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Living Smart: Toilet Repair

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By Angie Hicks

When it comes to toilet repair, unfortunately, it’s easy for us to just accept the bill — even if it seems too high — because we need the problem fixed and timing is usually of the essence.

“There’s no reason it (a toilet repair or replacement) should ever cost that much, because the cost of the material is just not there,” says Heather Beem with Beemer Plumbing in Spring Hill, Kan.

Beem says her company charges $175, which covers the parts and labor, to replace the guts — the fill valve, flapper and supply line — for a standard toilet. They charge about $100 to replace the flapper alone and about $350 to replace an entire toilet. Some repairs and replacement costs can be more, depending on the type of toilet; for example, something antique or more high-end.

The flapper is the rubber piece that seals the toilet tank. Often, it won’t seal fully, allowing the toilet to continuously “run.” You can do an easy test yourself to see if your flapper is bad by putting a couple of drops of dark food coloring into the tank.

“If you let it sit for three to five minutes and there is color in the bowl, that means your flapper is not seating correctly,” Beem says.

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