If you have decided to buy a new toilet or your old one needs replacement, then there are some points that you should consider first before making the final buying decision. There are hundreds of different options available when it comes to toilets.

If you are looking for a toilet that flushes down the waste completely, without leaving any stains behind and which has a very less chance of clogging, then you have got many options. Out of all the options, the most popular are canister flush valve and flapper. It is important to know how they work and what are their performance criteria and working mechanism.

The tank of toilet is the place in which resides a flush valve. It can be a canister flush valve or a flapper valve. There is a lever or button to start the flushing mechanism. When flushing mechanism starts a flush valve opens and allows the water to go into the tank.

What Is a Canister Flush Valve?

Canister flush valves are long cylindrical valves. These valves are placed vertically inside the toilet tank. A lever is attached with the toilet. When a lever is pulled up, it allows the water to go into the tank because the lever causes the valve to open. The canister valves are large in size therefore they let the water flow with pressure.

The structure of canister valves is very complex. Many small parts are linked together to get the canister valves work. Instead of all these facts, a canister valve is said to have a longer life span and they require not much maintenance. Their life span is also considerably long.

What Is a Flapper Valve?

Flapper valves are mostly found in older toilets. Flappers were made earlier than canister valves. Flapper valve is made of rubber and sometimes made of plastic. They are placed inside the toilet tank. They control the flow of water that goes to the toilet bowl.

A flapper has a chain attached with it. This chain is further attached with the lever or button that is used for flushing. When a lever is pulled or a button is pressed, the chain of the flapper is also pulled up and it allows the water to start flowing from the tank thus starting the flushing mechanism. A flapper valve is an old technology but its efficiency is not compromised. It is still very good at flushing away the waste properly.

Canister Flush Valve vs Flapper – Pros, Cons, & Comparisons

Canister flush valve and flapper are used to start the flushing mechanism. Both are used for the same purpose but still they are different from each other. Both items have their pros and cons. A list of differences is given below to help you understand the concepts of flapper and canister valves properly.


The bigger size of a flush valve means that more water will be able to release from the toilet tank at one time. More water releasing from the tank at one time means that the water will flow with more pressure. This will result in powerful flushing mechanism that will leave behind no stains.

The size of a flapper valve is 2 inches. While the size of a canister flush valve is 3 inches. This proves that canister valves are larger in size thus resulting in faster water flowing with more pressure. Canister valves are usually preferred more due to their pressure flushing technology that flushes away the waste in no time with even a single flush.

Flushing Power:

Flushing power of a flush valve is dependent on trap way. If the trap way has bigger size and shape, then the flush power will be stronger. In case of canister valve, the size is bigger which makes the flushing power strong. The canister flush valve makes the water flow with more power. The water coming with more pressure into the toilet bowl makes the waste to flush away completely leaving no stains behind.

A flapper valve is shorter is size and trap way is also small due to which pressure of water coming from the tank becomes slower. It does not have much effect on the overall performance of a toilet but still it is a considerable fact if you are hygiene freak or if you focus more on cleaning and hygiene.

Efficiency and Versatility:

It is considered that there is not much difference in the efficiency level of canister flush valve or flapper valve. There is however a point to be noted that canister flush valve comes in two styles, both dual flush and single flush toilets, while flapper valve comes only in single flush style.

This flushing option is important if you measure the efficiency of your toilet through the cleaning level. A single flush option allows same level of water flow for both solid and liquid waste, while a dual flush option allows you to choose the level of water flow for solid and liquid waste.


It is an unavoidable fact that things tend to get old with time and thus need repair or replacement which is called maintenance. If you have a canister valve or a flapper valve, both require maintenance.

A flapper valve breaks easily but it is also easy to replace or repair it. In most cases, the chain breaks down and you either replace it or fix it which is a relatively easier task. You can even do it by yourself. On the other hand, a canister valve serves you for a long time, but if broken it is a bit complex to replace or repair a canister flush valve as compared to a flapper valve.


Cost is a factor that is able to make changes in your choices and decisions. Many people often consider the cost factor to be most important while choosing any product.

There is not a huge difference in the cost of both valves. Flapper valves are relatively less expensive than canister flush valves but canister valves last you a longer time as compared to flapper valves.

Last Comments:

The closing comments are that if you want a toilet with maximum flushing power, then you should go for canister flush valve. However, flapper valve also has its own pros and cons. We suggest you to give a thorough read to the above content before making a final decision.

Sarah Michelle is a passionate writer and digital strategist interested in the evolving landscape of online content and user experience. Having closely followed the developments in digital marketing and search algorithms, Sarah brings a unique blend of insights into the marketing world and is committed to helping both creators and consumers navigate the digital realm with confidence.

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