Toilet handles break. They’re handled regularly, made of fragile material, and their whole job is going up and down all day long. It’s not surprising that they break. Here’s the secret, though: they’re easy to fix and replace. While there are many situations when you should call in the pros, a broken toilet handle doesn’t have to be one of them.
Here’s our step-by-step guide to fixing or replacing a loose, outdated, or broken toilet handle below.
First, you need to remove the old handle.
To do this, you need to shut off the water to the toilet first. Flush it once or twice to drain any leftover water from the tank. Remove the lid and unscrew the nut on the inside. One important note: the nuts on the inside of toilet tanks are threaded in the opposite direction of traditional nuts. To loosen it, you’ll want to turn clockwise. Once it is unscrewed, pull it out. Hold onto the handle, bolt, and nut so you can match their length and width to your new handle.
If your handle is just loose, not broken, all you’ll need to do is tighten the nut inside the lid. Skip the rest. If you’re replacing it entirely, keep reading.
Next, you’ll need to choose your new handle.
You can buy replacement toilet handles at most hardware stores. When you go to the store to buy a new toilet handle, bring your old toilet handle with you. Match the length of the old handle’s lever against the new one to make sure it fits properly.
After that, it’s time to install the new handle.
Installing your new handle works the same way that removing the old one did. First, unscrew the washer and nut from the back of the new handle. Then, push its stem through the hole on the side of the tank. Replace the washer and screw the nut back into place. Don’t forget that the nuts thread in reverse: screw it on counterclockwise.
Once it’s screwed in, you’ll have to attach it to the inside of the toilet. Lift up the lever and push its end through the hole at the end of the handle’s length. Screw on a wing nut to the lever’s end to hold it in place. Then, just turn on the water and flush the toilet to make sure the new handle is working correctly.
Voila, you just replaced your toilet handle! For plumbing projects that go beyond the basic, never hesitate to call Ben Franklin Plumbing to back you up.