Toilet levers, or handles, are used several times a day; so it is no surprise that they begin to loosen overtime. Although not a serious repair, it is important to remedy a loose toilet lever because it can affect toilet performance and efficiency. Not only is a toilet with poor flushing performance unpleasant and unsanitary, its inefficiency can increase monthly water bills. Fortunately, this is generally an easy fix, and one that you can accomplish all on your own with a few simple adjustments. Continue reading to review a step-by-step guide on tightening a loose toilet tank lever.
The Tools and Materials You Will Need
To tighten up a loose toilet tank handle, you won’t require very many tools or supplies. That is because it is not a very invasive repair. Most likely, you will already have the tools necessary to get the job done. This saves you time by avoiding a trip to the local home improvement store. All you need is your own two hands and an adjustable wrench.
Start by locating the water shut-off valve for the toilet. The supply pipe and handle should be behind the tank. Turn off the water supply to the toilet by rotating the shut-off valve handle clockwise.
Once the shutoff valve is closed, remove the toilet tank lid. Grab both sides and lift upwards. It should not be sealed or connected to the toilet. Place it down slowly on a flat, stable surface so you do not crack or break it.
You will now need to empty the tank of water. Do this by simply flushing the toilet with the handle. It is easier to adjust a loose toilet lever without water in the tank.
Now look for the metal nut that secures the toilet lever to the inside of the tank. This is the nut that has come loose. Standard screws and other threaded hardware are forward threaded, but toilet lever nuts and screws are reverse-threaded with a plastic washer. This helps to prevent loosening overtime.
Use your adjustable wrench to tighten the nut. Do this by grasping the nut with your wrench and turning it clockwise. Continue turning the nut until you begin to feel resistance. Once you feel this resistance, make only a couple more turns until it is difficult to turn any more. Be careful to not overdo it and accidentally crack the tank.
Next, test the lever’s tightness and performance by pressing it as if you were flushing the toilet. If it does not compress well, it is too tight and you will need to loosen it by one or two rotations. Loosen counterclockwise with your wrench.
Finish by turning your water supply to the toilet back on.