in the tank or associated with the float level in the tank.

Actually, there are numerous possible reasons that can cause quick closing of a toilet flapper before flushing the water from the tank. Here are the reasons briefly described:

Flapper chain is too short/too long:

If the flapper chain is too short, it will not be able to come out of its way to properly flush.

If the chain is too loose it might be over-wrapping and not be able to lift the flapper enough.  Also, the chain won’t be able to hold the flapper open until the water flushes out from the tank.

Poor water level:

If the overflow pipe is positioned too low that means the amount of water in the tank might not be enough. The water may not be enough to flush, resulting in a quick valve closing and a weak flush.

Clogged draining hole:

Drainage hole can get clogged and block the flapper’s movement.

Clogged drainage holes won’t let the water go down the pipe and toilet bowl which will result in closing the toilet flapper really quickly and so, it will need more flushes to remove waste clearly. 

Damaged flapper:

The flapper can be torn or heavily dirty or get damaged for any other reasons.

This causes the toilet flapper to close quickly. However, sometimes the flapper doesn’t close too soon but shows like it’s closing quickly and the possible reason is a faulty flapper.

Waterlogged float:

Waterlogged float is caused because of several flushing at a time and it can become too heavy. As a result, it can’t be able to hold the flapper up and closes soon. 

Why do these toilet flappers close too soon? 

There are different kinds of toilet flappers and they can close soon for various reasons like:

The toilet bowl flapper:

They work eventually by its weight when it gets filled with water and if the overflow pipe faces any hamper or the flapper chain is shorter, it closes quickly.

The tank flapper:

The tank flapper can close early if the water level is not adjusted if it is too low in the tank or the drainage hole is clogged or the chain length is long and loosely hooked.

Kohler toilet flapper:

If the Kohler flapper is not raised high enough, it will swiftly drop, causing the flapper to close early. The chain must be adjusted to solve this problem.

American Standard toilet flapper:

If the water pressure has changed or there isn’t ¼ inch of slack in the chain, the flapper may close quickly. 

Mansfield toilet flapper:

If the water level is low in the tank the valve will not allow water to pass closing the flapper soon. The other reason might be the shutoff valve not working properly.

How long should the toilet flapper stay open?

If the flapper closes quickly, it stops the toilet bowl from being fully cleaned by allowing a small amount of water to move. To flush and clean the toilet properly, the flapper has to stay open long enough.

Though it depends on the power in the flush or the size of the flush tank, a good flapper can take approximately 3 to 8 seconds to stay open and clean the dirt properly.

If the flush is much stronger, the water flows smoothly. And if the water flows smoothly, it actually indicates the flapper is staying open for enough time.

A contemporary low-flow toilet stays open long enough as the flapper is set vertically. However, if the toilet flappers don’t take any time and closes immediately it indicates any fault to the flapper.

How to fix a toilet flapper that closes too quickly? 

One of the most common toilet problems nowadays is the flapper closing too soon, resulting in an ineffective flush due to insufficient water movement from the tank to the bowl. To fix a toilet flapper:

Fix the float height:

The float should be one or two inches above the flapper to provide a perfect flush. If the flapper is closing too soon, check to see if the float is at the proper level. The float must be adjusted if it is set too high.

To fix this, turn off the water supply, then drain the water from the tank and lower the float level with a screwdriver clockwise. This will solve the early closing issue.

Replace the flapper if damaged:

To have an easy flush, first check if the flapper is dirty and clean it properly if it is. Remove the flapper from its seat, then use a cleanser to remove the gunk and reinstall it.

Check to see whether the flapper is damaged. If it’s broken, try replacing it with a new one that has a water level adjustment and is the right size for the tank.

Pour hot water into the blocked drainage hole:

A congested drainage system might cause the flapper to close quickly because it limits the flow of water.

Pour hot water into the hole to clear the clogged area, or add baking soda to the hot water to make it easier to clean.

Maximize water levels:

If the overflow pipe is positioned too low, the water pressure may not be enough to flush, resulting in a weak flush.

Simply increase the mark on the overflow pipe by an inch or two to fix the problem. This will raise the water level to provide a strong flush while also resolving the early closing problem.

Fix the chain length:

Flappers are usually linked to the chain. If the chain is too loose or short the flapper will close early. This can be easily fixed by manually removing the chain links.

How do I make my toilet flapper stay open longer? 

To keep the flapper open longer for a forceful flush, first check if it is clean and damage-free. Also, the chain length needs to be short and properly placed and firmly attached.

Adjust the chain length:

The chain length must first be adjusted to make it open longer. To acquire the right fit, start by detaching the clasp from the handle and then from the links a few times.

The clasp is then reconnected to the handle by sliding it back into place. Then, if the fitting is slack, it must be tightened in order for the flapper to open for a longer time.

Adjust the float to the valve at a lower level:

Check the kind of floats before modifying them. Before making any adjustments, check the water level in the tanks; if there is still water in the tank, flush it.

Adjust the height of the float to the valve at the lower point by manually turning it clockwise with a screwdriver for ball and arm floats; for cylindrical floats with a tube attached to the valve, squeeze the release clip to the required height at the lower point accordingly so that the flapper remains open for a longer time.

Does a toilet flapper need a float? 

Yes, a float is required for a toilet flapper to flush more effectively by regulating the water level. Usually, a flapper works by using a chain float. 

A chain float can be adjusted up and down to keep the flapper open or closed to fine tune the water usage from the tank per flush. When lowering the float on the chain, the flapper stays open longer, helping flush the bowl properly by allowing more water to enter the bowl. 

If the float is missing, the flapper cannot be adjusted, resulting in water waste or insufficient water flow to flush.

Setting the float too low will result in a weak flush, while setting it too high will result in overflowing water. As a basis, it is necessary to attach the float to its proper location so that the flapper can be adjusted and the water level in the tank can be maintained.

Final Thoughts 

The flapper needs to open for a certain time to allow water to flow and complete flush. It can sometimes close too soon that indicates faulty flapper or low water level. If the flapper chain is too short or the draining hole is clogged it can also cause the toilet flapper to close too soon.