Toilet Lever Repair

Toilet Lever Repair – Flush you problems away.

The other day I think I pressed the toilet handle a little too hard.  There was a little more give than normal.  The toilet flushed, but it felt weak and the handle felt loose. Shoot! Now the toilet is broken.

Once the toilet tank had filled itself up again, I tried to flush it again to test the lever.  I could tell something was wrong with it.

I lifted the lid on the tank to take a look. Yep, broken. I’m going to have to repair this thing. Below is a step by step method of repairing the toilet flushing lever. This is a relatively simple and inexensive repair.

Remove Toilet Cover
1.  Remove the Cover:

Simple enough, right…you have to take off the lid of the tank to access the lever.  This is the simplest part of the repair.

By removing the cover it highlighted the problem of why the toilet won’t flush anymore. I made a quick visit to the local Home Depot to pick up a new Toilet Lever. I found it in the plumbing aisle near the toilet accessories.

2.  Problem Revealed:

You can see in the photo on the right that there is a tiny crack in the plastic lever part that attached to the flush handle.  Because of this crack, the bolt spins in the lever instead of lifting when the flush handle is pressed.

This lever connects to a chain, which connects to the rubber flapper that keeps the water in the tank until flushed. If the lever doesn’t lift, the flapper won’t open.

Proof of a Broken Lever
Remove Toilet Cover
3.  Remove the Lever:

The first real step to this repair is to take the lever and flush handle off.  The lever is connected to the flush handle with a plastic nut.

The nut should come off easily, but if it doesn’t, a crescent wrench should provide all the leverage you need to turn it. Once, the nut is loose, slide it along the lever and (temporarily) unhook the chain to get it off.

4.  Preserve Chain:

Once you remove the handle and lever, you will have the lever connected to the chain.

Keep the lever connected to the chain until you are ready to switch it to the new lever; tape it to the side of the tank. That way you won’t have to fish it out later.

The next step is attaching the new lever to the toilet tank.

Don't lose the chain
Remove Toilet Cover

5.  Get your Replacement Lever:

The lever comes with a handle so be sure to find a handle that has a design that you like. The levers I saw on the shelf were priced anywhere from $5-$15. You’re probably better off getting one that is in the middle on price. The cheap ones are cheaply made.

I selected a metal lever over plastic because its less likely to break over time.

6.  Attach the Lever:

After you remove the lever from the package, unscrew the nut from the back of the handle. You should be able to get it off with your fingers.

Slide the lever through the hole on the tank. It slides through very easily.

Remove Toilet Cover
Remove Toilet Cover
7.  Tighten the nut:

Once you have the lever and handle in place, you can slide the nut over the lever and back towards the tank.

Hold the handle in place with one hand and tighten the nut with your fingers. You should be able to get it snug enough without having to use a wrench.

7.  Attach the Chain:

Once the lever is securely attached, you can retrieve your old lever (which should still be attached to the chain) and unhook the chain from it.

Discard the old, broken, crappy lever and hook the chain into one of the holes at the end of the new lever. The hole you chose is dependent on the length of the chain.

Remove Toilet Cover

Once the chain is attached, give the old handle a press.  If it flushes properly, you’ve just repaired your toilet, if it doesn’t, follow steps 1-7 again.  Put the lid back on the tank, clean up your mess and you’re ready for action! 

Repair Your Toilet Flush Lever Yourself.

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