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How to Fix a Broken Toilet Handle Before the Holidays

December 14, 2018 Contributor
Toilet surrounded by plumbing tools

Africa Studio on Shutterstock

The worst has happened: your friends and family are on their way to your home for a holiday gathering, and the guest toilet isn’t working. You don’t have time to find a plumber to replace the handle, so what do you do?

Fortunately, fixing a broken toilet handle on your own isn’t as difficult as it may seem. In fact, with just five steps, you can probably salvage the holiday gathering and prevent any embarrassing bathroom stories.

1. Turn off the water.

The last thing you want is to increase your toilet problems by causing the bowl to overflow. Before you start messing around with plumbing, it’s smart to shut off the water valve and prevent any potential water damage.

2. Take off the tank lid and drain the water.

You might be nervous about delving into the toilet tank, but it’s truly not a complicated step. Just remove the lid and place it gently on a towel spread out on the bathroom floor. Then, flush the toilet to drain the water that’s still inside the tank.

3. Remove the clip that attaches the chain to the flush lever.

As soon as you look into the toilet tank, you’ll notice a clip that attaches a chain to the flush lever. If the handle is too jiggly to work properly, try moving this chain onto a lower link to create less slack. That might fix your problem entirely, but if the handle seems rusted or otherwise broken, move on to the next step.

4. Head to the store and pick up a new handle.

Not only will this new handle probably fix your toilet problems, but it will also give your bathroom a bit of new flair. Depending on how nice of a handle you buy, you can estimate to spend between $2 and $10, a small price to pay for your plumbing “emergency.”

5. Remove the old handle and replace it with the new one.

If there is rust or debris gathered where the old handle was, you’ll want to clean the area thoroughly before placing the new one in the spot.

6. Reattach the chain and replace the toilet lid.

Think back to steps one and two, then follow them in reverse order. Make sure to give the chain just enough slack to move, but not enough to make the handle jiggle when you try to flush.

7. Check to see if everything is working properly.

Once everything is back in its proper place, turn the water back on and try to flush the toilet normally. If something goes wrong, follow the steps again to see what you might have missed.

These steps, however simple they may be, don’t solve every toilet problem. If your toilet won’t flush, overflows, or has other serious issues, call in an emergency service like Reichelt Plumbing. We provide quick, affordable plumbing service to Northwest Indiana and South Cook County in Illinois.

To schedule an appointment with Reichelt Plumbing, call (219) 322-4906 today.

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