You never want a broken toilet handle. But it happens. Moreover, because toilets are unquestionably significant fixtures in your home, these kinds of issues call for quick fixes.
So, how to fix a toilet handle? The primary step of fixing a toilet handle is to find the cause of the problem, followed by their distinct fixes. The most common issue includes a loose or broken chain that can be fixed by adjusting the chain or replacing it.
Nevertheless, there are other issues as well that might take place. We are going to cover the possible reasons for your toilet handle not functioning properly. Moreover, cover a step-by-step fix for it.
Table: How To Fix A Toilet Handle
Before we get started, let’s take a look at a summarized table for causes and fixes.
|Loose Or Broken Chain||Tighten the adjustment nut on the toilet handle arm|
|Rusted Handle||Replace the handle|
|Defective Flapper Valve||Replace the flapper valve|
|Broken Handle Arm||Replace the handle arm|
How To Fix A Toilet Handle:
After conducting multiple research in this field, we have found 5 problems that might be the case for a non-functioning toilet handle. Here are the reasons for it and how you can fix them;
1. Loose Or Broken Chain
In flushing, the chain is crucial. When the handle is pushed down, the flapper that is connected to the handle by a chain releases water into the toilet bowl. As a result, when the chain is too loose or has gotten disconnected, the flapper may not be able to open entirely. It results in a poor flush or no flush at all.
There are two ways to fix this. One is for the loose chain and the other one is for the broken chain.
For a loose chain, the most efficient way to fix it is to tighten it. Here’s the fix for a loose or broken chain;
- Step 1: Turn off the water supply
- Step 2: Open the lid of the toilet tank and locate the chain inside.
- Step 3: Tighten the adjustment nut on the toilet handle arm by turning it clockwise using pliers. Take a look at this image for visual understanding;
- Step 4: Without closing the lid, try the toilet handle, and if it’s still not working, you may need to tighten it more.
For a broken chain, you need to replace it with a new one. Here’s how you can do it;
- Step 1: Turn off the water supply.
- Step 2: Remove the lid from the toilet tank and locate the chain inside.
- Step 3: Take off the broken chain.
- Step 4: Put every part of the existing chain together to measure its length using wire cutters, or you can just estimate and cut a new chain to match.
- Step 5: Put the new chain’s other end through the flapper valve arm’s hole and attach one end to the flush lever.
- Step 6: In order for the flapper valve to fully close when not in use, the chain length should be adjusted as required. You can do that by tightening or loosening the adjustment nut on the toilet handle arm by turning it clockwise or anticlockwise.
1. Rusted Handle
Rusted handles may become stiff and difficult to move, making it more difficult to flush the toilet. The handle may even break in a few cases if the corrosion is extremely severe. Simply look for any corrosion or rust on the handle. A reddish-brown stain should be visible on the handle.
The only fix here is to replace the toilet handle. To do that, follow these steps;
- Step 1: Turn off the water supply to the toilet.
- Step 2: Take off the toilet lid.
- Step 3: Unscrew the mounting nut on the inside of the tank and take the handle out. You can take a look at the image above for reference.
- Step 4: Install the new handle by inserting it into the tank’s mounting hole from the outside in the same position.
- Step 5: Tighten the mounting nut from the inside and close the toilet lid.
2. Defective Flapper Valve
The primary job of the flapper valve is to release water from the tank into the bowl when you flush. So you should realize how important the flapper is for a toilet. Thus, you will come across several issues with a defective one.
Firstly, you will see weak flushes or no flushes at all. Secondly, a continuous leak of water might also be seen. Lastly, the toilet flushes itself.
The fix for a defective flapper valve is replacing it with a new one. Here’s how to fix a defective flapper valve.
- Step 1: Stop the water flow in the tank.
- Step 2: Empty the tank by flushing it multiple times or just by using a mug to take the water out.
- Step 3: Disconnect the flapper from the chain and remove it.
- Step 4: Install the new valve just the way it was installed before.
- Step 5: Turn on the water supply and wait for the water to fill the tank before using it.
Here’s a video that will help you understand visually;
3. Broken Handle Arm
Now that you know how important the flapper is for your toilet, the lever arm is what connects the flapper in the system. Water flows from the tank into the bow when you depress the handle, lifting the arm that is connected to the flapper.
Thus, a broken arm wouldn’t be able to do the lifting task, which results in no flushing at all.
Well, there’s no repair available for this issue as well. You need to replace the broken handle arm. Here’s how to do it;
- Step 1: Turn off the water supply to the toilet.
- Step 2: Remove the lid.
- Step 3: Disconnect the chain from the hand arm.
- Step 4: Locate the nut that secures the handle arm to the toilet tank.
- Step 5: Use a wrench to loosen the nut and take it off.
- Step 6: Take the handle arm and replace it with a new one. The replacement process is the same as uninstalling the handle arm. Just do it in reverse.
- Step 7: Open the water source, and it should be working just like brand new.
Let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding fixing a toilet handle.
When it comes to fixing a toilet handle, you don’t require any advanced tools. A plier or a wrench is enough to disconnect things and a plunger to unclog a toilet.
It’s always a must to turn off the water supply before working with a toilet handle. On the other hand, it’s vital that you wear gloves and eye protection.
It is recommended to replace your toilet handle if it is broken, loose, or not functioning properly. There’s no specific time period for replacing a toilet handle. One sign you can take into account is when the toilet handle doesn’t return to its original position after use.
There’s no specific solution for how to fix a toilet handle since there are multiple reasons behind a malfunctioning toilet handle. You have to take the proper action based on the particular problem. Nevertheless, you can use these DIY methods mentioned above to save a ton of money from plumbing services.
Last but not least, don’t forget to turn off the water supply before performing any task. Otherwise, you can face flooding and water damage. Additionally, turning off the water supply ensures that no one accidentally flushes the toilet while it is being repaired.