How to Fix a Loose Toilet Handle

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Wiggling toilet handle

A loose or wiggly toilet handle can be annoying. A toilet handle not flushing at all is even worse.

Luckily, a loose toilet handle is a minor toilet problem and one that’s usually easy to fix. Here’s how you can fix a broken toilet handle, either by tightening or replacing it.

How to Tighten a Toilet Handle

Close the toilet seat cover.Keep parts or tools from falling in.

Remove the toilet tank cover.Use two hands as it may be heavy and set it on a flat surface where it won’t fall or crack.

Shut off the water supply to your toilet.The shut-off valve should be located near the base towards the back of your toilet.

Press the toilet tank lever to empty the water from the tank.This allows you easier access to the inside of the handle.

Find the toilet handle nut.It will be on the inside of the porcelain wall adjacent to the handle. This is probably the source of your loose toilet handle.

Tighten the toilet handle nut.Use an adjustable wrench or pliers clockwise to ensure the nut fits snuggly. Do not over-tighten – it could cause your porcelain tank to crack.

Depress the toilet handle to test.If it feels and sounds better, well done. If not, read on to learn how to replace a toilet handle.

Turn water supply back on.Turn the shut-off valve counter clockwise to open. Your tank will refill.

How to Replace a Toilet Handle

Determine what hardware you’ll need for your toilet lever replacement. Most hardware stores sell universal toilet handles, but you may need a specific variety. Look up your existing brand name, model, and make to see what type of flush handle replacement will work.Close the seat, remove the tank lid, turn off the water and empty the tank. (See 1-4 above.)Look inside the tank and unclasp the chain clip that’s attached to the lever. This is a small chain hooked onto the inside portion of your toilet handle.Remove the mounting nut. This is the same nut you would have tightened in the first walkthrough up above. Use a wrench or pliers to unscrew the nut (counter-clockwise) and take it off. Pull the old handle out. Once the nut and chain holding it in place are removed, you can pull it out by hand. You might have to angle it a bit to get it out, but that’s normal.Unscrew the mounting nut on the new handle nut, but don’t lose it. The nut may be metal or plastic.Insert the new lever into the tank to match the position of old one. You’ll know it’s in right when the handle is flush with the side of the tank. Secure the handle from inside the tank with the new mounting nut.
A person tests their toilet lever replacement.
Attach the chain to one of the holes in the lever. There are usually a few to choose from. You want around one inch of slack in the chain so that it flushes properly. Try a few of the different holes in the lever until you find the right length.Turn the water back on and test it out. It should flush easily, without rattling.

Congratulations! You now know how to install a toilet handle.

By following these steps, you have hopefully fixed or replaced your loose toilet handle.

If your toilet handle broke or keeps coming loose, get in touch with Mike Diamond. We’ll diagnose the problem and make sure your toilet is working properly. No matter what your toilet question, Mike Diamond – your trusted LA plumber – has the answer.

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