The DIY Guide on Fixing a Loose Toilet Handle

One of the biggest perks of modern living is indoor plumbing. It’s wonderful to know that when you flush your toilet, that waste is carried down the drain and out of your home. In fact, it’s not even something you have to think about.

But when your toilet isn’t performing up to a standard that allows you to not think about it, you’ve got to know who to call. And if you’re not the type to call for help straight away, you’ll need to know how to fix a loose toilet handle yourself.

Know Before You Go

If you’re not going to call a plumber service, you need to do a little observation work first. There are plenty of replacement handles that are universal, meaning that they work on almost any toilet. But there are some handles that will only work with toilets with handles that are angle, side or front-mounted.

This is where your observation comes in. Note where your handle is located before going out to get a replacement handle. Also be sure to note whether it is on the left or right side of the tank, as this may make a difference in which handle you choose.

Simplest Fix

Sometimes a loose toilet handle is a quick and simple fix. Over time, the nut that holds the toilet handle in place on the inside of the tank can loosen. If this is the case, simply tighten the nut and the handle will be restored to functioning. If this doesn’t resolve the problem, you’ll likely need to do a complete handle replacement. But don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than most people might think.

Total Replacement

If you are interested in completely replacing the toilet handle there are a few simple steps to getting your toilet functioning the way you expect it to. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Detach the chain from the lift arm.
2. Remove the handle mounting nut.
3. Remove the old handle and lift arm and set them aside.
4. Remove the rubber washer and nut on the new handle.
5. Put on the new toilet handle.
6. Fasten the new handle by affixing the rubber washer followed by the nut.
7. Attach the chain to the lift arm.
8. Do a test flush.

Make Adjustments

Depending on the design of the handle you may need to adjust which hole on the lift arm you attach the chain to. If the tank doesn’t drain completely, the chain is likely too long. And if the water is running continuously, the chain is too short. When the toilet is flushing the way you want it to, replace the lid and pat yourself on the back.

There’s not a whole lot of steps to fixing a loose toilet handle. It’s the kind of plumbing that you can do for yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. Very few tools are needed, in fact, you may not need anything other than a wrench to get this job done. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to call your landlord or your favorite plumber for every job.