How to adjust toilet tank handles

How to adjust toilet tank handles

When your toilet doesn’t operate correctly it can cost you money by wasting water. Water leaking from the tank into the bowl is a common issue. If your commode suffers from a maladjusted flush handle and lift chain, jiggling the handle isn’t a permanent solution. Remedy the problem by making simple adjustments that correct the toilet’s water flow and may reduce your water bill. Chances are that you won’t even need new parts — cleaning and realigning the simple mechanics inside the tank often takes care of the problem.

Remove the tank lid and set it aside. Flush the toilet and observe whether the water in the tank empties completely, or whether you have to hold down the handle to allow it to empty. The rubber flapper that covers the bottom opening of the tank should lift when you press the handle and close after the tank is empty.

Check the nut that holds the handle to the small lever inside the tank. The nut should hold the handle firmly in place. If the handle is loose or at an odd angle on the outside of the toilet tank, loosen the nut with a small adjustable wrench and straighten the handle, then tighten the nut. Mineral deposits on the nut or lever may keep the handle from returning to its proper position after a flush. Clean off mineral deposits with your fingers or a small, stiff brush. You can also soak the nut in vinegar for 15 to 30 minutes to dissolve the minerals so you can brush them away and tighten the nut correctly.

Check the lift chain for kinks. It should hang from the lever in an almost straight line to the flapper. You will see a hook at each end of the chain: one to connect through a hole in the lever, and one to connect to the flapper. If the chain is too long, it may double over or form a kink that doesn’t allow the flapper to reseat properly after flushing. If necessary, adjust the length of the chain by slipping a different link over the hook at the lever end. Adjust the slack in the chain so it is long enough to allow the flapper to close completely but not so long that it droops when the flapper is closed. You may need to bend the hooks or chain links with needlenose pliers to make the adjustments.

How to adjust toilet tank handles

Your home toilet consists of two major parts: the bowl unit that rests on the floor, and the upper tank that holds the water that is released each time you flush the toilet. The bowl is little more than a solid piece of porcelain drain fixture with no moving parts at all. With only a few exceptions, there aren't many repairs that involve the bowl. The tank, on the other hand, is where two important valves are located, as well as the handle that initiates the flush action. Here is where most of the toilet repairs occur. You might be surprised to learn that most toilet problems are fairly easy to fix yourself.

Newer style toilets can differ greatly in terms of the flushing design and parts. It's always a good idea to know the make and model of your toilet before you start to work on it. The manufacturer's name is usually stamped into the porcelain, and the model appears on the underside of the tank cover.

Before you can begin repairs, it's important to have a basic understanding of how your toilet tank works.

How the Toilet Tank Works

The toilet tank’s function is to hold a quantity of water until you flush the toilet, at which time the water in the tank rushes down through an opening in the bottom of the tank and into the bowl, forcing waste out of the bowl and into the home’s drain and sewer lines. There are two major toilet parts in the tank that make this possible: the flush valve and the fill valve.

The toilet fill valve is the mechanism that fills the tank with water. It is also known as a “ballcock” or a “refill valve.” The fill valve is usually located to the left side of the tank as you look down from above with the tank lid removed. Fill valves comes in four basic variations:

  • Plunger-type ballcock: the oldest type, usually made of brass
  • Diaphragm-type ballcock: older styles may be brass, newer types are plastic
  • Float cup fill valve: a newer design, usually made of plastic
  • Floatless fill valve: another newer design; not allowed by some codes

Whatever the design, the fill valve works to automatically open the water supply valve when the water level falls in the tank during a flush, then shuts off automatically when the water level rises to a specific level in the tank. Depending type of design, the valve is operated either by a floating ball or a float cup that moves up and down with the water level in the tank. Floatless fill valves operate by sensing water pressure at the bottom of the tank.

If you remove the tank lid and watch what happens inside the tank during the flush cycle, you will quickly understand the mechanics of how a toilet flushes.

Choosing and installing the best toilet tank flush handle for your toilet

Fluidmaster’s Premium Tank Lever System is multi-faceted and can be installed in more toilets than any other brand on the market. Its durable tank lever arm is highly adaptable and can be adjusted to fit Front, Angle and Side mount toilets.

In addition to its highly durable arm, the Premium Tank Lever system has a variety of seven luxurious solid metal interchangeable levers to choose from to match your bathroom décor; Traditional, Classic and Contemporary styles in Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Oil Rubbed Bronze.

This article will discuss how the toilet handle works with your toilet and let you see our toilet handles and questions concerning Mansfield toilets.

How is the Premium Tank Lever adjusted to fit my toilet?

The lever arm can be inserted into the mounting base at multiple orientations and degrees to achieve the correct lift. Its adjustable arm allows it to be installed in side mount; angle mount and front mount toilets.

How to adjust toilet tank handles

Click here to download instructions.

Fluidmaster Toilet Handles

How to adjust toilet tank handles

Will the Premium Tank Lever work with my Mansfield tower flush valve?

    Yes! The Premium tank lever in conjunction with Fluidmaster’s 5104 Flapper Chain can be used in the Mansfield toilet that is equipped with a tower style flush valve.

Watch the Installation Video:

How to adjust toilet tank handles

When your toilet starts acting up, you might immediately start wondering how much it will cost to get a plumber out to fix the problem. The good news is that there are several simple problems that can occur with a toilet, and most of them are an easy fix. A straightforward toilet part known as the flapper is responsible for two of the most common problems with toilets. Learn how to identify and fix flapper issues on your toilet’s flush valve.

What Is a Flapper?

The flapper is a contraption in the toilet's tank that's responsible for draining water from the tank into the bowl when you flush. The flapper is attached to the tank by a chain; when you flush, the handle moves the chain, which lifts the flapper, allowing water to pass.

Before You Begin

Remove the cover from your toilet tank and look down at the large opening in the bottom of the tank. This is the flush valve, and in normal operation, there is a rubber or vinyl flapper designed to lift up away from the flush valve when the toilet handle is pressed to start the flush cycle. At the end of the cycle, the flapper is supposed to settle back down into the flush valve opening and seal it tightly until the next flush cycle is initiated.

There are two situations that tell you the flush valve is not working correctly. 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. If the toilet flushes just fine but continues to run, the flapper probably does not fit properly into the flush valve opening.

Very old toilets may use a tank ball with a lift rod rather than a flapper and lift chain to seal the flush valve opening. Consider replacing the flush valve unit with a more modern assembly. Modern kits offer a single piece that includes the flush valve, the refill tube, and the flapper in a single unit.

How to adjust toilet tank handles

Toilet tank levers are subject to multiple uses each day, making them susceptible to loosening. Loose levers not only cause poor flushing performance and everyday annoyance but can cause the lever to fail and require replacement. You can make your toilet lever more snug by performing a simple adjustment.

Close the toilet seat cover and remove the toilet tank cover by grasping and pulling upward. Place the cover on a flat, stable surface to guard against accidental cracking or breakage.

Shut off the toilet water supply by turning the shut-off valve handle clockwise. The supply pipe and handle are located behind the toilet.

Press the toilet lever downward to flush the toilet and empty the tank water. Emptying the tank will make working on the lever easier.

Locate the metal nut directly behind the toilet handle within the tank. The threaded lever shaft is reverse-threaded (the opposite of standard screws and other threaded devices) and employs a plastic washer held in place by the nut. Reverse threads are used to prevent loosening over time since the lever operates in the same clockwise direction of standard threads.

Tighten the nut with an adjustable wrench by turning counterclockwise until snug. Avoid over-tightening to prevent accidental cracking of the toilet tank.

Test the toilet lever for snugness by pressing downward. If it is too tight, loosen the nut slightly by turning clockwise with the wrench and test again.

Turn on the water supply by turning the handle fully counterclockwise. Allow the tank to fill, double-check for operation again by flushing and replace toilet tank cover.

STEP 1: Begin by turning off the water supply. Then, drain the tank by holding down the handle or lifting the valve chain inside the tank. STEP 2: Depress the trip lever all the way – make sure the hook is fully engaged under the tab on the valve body. If not, slightly adjust the screw to make sure the hook is engaged.

  1. Lift the dual-flush toilet tank lid off the tank and place it upside down on a flat surface.
  2. Find the float adjustment screw between the fill valve and the flush valve.
  3. Place the lid back over the tank and test the flush buttons.
  4. Remove the lid from the tank and lay it flat upside down if adjustments are necessary.

Also know, how do you adjust the flapper on a American Standard toilet?

  1. Remove the lid from tank and make sure the chain has only 1/4 inch of slack. (When you hit the trip lever, the arm should only move 1/4 inch before activation.)
  2. Adjust the water level.
  3. Place 3 arms length of toilet paper in the water in the bowl.
  4. Flush the toilet.
  5. Does it flush properly?

Why does my new American Standard toilet keep running?

The water level in the tank is controlled by an adjustable float. A float that’s set too low produces a weak flush; if it’s set too high, water spills into the toilet overflow tube and the fill valve won’t shut off. The toilet keeps running. Keep adjusting the float until the water shuts off at the proper level.

How to adjust toilet tank handles

To get that perfect flush, you need a functioning toilet float. A toilet float is a little device that essentially allows your toilet bowl to fill with water without overflowing. Sometimes called a ballcock, this little device can get messed up from time to time and leave you with a crappy situation on your hands. If you can’t seem to get the right amount of water in your toilet bowl (too much or too little) or the toilet sounds like it’s constantly running, check your toilet float.

On occasion, your toilet float may need to be adjusted. Knowing how to adjust this float is relatively easy. Before you call a plumber or flood your bathroom, check your toilet float and see if you can adjust it yourself. It’s a simple fix that could save you time, money, and a few headaches.

Step 1 – Remove Tank Cover

Begin by removing your toilet tank cover—you know, the big cap that sits on the back of the toilet. Next, you’re going to need to identify the float inside your tank. Everyone’s toilets will look a little different inside, but as a general rule, toilet floats are easy to identify. Your toilet float should look like a ball floating on the water in your toilet tank. Or, if you have a newer toilet model, the float will appear as a plastic collar attached to a rod.

If you need a little extra help finding your toilet float, Google your specific toilet, and you’ll likely find images or graphics that will help you identify the float.

Before you pull out the toolbelt and go full plumber, we do recommend that you turn off your toilet’s water supply, just in case.

How to adjust toilet tank handles

Step 2 – Adjust the Valve Screw

If your toilet is an older model, you will likely find the arm that is fastened to the water valve is held in place with a screw. If you want to adjust the float, you will need to loosen the screw. You can loosen this screw to adjust the float to the correct position with a screwdriver or a wrench. You will want to adjust the float higher or lower to change the water level in your bowl.

Adjusting the float higher allows more water to enter the bowl, while dropping it lower lets less in.

How to adjust toilet tank handles

Step 3 – Bend the Float Arm

If your toilet doesn’t have a screw, very carefully bend the arm downward to increase tank water volume, upward to decrease water volume. You will need to apply light pressure. Too much pressure could break or damage the arm, and then you’d have a flood on your hands.

If you have a newer model toilet, you are in luck. Adjusting the toilet float is easy. All you need to do is compress the spring clip on the float collar. If you are a visual learner, a quick peruse of YouTube can quickly take you from plumbing novice to plumbing professional—in the realm of adjusting toilets with a spring clip, at least.

How to adjust toilet tank handles

Step 4 – Reassess

Once you’ve adjusted your toilet float, give it a flush and see if your problem has been solved. If you’re still having issues, throw on another pair of latex gloves and get adjusting again. It may take a few tries to get it just right.

If your toilet is only partially flushing or if the water sounds like it is constantly running, adjusting the float should fix these problems as well.

Regardless of your problem, be patient with yourself and make little adjustments till you get the result you want. Especially if this is your first time on the Tour de Toilet, you’re going to need to take it slow and concentrate on getting it right.

If you keep running into problems with your not-so-royal-flush, it may be time to replace your toilet. And if you feel like you can take on the entire toilet world after your quick fix, it may be time to install that bidet you’ve been eying up. And yes, toilet-taming master, it’s totally DIY-able.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commissions at no cost to you.

How To Stop Toilet Flapper From Closing Too Quickly? Many people wonder how to stop toilet flapper from closing too quickly. If your toilet flapper closes too fast and you do not know what to do then read this article as you will find solution to your problem.

Adjusting the Flapper Chain

The first thing you should do is to adjust the flapper chain. If you want to do this, remove the lid from your toilet tank and note the parts. After that, grab the lid from both sides and gently lift it upward. Set it down on a piece of cardboard to avoid getting your floor wet. Now, take the note of the parts in your tank: the flushing handle should be connected to a long metal or plastic handle arm that connects to the flapper chain.

Another thing to do is take the chain off of the handle arm. Reach into the tank and remove the chain link that connects the handle to the flapper. There should be a small opening in the link that lets you remove it.

Hook a paperclip to the handle arm. The next thing is tart by opening up the paper clip until it’s straight. Now, bend the clip into a circle with a small opening in it. Afterward, hook the circle into the end of the handle arm where you removed the chain.

Now, connect the chain to the paper clip. Attach a link on the chain to the paper clip which should now be a circle shape-by inserting it into the open end. The next thing is, squeeze the sides of the paperclip to the space and tighten it.

Now, Flush the toilet and check the chain tightness. Press down on the toilet handle and make sure that the chain is tight enough. The chain should bring the flapper high enough to stay open while the toilet flushes. But if it doesn’t, continue adjusting the paperclip location until the chain tightness is ideal.

Replace Your Toilet Flapper Valve

To replace your toilet flapper valve, you have to follow the following process..

Drain as much water from the tank as possible. Remove the tank lid and turn the shut off valve clockwise to turn it off. Now, press the toilet handle down until there’s no water inside the tank.

Take out any water left in the tank. Get a towel and sponge and wipe up the rest of the water in the tank. If there’s still water inside the tank, squeeze out your towel into a bucket and continue wiping it until the water drained out.

Remove the water supple hose. Loosen the nuts located on the base of the water supply valve which is what the flapper is connected to. Do this by using an adjustable crescent wrench. Afterward, pull out the water supply hose and set it aside.

Remove the old flapper valve. Start by removing the chain from the old flapper. After that, take the flapper off the flush valve, which is the piece the supply tube was connected to. And if you want to put a new chain, remove the old one from the lever arm. I mean the long piece that extends from the toilet handle.

Connect The New Flapper Valve

Attach the new flapper to the flush valve. Afterward, connect the chain to the top of and then connect the remaining end to the handle arm. However, before attaching a new flapper, smooth the rough edges around the lip of the flapper valve. This is located underneath the flapper with an emery cloth. This will definitely help it create a watertight seal.

Reattack the water supply hose and turn the water back on. Attach the water supply hose to the flush valve, which is where the new flapper should be attached. Afterward, turn your water supply back on by turning it counterclockwise and wait for the toilet to fill up. Having done that, replace the lid once everything I working as it should be.

Repairing A Flapper Or Replacing It

Flappers cost less than $10 on average, so if your toilet flapper closes too fast, it’s usually better to replace the flapper than it is to try and repair it. However, if the flapper isn’t that old, or you don’t have time to take it to the store, just as I said earlier, you might be able to fix the problem by cleaning the flapper and flush valve.

Rub the toilet flapper down with scouring powder and a sponge to remove all the mold and scale that may have collected on it. Then do the same to the rim of the flush valve. It may help to run a bead of silicone caulk around the rim of the valve to make a better seal. If you do this, give the caulk a least eight hours to set before you set the flapper on it and fill the tank.

The Case Of The Phantom Flusher

If your toilet fills valve switches on all by itself in the middle of the night or anytime, you’ve got a phantom flush. The number one reason for the phantom flush is a leaking flapper. The problem may be that the flapper chain is one or two links too short and doesn’t allow the flapper to seat properly. But if your toilet is well used, the flapper may just be worn out.

Turn off the water and take the flapper off its mounting by disengaging its rubber ears from the overflow tube or sliding it up and off that rube after disengaging the flapper chain. Take it to the store to find a replacement. In most cases, an inexpensive universal flapper does the job. Some flush valves require specific flappers, though, so you might have to consult with the clerk at the hardware store to make sure you get the right one.

Some flapper leaks are too slow to notice, but they still waste water. If you suspect you have a flapper leak, try this test: Pour some food coloring in the tank, and avoid using the toilet for several hours or overnight. The test is positive if the bowl water takes on the same hue as the tank water.

A Summary Of toilet flapper closes too fast.

  • Make sure the lift chain is not so long that it pinches between the flapper and the flush valve. If it is, water will leak down into the toilet bowl after the flush. Shorten the chain slightly so it doesn’t get pinched beneath the flapper.
  • Make sure the flapper is properly aligned so it seals correctly against the flush valve opening. You may be able to make small adjustments to the flapper that magically stop the leaking.
  • If the rubber of the flapper is old and cracked, it will be unable to seal the flow of water into the tank. In this case, you will need to replace the flapper.

In conclusion, open the tank and test the tension on the flapper chain by pulling up on the center. You shouldn’t be able to pull it up more than about ½ inch before the flapper starts to rise. Alternatively, push down on the flush handle to test the tension. The flapper should start to rise before the handle is halfway down.

Toilet fill valves control the flow of water from the supply line to refill the tank between flushes. Toilet parts like fill valves typically come in two types: an arm with a float connected to it or a floating cylinder that moves up and down. Toilet fill valve adjustment is a common household repair because these floats will control how much water fills your tank and is released with each flush; they get used often! Making small adjustments might also stop a fill valve that keeps running.

As a general rule, the water level in the tank should be about 1 inch below the top of the overflow tube, the open pipe in the middle of the tank area (to which the small water hose from the fill valve is attached). A fill valve that runs constantly probably is set too high so that the water spills into the overflow tube; fix this by adjusting the toilet to a lower level. It’s a good idea to replace an older, float-arm fill valve with a cylinder-type model when the old valve starts to leak.

Adjusting Fill Valves with Float Arms

Remove Toilet Tank Lid

One type of toilet fill valve contains an arm with a float connected to the top of the valve. As water is flushed, the float lowers the arm and activates the fill valve until the water reaches the fill level again. To fix this type of toilet valve, lift off the toilet tank lid and set it aside. Locate the fill valve on the left side of the tank.

Locate Adjustment Screw

Adjusting the toilet float is usually done with a screwdriver. Place a flat-head screwdriver into the adjustment screw on the top of the fill valve.

Adjust Adjustment Screw

Turn the screw clockwise to raise the float at the end of the arm and increase the amount of water required to shut off the valve, or turn the screw counterclockwise to lower the arm and decrease the amount of water required to shut off the valve.

Flush Toilet To Refill

Flush the toilet and let it refill to test the water level. Reinstall the tank lid. Repeat the above steps, if necessary, until the correct water level is achieved.

Adjusting Cylinder Float Valves

The other type of toilet fill valve contains a floating cylinder that moves up and down the valve body. When water is flushed, the cylinder lowers and activates the flow of water. Newer toilets such as those by Kohler often have these types of toilet parts. Kohler says that within their toilets there are some newer and older fill valve styles.

Remove Toilet Tank Lid

Remove the toilet tank’s lid and set it aside. Locate the fill valve on the left side of the tank.

Pinch And Slide Valve Cylinder

If you have the older style toilet float valve, pinch the float clip on the side of the fill valve cylinder and slide it up to increase the amount of water required to shut off the fill valve, or slide it down to decrease the water level. Pliers may make squeezing the clip easier.

Newer fill valves can be adjusted starting with one full turn of the screw connected to the float arm to raise or lower the float. This screw can be turned by hand, or with a screwdriver. Turn the screw clockwise to increase the water level and counter-clockwise to decrease the water level

Flush Toilet To Refill

Flush the toilet and let it refill to test the water level. Reinstall the tank lid. Repeat the above steps, if necessary, until the correct water level is achieved.