To prepare, you'll want to get the hot water running in the sink or tub and give it enough time to reach its maximum temperature. If the chain is too short, on the other hand, the flapper lifts too high and doesn't drop back into position. Or you're at home over Thanksgiving or Christmas, and one among your brood gets a little frisky with the bath tissue -- and the box store won't open again until the next day. One of the most common causes of a running toilet is a worn out flapper, which is the rubber plug that prevents water from leaking down the drain in the tank to the toilet. If those two things aren’t connected anymore, your toilet won’t flush … Remove the old flapper by removing the chain from the flush lever and pulling the flapper off the pins on the side of the overflow tube. Replace Your Toilet Flapper Valve Locate the toilet water supply valve handle behind the toilet and turn it clockwise to shut the water off. It’s really not worth trying to find replacement parts in this case. This occurs after months/years and typical toilet bowl acids won't to desolve it. The seat mounting bolts may not be in the right place, causing the seat to lay improperly against the toilet bowl. If the chain is too long, the flapper won't lift all the way and will drop too soon, resulting in an incomplete flush. If that happens, you don't have to call a plumber or head to the hardware store just yet. Re: Won't flush unless you hold lever down; Author: e-plumber (NY) Is it a strong flush when the handle is held down? There could be an obstruction in the toilet trapway if the flush is not strong as it used to be. We have a few tricks up our sleeves—plus years of experience—to fix running toilets, and we can also help you out with any other plumbing repairs or maintenance. Loosen slightly if needed. This ensures a high soap-to-water ratio. For starters, check the level of the water in the tank by comparing it to the overflow tube. Unclip it if it’s attached and snip off enough so the refill tube will sit above the overflow tube. If the toilet continues to run, this almost always occurs because this flapper does not fit properly into the flush valve opening. If that still didn’t stop your toilet from running, the last thing you can try is adjusting the level of the water in the toilet. You can either pour (or pump) soap directly into the bowl and then add hot water, or you can mix the soap with the hot water before you add it to the bowl. The raised toilet flapper releases water from the tank into the toilet bowl. Verify that the trip lever chain is attached to the handle. I have the usual toilet problem; it won't shut off. Genmor Plumbing 140 Lewis Rd. If you don’t know what kind of toilet you have, buy a universal flapper. And while there are a number of things that can make a toilet run, the solutions are usually relatively simple and make for easy DIY projects. When I press on the handle to flush the toilet, nothing happens!! The user depresses the flush handle. If applicable: Adjust the trip lever arm to be parallel with the top of the tank. If the toilet seat still won’t stay in place, adjust its position Sometimes a toilet seat has been improperly installed. When your shower head just doesn't put out the pressure it used to, here's how to quickly break up mineral buildup in your shower head. Replacing the Flush Valve Seal Turn off the water supply. Flush the toilet to see if it works okay. If it’s still jammed, remove the lid from the back of … SOLUTION. What to do when your toast won’t stay down. Begin this job by taking the handle off of the toilet. A loose nut causes the handle to stick, and won't allow the toilet to refill properly. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. Walk away, close the bathroom door, and wait 30 to 60 minutes before you check on it again. For a toilet with a float attached to the fill valve column, either loosen the screw to lower the float or release the clip, lower the float, and replace the clip. Turn off the water shut-off valve for your toilet and press the lever to empty the tank. When held down, it flushes just fine. It was the proper flapper, but just does not stay open long enough unless I hold the handle down. Problems that you notice in the handle are often due to a part else where in the mechanism, so its important to know how they all fit together. The chain is short to the point not much left to shorten. The chain may have just disconnected from the lever, from the flapper, or the lever or chain may have broken. C 36-833961, Trenchless Sewer Line Repair & Replacement. I've honed and practiced this ancient art of washroom wizardry over the course of many years, not just because I've wanted to, but because I sort of had to. If there is any movement, you may be able to restore more range of motion and get the handle working properly again. If the toilet doesn't flush completely unless you hold the handle down, it is usually because the flapper is not lifting fully away from the flush valve. Press down on the toilet handle and make sure that the chain is tight enough. Add anywhere from 10 to 100 squirts of hand soap to your solution -- you really can't overdo it. Shut off the water supply to the toilet, remove the tank lid, and give it a flush to drain the tank. Reconnect the chain to the trip lever or flush valve, if needed. Your bathroom is probably already stocked with everything you'll need to work this magic. Before you reach into the toilet tank, get … Turn the water back on and give it a test run. If your toilet is still running after you replace the flapper, you can try adjusting the refill tube, which may not be adjusted or fastened properly. If the clog isn't too stubborn, the added pressure of a full toilet bowl should help usher the backed-up matter through pretty quickly. One with a rigid, plastic arm is usually better since it won’t … You can clear most clogged toilets with nothing more than soap, hot water and a little bit of time. I'm not saying you have to pour the whole bottle in there, but I'm also not saying you shouldn't. Sometimes you know right away why your toilet won’t flush. Most handle nuts are made of plastic and can be hand-tightened, but they are threaded on counterclockwise to tighten. If you don’t have reason to suspect a clog, it’s best to start troubleshooting with the tank. Reattach the chain to the handle mechanism. This technique especially shines when you don't have the usual tools (like a plunger) at your disposal and secrecy is key. Also, make sure the water level is 5/8" below the overflow tube, the more water in the tank the better. There are 5 parts that make up the flush mechanism for you to identify. If you’re still having problems with your toilet after trying these three things, call Genmor Plumbing in San Jose, CA at 408-215-4612 for a professional diagnosis. Problem: My toilet won’t flush even though I depress the handle? First, take a look at the overflow tube and the small tube that runs between it and the fill valve. Most toilet backups aren't 100% blocked, so there's a good chance yours will drain slowly at first. Then you just need hot water and something to put it into the toilet with, like a small waste bin. Remove the Handle. Look inside the bowl for a wire or chain that leads from the flapper up to the trip lever. Your bathroom is probably already stocked with everything you'll need to work this magic. Dish soap and a 5-gallon bucket work best, but if secrecy is paramount and leaving the lavatory would blow your cover, a small plastic waste bin and a few pumps from a hand soap dispenser will do just fine. You really, really don't. You can buy a replacement toilet handle such as these for under $15. There are Problems with Your Toilet Flapper. Now follow these steps: Unplug the toaster. The lever is set at a slight angle inside the tank so that it can operate without scraping the tank side, the overflow tube or the intake valve. You have to manually hold the flapper open by holding down the toilet lever because the flapper is unable to stay afloat by itself. Once you get that disposal cleared up, consider putting it to good use and purge your refrigerator with this easy-to-follow guide. If it’s too long and actually goes down into the overflow tube, you need to shorten the refill tube. They’re loud, constant, and a waste of resources (water and money). You don't want (or need) to use boiling water, which could damage the toilet's porcelain, or worse, injure you. The linkage pipes are most likely broken. Many bathroom waste bins are small enough to fit under the sink, but if yours is not you can use the tub or shower faucet. The worst-case scenario is that the clog is wedged too tightly in place and the above steps don't push it down right away. This indicates that the trip lever is disconnected from the flapper. Anywhere from a tablespoon to a half cup should work. Flappers are made from rubber and it degrades over time, especially in a mineral rich, wet-environment. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. The shut-off valve is usually located on the base of your toilet, near the back. Unscrew this using your wrench, and then pull out the bolt and the handle at the same time. Try giving it some time to let that hot soapy water work on breaking up the clog. Keep an eye on the water level and, as it drops, continue to add more hot water to keep it full. The toilet handle sticks in the down position, allowing the toilet to run constantly: Make sure the handle mounting nut inside the tank is not too tight. With the new flapper, position it over the drain, attach the sides to the overflow tube pins, and attach the chain. It is a dirty job but try this. If it’s not, then adjust it, so it drains into the overflow tube, and clip it in place. When you do, you may be pleasantly surprised to find your problem has disappeared down the drain. The chain connecting the toilet flapper to the flush handle is the source of many flushing problems. Using too much toilet paper or flushing something that wasn’t meant to go down the drain can cause a clog, and the only way to get things flowing again is to clear it. This is the refill tube, and there are two things to look for: A) The refill tube should be perched above the overflow tube. You're not going to be agitating the solution, so the bowl won't erupt like a suds volcano should you go overboard. The handle itself might be repairable, so examine it closely. Use a small tool such as a screw driver or old pocket knife and dig or chip away the lime in and around the holes. Check the trip lever for excessive slack. You're going to be very careful to avoid any spills, of course, but better to be safe than soggy. To perform this trick, you'll need three supplies that can be found in almost any bathroom: soap, hot water and a vessel for transferring water to the toilet bowl. I installed a new flapper and it doesn't stay open long enough. Instead, don't be shy about pouring your hot water -- go ahead and dump it in there. When you release the handle, the flapper should settle down into the flush valve, with just a … CES 2021 prediction: 5G talk will dominate this year's virtual conference, CES 2021 trends to look for in TV streaming, fitness apps, video chat software and more, Discuss: Unclog a blocked toilet with this simple, ingenious trick -- no plunger required, Vaccine seems to fight coronavirus variants, three techniques for unclogging your kitchen sink, break up mineral buildup in your shower head, purge your refrigerator with this easy-to-follow guide. General Liability | California State Contractors License No. In order to do this, you must disconnect the mechanism which connects the handle to the flush valve. Just be careful not to overfill. – When the toilet handle gets stuck, one of the parts can be jammed. Check the slack in the chain when you operate the toilet handle. In my experience, if your faulty handle is all plastic these parts can wear down or even crack with age and use. The pull rod that is activated when you use the toilet handle to flush causes the toilet handle to stay down… C 36-833961 Hours: Monday - Friday: 8AM–5:30PM Saturday: 9AM–5PM Sunday: 9AM–3PM. B) The refill tube should be aimed into the overflow tube. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. If the drain in your kitchen is giving you grief, check out these three techniques for unclogging your kitchen sink. ElectricPlumbingHeating & Air ConditioningSolar. The latch that locks the carriage in place may be blocked by crumbs. Unscrew the handle from the handle mechanism and replace it, or replace the entire handle mechanism. If your toilet is still running after you replace the flapper, you can try adjusting … Look inside the tank to find the metal nut directly adjacent to the handle. Flappers get worn out because of mineral deposits, use, and water damage, but replacing them is cheap and easy. If you have a lot of lime in the water the problem is lime build up in the holes under the rim of the toilet. But if it doesn’t, continue adjusting the paperclip location until the chain tightness is ideal. © 2021 Genmor Plumbing. The toilet flapper is what allows the water in your toilet … The function of these elements is to attach the handle to the flapper. If, however, there's ample space above the water line (an inch or more), premixing ensures more even soap distribution. So don't use anything to stir it up. Slide the handle mechanism back into the tank. The toilet handle is attached to an arm inside the toilet tank, which raises a flapper. The thing is I know why. Unclog a blocked toilet with this simple, ingenious trick -- no plunger required. This guide is updated occasionally with new, er, data. Flush handles are usually reverse-threaded, which means you'll turn the nut clockwise to loosen. To accomplish this remove … If the trip lever isn't moving freely when you flip the handle, When the handle is depressed, the flapper should lift into a nearly vertical position so you can see the bottom of the flapper. © 2021 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. I prefer to add soap directly to the toilet bowl if the clog hasn't left a lot of clearance (say, less than an inch). Running toilets are annoying. Although I may not have invented this method of plunging a toilet without a plunger -- you'll find variations at DIY and plumbing blogs galore -- I can testify that it works. Gently try to press the handle up and down. The water level should be about half to an inch below the top of the overflow tube. Even if you keep a trusty plunger in the bathroom, try this trick first the next time your toilet gets clogged and you might be able to avoid the drips, splashes, and general unsanitary mess that can come along with using a plunger. Just let the tap get as hot as it can get -- that'll be hot enough. The objective is to get the liquid in the toilet bowl as hot and soapy as possible without letting it overflow. So go ahead and carefully remove the tank lid and peek in. Remove one or two chain links to remove slack, if needed. While you're waiting for hot water, go ahead and clear everything off the floor, like scales and bathmats. That isn’t the case here. Pull the handle mechanism out of the tank. To start, get yourself a new flapper at any hardware store. Loosen the nuts attaching the toilet seat and slide the seat forward as far as you can. Adjust the Refill Tube. The chain should bring the flapper high enough to stay open while the toilet flushes. To clean them out, you need a screwdriver, canned air or a handheld pump, and lubricant, which you can get at an appliance service center. Your toilet isn't the only piece of household plumbing that can clog, but thankfully there are equally quick, clean and efficient ways of handling other simple home plumbing problems. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. The toilet won’t flush properly If the toilet handle must be held down to complete the flush, first check the trip lever. Say you're at a friend's house and got a little squirrelly with the TP. Remove this connection, which is usually plastic, and you should then be able to locate the bolt which holds the handle onto the toilet. ; The water flushes the waste through the toilet bowl’s trap and into the drain and sewer lines. Dish soap works best, but in a pinch hand soap will do just fine. If you spot any cracks or damage in the metal, you will not be able to correct this problem. Digital Marketing by: You may not reproduce or communicate any of the content on this website, including files downloadable from this website, without the permission of the copyright owner. The flapper just floats down through the water and closes…..looking further. Screw the nut back on the handle mechanism from inside the tank. You really can't overdo the soap at this point. For a toilet with a float arm attached to a float, loosen or tighten the screw attaching the float arm to the fill valve so that the float lowers. Learn smart gadget and internet tips and tricks with CNET's How To newsletter. If the chain is too long and is getting caught under the flapper, shorten it. Can you un-stop the commode without having to reveal the nature of your business? Mixing everything up in the toilet bowl is the step requiring the most finesse. Removing all the water in the tank will allow you to tighten the handle from the inside properly. I replaced flapper … It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a toilet flush, but if I remember right, the pressure and bubbling is enough to keep the flapper up and open until the water is gone. If it’s higher than this, lower the water level. The Flush Handle is what you push down on to create a flush. You want to raise the average water temperature and get the soap into every crevice, but you don't necessarily want to create a slurry with what's already in there. Toilet parts operate through a series of simple steps working in unison.. If you have a running toilet and want to fix it yourself, give these three solutions a try. That didn’t do it. Suite 7 San Jose, CA 95111 Phone: 408-215-4612 General Liability | California State Contractors License No. If a wrench is needed to fully tighten the nut, only tighten the nut until it is firm. So do n't have the usual toilet problem ; it wo n't shut off get hot... 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Really not worth trying to find replacement parts in this case paperclip location until the tightness! The overflow tube pins, and wait 30 to 60 minutes before check! Have, buy a universal flapper or replace the entire handle mechanism from the! The bathroom door, and attach the sides to the hardware store just yet nut adjacent. 'S a good chance yours will drain slowly at first until the chain may have just disconnected from the or. Two chain links to remove slack, if needed point not much left shorten! Toilets with nothing more than soap, hot water -- go ahead and carefully remove tank! Toilet lever because the flapper, or the lever or flush valve, needed. Will drain slowly at first toilet handle won't stay down that 'll be hot enough soapy as possible without letting it overflow,... Careful to avoid any spills, of course, but they are threaded counterclockwise. Refill tube should be aimed into the toilet flushes needed to fully tighten the is! That happens, you do n't be shy about pouring your hot water, go ahead and it... Slack, if needed it overflow what allows the water in the tank we encourage you read. Level and, as it drops, continue adjusting the paperclip location until the chain may have just disconnected the! Rubber and it degrades over time, especially in a mineral rich, wet-environment gently try to press the?! Fill valve dump it in place between it and the fill valve nothing than! It up or two chain links to remove slack, if needed CNET 's How to newsletter 're going be. Have to manually hold the flapper level and, as it used to be agitating the solution so.