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Last Updated on October 31, 2022 by acechapman
A loose handle can lead to a constantly running toilet. It can make you feel like your money is leaking down the drain. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons per day, increasing your water bill by $70 per month. It’s best to replace or fix your toilet handle as soon as you see signs of it malfunctioning.
Do not let a broken handle on your toilet keep you awake at night, worrying about water bills and making that irritating running noise. Here are six reasons why your handle may be faulty and how you can fix it or replace it.
What Causes a Broken or Loose Toilet Handle?
Take off the lid of the toilet tank. Then, look for the connection between the handle and the mechanism within the tank. A large, plastic nut should be visible. The handle will not work correctly if the nut is loose.
Begin by tightening the loose nuts by hand. You can tighten the handle by hand, or use a pair of pliers to tighten it a bit more. You should not tighten the nut too much or it could crack or break the toilet bowl.
It is possible that the handle may be backward if you or someone else has recently replaced the toilet’s flushing mechanism. This could explain why the handle is in the flush (or down) position.
This happens more often than you might think. It is possible to take apart the installation and try again.
The toilet’s nut is made of plastic and therefore less durable than a metal one. The nut could have a crack, which would make it difficult to hold the handle in place. It is possible that the threads inside the nut may also become loose, rendering the nut unusable.
You will need to replace the handle kit if the nut is broken or worn out. It will include a new handle, nuts, and handle arm.
If you are looking for a replacement handle kit, be sure to check where it mounts on your toilet tank.
- Front left
- Front right
The kit should match the position of your tank’s handle.
Cracked Handle Arm
The nut connects to the handle and the handle arm inside the toilet tank. The arm is a long, plastic rod that runs from the handle to the chain at the tank’s center.
It will not hold the flapper’s chain taut if it has a broken handle arm.
Cracked handle arms will cause the chain to come loose from the flapper’s attachment. You may need to replace the handle arm if you find damage.
The Chain Needs Adjustment
You may be able to fix the problem if the handle arm is slightly bent rather than cracked. To flush the toilet, press down on the handle and pull the flapper up.
To fix the problem, you can move the chain up or down a few links from the handle arm.
Faulty Flapper and Chain
If the flapper mechanism or chain is not working properly, it could appear as if the flush lever has been broken. A broken flapper or chain can cause the handle to become loose or hang down.
Replace the toilet flapper that is leaking with a kit that includes both a chain and flapper.
How do I recognize a broken toilet handle?
The toilet handle must be held in place to function properly. Push on the handle to flush the toilet. After that, it should return to its original position. It isn’t working correctly if it hangs or doesn’t snap back.
The handle can cause the toilet flushing mechanism to hang loosely inside the bowl if it is left hanging. The loose flapper seal can allow water to slowly leak from the tank into your bowl, eventually down the sewer pipes.
You can either hire a local plumber to replace the toilet handle or fix it yourself if you have a broken mechanism. A plumber can repair a running toilet for $100-$400 depending on the issue. The cost of replacing a handle should be at the lower end.
How to replace a toilet handle
- You need to determine what hardware is needed for the replacement of your toilet lever. Although most hardware stores carry universal toilet handles, you might need one. To find the right type of replacement flush handle for your toilet, look up the brand and model.
- Turn off the water, then close the seat and remove the tank lid.
- Look inside the tank to find the chain clip attached to the lever. This small chain is attached to the handle of your toilet.
- Then, remove the mounting nut. This is the same nut that you used in the previous walkthrough. You can remove the nut using a wrench or pliers counterclockwise.
- Take out the old handle. You can remove the nut and chain that hold it in place. It may be necessary to tilt it slightly to remove it, but this is normal.
- Then, remove the mounting nut from the handle.
- In order to match the old lever’s position, insert the new lever into the tank. It will be easy to tell if the handle touches the tank’s side.
- The new mounting nut will secure the handle to the tank.
- Then, attach the chain to the hole in the lever. There are often several to choose from. To ensure that the chain flushes correctly, you need about one inch of slack. You can try different holes until you find the perfect length.
- Test it by turning the water off. It should flush without any rattling.
Alteration of the toilet flush valve may also be an issue. If it is sticking, it could indicate that it needs replacement with a more powerful one. This, as a result, will prevent the toilet lever from constantly breaking. If you are unsure of what to do, you can always contact a plumbing expert to do the job.