How to Install a Toilet Handle

Installing the handle on the toilet is frequently the last step to a new toilet installation. New handles can also be installed at any time to help update the look of the bathroom, or to match the style and finish of the faucets and other metals in the room. Regardless of the reason why, new toilet handles all install in the same way.

Steps

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    Lift the lid off of the toilet tank and make sure the tank is empty.
    • If the toilet has been in use previously, shut off the water supply to the toilet, then flush it to empty the tank.
    • If this is a new toilet, do not turn on the water supply until after the handle is installed.
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    Hold the handle in your non-dominant hand and remove the gasket and shank nut from the back of the handle.
    • The gasket is a rubber ring that sits behind the nut and helps to seal the handle from leaks. Twisting the nut off the back of the handle will take the gasket with it. Most toilet handles thread backward; turn the nut clockwise to loosen it.
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    Remove chain from lever to the flapper.
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    Pull the stem out of the hole in the side of the tank.
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    Get your toilet's new handle
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    Push new handle to the toilet's hole.
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    Push the gasket onto the stem of the handle inside the tank and thread the shank nut back on.
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    Turn it counterclockwise to tighten until it is snug up against the side of the tank.
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    Line up the lever arm with the handle and flapper. The lever arm is attached to the handle and reaches back into the tank where it attaches to the flapper with a chain. Make sure its end is positioned directly above the toilet's flapper while its other end lines up with the end of the handle's shank.
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    Push the end of the lever arm down through the hole in the handle's shank. Screw a wing nut onto the bottom end of the lever arm to hold it onto the handle.
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    Pick up the flapper chain and thread it through the hole on the lever arm. The chain should loose enough that it will not pull on the flapper when the handle is level, but tight enough that pushing on the handle will pull the flapper up.
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    Test the handle a few times to check and move the chain to a looser or tighter hole on the lever arm if necessary.
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    Replace the tank lid.
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    Turn on the water valve to fill the tank. Flush the toilet with the new handle to double check that it works.

Tips

  • Newer toilets sometimes use a tower instead of a flapper. The lever arm should go right to the top of the tower; follow the toilet manufacturer's instructions if the lever arm is not already in place.

Warnings

  • Do not over tighten any nuts. Water inside the tank could cause these to rust over time, making them very difficult to remove if they have been put on too tightly.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench

Article Info

Categories: Plumbing Drains Waste and Vents