How do you fix a toilet handle that stays down? This is a very common question for homeowners, and the steps you need to take to get the situation under control generally aren’t too difficult to follow. The typical cause of the problem is too much slack in the toilet’s lift chain that prevents the flapper from initiating the flush cycle. Here’s how to fix a toilet flush lever the right way.
Flip the shutoff valve
The first step in fixing a toilet handle that stays down is to turn off the water by flipping the shutoff valve. This valve is typically on the left side of the toilet tank where the water supply pipe meets the floor or wall. If you don’t have a shutoff valve, it’s no problem—fixing the toilet flush lever will just cause you to get your hands wet, but the water will be clean.
Check the chain length
Give the toilet a flush to empty the tank of all water, then unhook the chain on the flush arm. Pull the chain up so there’s no slack and align the chain with one of the holes in the arm. Pinch the chain near this hole, then place the chain hook onto the flush chain. This position will allow the flapper to seal firmly over the flush valve.
Check slack in the chain
Before putting the cover back on the toilet tank, operate the toilet handle to check for slack in the chain. When you’ve pushed the handle down, the flapper should raise up into a vertical position. When releasing the handle, the flapper should rest firmly onto the flush valve, and there should only be a minimal amount of slack in the chain. If you notice that the chain is too long, you can cut off excess chain with wire cutters.
Perform a test
Now you can turn the water back on and test the handle. Allow the tank to fill back up with water and then flush the toilet as you would normally. If you notice the handle still sticking a bit, take a little more slack out of the chain. It may take some trial and error, but you’ll find the right amount of slack in no time.
If the flapper is still giving you problems, you may need to replace it with one that’s a better fit for your flush valve. This is a simple fix that only costs a few dollars, and you can pick up a new flapper at any basic home improvement shop. While you’re at it, replace the old chain, too, since they corrode and break over time.
Even relatively minor plumbing issues can be a hassle to address. Whether you need to know how to fix a toilet handle that stays down, or you need to get your drains unclogged, it helps to have the expertise of the professionals on your side. Reach out to Alvarado Pumping Septic Service today for advice and take the headache out of dealing with pesky plumbing issues.