How to Fix a Toilet Handle? Simple 7 Steps!

Is your old toilet handle jammed, rusted, broken, or loosened? Fixing a toilet handle is easy, regardless of what the issue is. A faulty toilet handle can affect how your toilet functions, even if your toilet doesn’t have any problem.

You will be happy to know that fixing your toilet handle is easy. If the handle is broken, you will have to replace it. But if it’s loose, you can tighten it and have it working okay again.

Faulty Toilet Handle Symptoms:

-Shaky toilet handle
-Broken toilet handle
-Continuously running toilet
-Jammed handle
-Poor Flushing
-Noisy in operation

7 Steps: How to Fix a Toilet Handle?

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Replacing a toilet handle by yourself is not an easy task at all. You need to follow some necessary steps to install a new toilet handle. Below is a procedure for how to remove and replace your broken handle:

Step 1: Turn off the water supply

How to Fix a Toilet Handle

As usual, you should start by turning off the water supply before you can work inside the toilet tank. Locate the shutoff valve at the back of the toilet. Turn it clockwise to stop water from flowing into the tank. When you’re done, you can remove the toilet lid and place it on a towel, rag, or newspaper. The toilet’s tank lid is delicate and should be handled with great care.

Step 2: Lift the toilet flapper to drain the water

How to Fix a Toilet Handle

Next, lift the toilet flapper to drain water from the tank. Look for the chain that links the handle to the flapper. Pull this chain to lift the flapper to allow water to flow from the tank to the bowl. Allow the whole water to drain so that you can have a trouble-free work area. Put the flapper back. If you have a faulty flapper, just replace it with a new one that fits your flush valve.

If your handle is broken but still okay, you can use it if you don’t want to get your hands wet.

Step 3: Detach the chain clip

If you’re changing the flapper, you have to replace the entire flush valve assembly. First, you will have to detach the chain clip. This clip is normally connected to the lever. It also connects the handle to the flapper and allows you to flush the toilet. Therefore, if it’s broken or dysfunctional, you will not flush the toilet properly.

Identify the chain’s part that’s clasped to the end of the metal or plastic lever that connects to the handle. Detach the clasp so that you can disconnect the handle and lever from the rest of the toilet. Next, hang the clasped part of the chain on the side of the toilet or the pipe of the fill pump so that you can have an easy time re-installing the chain. Ensure that the fill valve is correctly secured to the bottom of the tank.

Step 4: Remove the mounting nut

How to Fix a Toilet Handle
Locate the mounting nut holding your toilet handle inside the tank. Try to turn the nut clockwise to loosen it by hand and see if it loosens. If the nut is troublesome, use a pair of locking pliers to loosen it. Some nuts may rust and fail to loosen completely. In such a case, use a hacksaw to cut off the nut.

Never turn the mounting nut counterclockwise, as you may make matters worse. A stubborn nut should be loosened with pliers or cut off using a small hacksaw. Also, you should remove the O-ring that seals water from coming through to the handle. But if your nut doesn’t feature an O-ring, there is nothing to panic about, as some manufacturers don’t feature it.

Step 5: Remove the old or broken handle

When you’re done detaching the chain and mounting nut, you can now remove the handle. Pull out the handle so that it comes out with the lever. Depending on the type of toilet you have, you may be forced to unscrew the lever before removing the handle. Inspect if your handle has a lever that has to be detached and unscrewed.

Remove the handle and lever and throw them away. Since most new toilet handles come complete with a lever, you can throw away the old handle and its lever and replace a toilet handle with the new one.

How to fix toilet handle

Step 6: Install the new handle

Make sure that you purchase the right lever for your toilet. Not all toilet handles are ideal for your type of toilet. Most toilet brands have spare parts such as toilet handles. However, there are some universal parts that tend to be cheaper. Make the right choice so that you don’t have to regret it later. You can buy either a plastic or metal handle.

Front Flush Handle: For regular toilets
Side Handle: For ADA-compliant toilets
Angle-Mount Flush Lever: For round toilet tanks
Long Reach Cistern Lever Handle: For Concealed Cistern Toilets
Universal Toilet Lever: For all types of toilets

 How to Fix a Toilet Handle

Next, pull off the mounting nut and O-ring from the new handle. You can now slide the lever into one of the holes in the lever to fix the toilet handle. Push the lever carefully so that its end is close to the chain clip. After fitting the lever inside the toilet, the handle will automatically fit against the toilet’s side.

Related article: Easy ways to fix a clogged toilet

Use one hand to guide the lever in the toilet and the other to control the handle. Put the O-ring and nut back. Ensure the nut is tightened to hold the O-ring in place and create a perfect seal. It would be perfect if you kept tightening until the handle was tight on the side of the tank. However, it would help if you did not over-tighten, as you may mess with everything.

Finally, return the chain on. But first, inspect the chain and make sure it’s not wrapped around anything. Additionally, you should ensure that the chain has at least 1 inch of slack before connecting it to the clasp. This makes flushing the toilet easily.

Step 7: Test the handle

 How to Fix a Toilet Handle

Use a wrench and turn it counterclockwise to tighten the nuts correctly. After tightening all the screws of the new handle, attach the chain so the toilet can flush. With everything connected, you can now turn on the water at the back of the toilet. Give the tank at least 2 minutes to fill and flush the toilet. Please pay attention to how they handle flushes. If it’s stiff, you may need to adjust the water level and chain, while if the handle feels loose, you will have to tighten the mounting screw with pliers. But if the handle is okay, you can return the lid, and you will have your problem solved.


With this guide, you can quickly fix your running toilet handle without the help of a plumber. Ensure you have a screwdriver, pliers, and sponge when you want to replace a toilet handle. If your toilet handle is fine and you only have to tighten it, you only need a screwdriver. Follow our guide, and you will fix your toilet handle in minutes.

Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.

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