No one really prepares you for all the things you really don’t know about maintaining a home. There is no instruction manual that you are handed with your folder of mortgage paperwork. There are so many things that need regular maintenance in your home, such as changing furnace filters, fixing dripping faucets, cleaning dryer vents, clearing gutters…the list is endless.

Now, you could pay someone to do all these things for you. There are plenty of contractors out there who will gladly take your hard-earned money for quick 5-minute jobs. However, you can save yourself a ton of money if you learn how to do a few simple home maintenance tasks yourself.

Can you Change a Flapper Valve?

Take a constantly running toilet for instance. Not only is a running toilet annoying, it also costs you a lot of money in wasted water. A typical cause of a running toilet is the flapper valve. And no, it does not resemble a 1920s dame at the local speakeasy. The flapper valve creates the water tight seal inside the toilet tank, which opens when you flush to release water into the bowl and push the contents out.

A plumber could fix it for you, to the tune of about $100 dollars. Or you could do it yourself  in a few minutes, for a lot less, with parts readily available at your local home improvement store.

Watch the video below to see how easy it is to change the flapper valve.


Choose the Right Part

There are basically two sizes of flapper: 2 inches or 3 inches. Most toilets use in residential use use a 2-inch flapper, but the 3-inch flapper has become popular since 2005. If you have a newer toilet, you might need the 3-inch flapper. 

To determine which size you need, check inside the tank. You want to look at the flush valve drain opening, located at the bottom of the tank. If this opening is roughly the size of a baseball, you need a 2-inch flapper. If it’s the size of a softball, you need a 3-inch flapper.

If you aren’t sure which one to buy, many home improvement store employees can help you determine the correct fit.

Happy DIY-ing! Once you get started and gain confidence, you will be a master of home maintenance in no time! When it comes to buying or selling your home, we are here to help answer any questions and guide you through a better understanding. Please do not hesitate to contact us at or phone us at 202.800.0800.





Tags: Tim Pierson, Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Home Maintenance, Home Repair, Flapper Valve, DIY