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Toilet handles are super important, obviously, because they flush down all the contents of the toilet bowl down the drain. But what happens when it stops working? Well, of course, then you’ll have to fill a bucket full of water and pour it into the bowl, so the contents flush away.

But is it convenient to be filling a bucket every time you use the loo? Not really. Also, who has the money to call in a plumber every time something like that happens? A broken flush handle or button is a common occurrence in many households.

Luckily, fixing a toilet handle is pretty much child’s play. You don’t need plumbers and experience to fix one! Follow our super-simple steps, and you’ll be feeling like a pro-plumber by the time the task is complete!

Step 1: Turn off the Water Supply:

 While turning off the water supply to change a toilet handle is not an important or Must-do step, it is very helpful if you want to make the new handle installation process less wet and messy. It will be much easier to work once the tank is empty.

Since you will be working with the chain and toilet flapper at the end of the water tank, you’ll probably want it to be empty. So reach for the valve behind the toilet and turn it clockwise. This will turn off the water supply.

Step 2: Empty the reservoir:

Now even though the water supply will be off, the reservoir will still have water inside. So since your handle isn’t working, you’ll need to flush the toilet using the chain. So search for the chain, which is the connection between the handle and its flapper. Pull-on this chain to make it rise up. This will cause the toilet to flush.

Now, if your toilet’s tank empties, that completes this step. If there is still some water left in it, flush it again until the whole reservoir is empty.

Step 3: Remove the chain clip:

Now it is time to undo the chain clip. There will be a clip attached to the chain, which is a link between the handle and its flapper. This chain helps the toilet flush. So once you locate the end of the lever (it may be plastic or metal), undo the clasp. This will detach it from the toilet.

Step 4: Unscrewing the Nut/Screw:

On the interior of the reservoir’s top, look for the plastic or metal fastening nut that holds your handle in position. Loosen the screw that keeps the lever/handle in place within the reservoir with a wrench. To remove the screw, try turning it around with your hands.

It’s not likely that it would come off with your hands, but it’s still a better option because you’re dealing with a sensitive area. If that does not work, use a set of locking pliers to gain more pressure on the screw.

To extract the nut or screw, unscrew it and push it down the handle within your reservoir. However, be careful not to force it too hard. If you turn it forcefully in the incorrect direction, the ceramic could fracture.

We’d recommend that you treat the nut to a little lubricating oil and then try unscrewing it. It’s much safer and reduces the chances of porcelain cracking.

Step 5: Extract the Handle:

Now, after the previous step, the handle will come off pretty easily and almost automatically. The handle will completely separate itself from the chain. You can easily slide it out from the hole. If that doesn’t happen, it is probably because there are some nuts still present on it; just unscrew those.

Step 6: Get a Brand New Handle:

Throw away the old handle once it’s off. You don’t need it! You can get a new one for under $20 from any nearby hardware store. Just make sure you know your toilet’s brand before picking out a new handle. Or at least show the shopkeeper a picture of your toilet.

The good news here is that all new handles come with levers already. Don’t bother using the old lever or saving it to attach to the new handle.

Step 7: Install the New handle:

Undo the new handle’s screw and fit the lengthier part of the handle into the hole. You’ll be able to figure out what I’m talking about once you have the new handle in your hand. Now, Return the nut to the length and turn it onto the bottom of the handle. 

It should be clipped into the same slot as the original arm. After that, perform some test flushes to make sure that the flush works. The flush mechanism should fully open and close. However, use caution when it comes to the degree of tightness.

If the chain is too tight, the flush valve may not set adequately, leading it to spill continuously. The tanks will not empty completely if the chain is attached too loosely, though. Change which hole the chain is fastened to, or shift the chain down or up a couple of links. Continue to test till the flush is perfect.

And hey, now you’ve got a whole ass handle attached!

What Causes Broken Chain Handles?

Now, I already said that handles on a toilet keep breaking or stop working from time to time, especially in standard toilets. But why does that happen?

The chain detaches:

Well, most of the time, the issue is a simple one. The chain that we talked about in length in the previous section sometimes comes undone and needs to be fastened again. So that makes a kind of a problem. But all you need to do is empty your reservoir (like in step one), and reach for the chain and reattach it.

The Nut is loose:

However, if the chain is attached, then the issue is probably in the nut that the handle is screwed with. Just turn it to the left and tighten it a little bit, and the problem will probably be gone.

But again, if none of the above two methods work, then you’ll need to attach a brand new handle. Luckily for you, we’ve already taught you how to do all that!

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