Hi, Jenn. The rubber gets old and stiff with age. It may expand a little too. A new one costs about $5 and the extra dollar or so that you will pay for a good one over a cheap one is well worth it. While you might have to get one on the weekend from a home center, I feel that the quality you get from a specialty plumbing distributor is generally better. If you get one from a home center for now, get the better one when you can. Real rubber is best. The cheaper ones are made of a soft plastic and the plasticizer can migrate out pretty quickly. Ours seem to last a year to 5 years, depending on the quality.