How to Fix a Toilet Handle

If your toilet handle sticks or your toilet won't flush, you may need to perform a little toilet maintenance and replace your old, faulty handle with a new one.


Up next in Bathroom Repair (13 videos)

Learn how to fix many bathroom plumbing problems yourself with the step-by-step instructions in this Howcast video series about bathroom repair.

You Will Need

  • Channel locks
  • New toilet handle
  • Utility knife (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Unscrew the old handle

    Remove the broken handle by unscrewing the plastic nut from the back of the handle, inside the toilet tank. You may need to use channel locks to get a grip on the nut.

  2. Toilet handle bolts generally loosen in a clockwise direction -- the opposite of most conventional bolts.

  3. Step 2

    Remove the broken handle arm

    Remove the broken handle arm by detaching the chain from the arm, leaving the other end of the chain connected to the flapper valve inside the toilet.

  4. Step 3

    Insert the new handle

    Disconnect the plastic nut from the new handle and slide it off the arm. Feed the end of the arm through the handle hole in the toilet tank, replace the nut, and hand tighten it.

  5. Step 4

    Reconnect the chain

    Reconnect the chain to one of the holes on the new arm, selecting a hole that allows the arm to lift the chain and flapper valve without lifting higher than the top of the toilet tank.

  6. If the new handle is too large for the hole in your tank, you can shave plastic from the inside of the handle with a utility knife to make it fit.

  7. Step 5

    Replace the top of the toilet tank

    Replace the top of your toilet tank and breathe easy knowing you can flush your toilet again.

  8. Girls are typically toilet trained before boys. Successful training starts around 18 months or later for girls, and around 22 months or later for boys.