Saturday, July 7, 2012

Adventures With A Broken Toilet Lever

Presenting another exciting and thrilling post for you all!  Heh.  Ok, you got me.  It's not exciting or thrilling, but my blog is called Adventures in DIY after all and that includes the good, the bad, and the ugly.  This is the ugly.  Really ugly.  Like, I'm-sorry-you-have-to-look-at-ugly-pictures-inside-of-my-toilet's-tank kind of ugly.  Ahem.  But, the reason I am posting this today is because I was at a party last weekend and had mentioned to a girlfriend how the lever on my toilet had broken that morning, so I needed to make a trip to Home Depot to get a replacement part and fix it.  She gave me a strange look and said "you can fix that?!".  I said "Sure!  It's easy!".  Mind you, I've never fixed a toilet lever before, but I figured it couldn't be so hard, right?  So, I'm writing this today so you too can learn to fix a toilet lever and impress your family & friends with your new skillz.  Yep - skillz with a "z" - that's how cool you'll be!

When you're toilet lever breaks and you still need to flush, take the lid off the tank and don't be afraid!  Just reach right in there and pull up on the piece that has the chain hanging from it - this will pull up the flapper,  causing your toilet to flush.  You'll then need to assess the situation and see exactly what you need to get this puppy fixed!  As you can see in the picture below, the lever broke at the point where the plastic piece meets the inside of the handle.  The long plastic piece then connects to the chain that connects to the flapper.   Situation has officially been assessed!

I made a trip to Home Depot and found this.  I made sure to buy the universal one since I didn't know what brand my toilet is.

The directions were pretty clear on the back of the package.

1)  I removed the handle by unscrewing the plastic nut first and just pulled out the handle.

2)  Take the new handle and put it through the hole.  It took a bit of pushing and shaving off some of the square edges of the plastic, but I got through fairly easily.

3)  Once the new handle is in, unhook the chain from the broken piece of plastic (but don't unhook it from the flapper!) and then hook it onto the new piece of plastic that is connected to the handle (it's that long, black plastic piece in the above picture). 
There were 3 holes in the plastic - the chain was hooked into the 2nd hole, so I hooked it into the 2nd hole of the new lever.

4)  Once it's all back together, do some test flushes to make sure it will:  a) flush, b) doesn't run after flushing.  Mine wouldn't flush at first, so I had to adjust the chain and make it shorter.  After I adjusted it and it was flushing, the water was running afterwards, so I had to adjust the chain and make it just a tad shorter and now it works just fine.

Back to being like new!  So, the lesson here is that, although plumbing can seem daunting, just give it a shot if it doesn't seem to complicated.  I have actually fixed several plumbing issues on my own just by taking a good look at what the issue is and using the internet and other people as resources.  I've probably saved myself hundreds of dollars by not having to call a plumber and it makes me feel pretty good to be able to do it myself. 

Thanks for stopping by!
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1 comment:

  1. Wow Chrissy you've been busy. Thanks for the tutorial on toilet handle repair, I will be sure your brother reads it for future use. I will definitely be trying the blind cleaning method. I hate cleaning my blinds, never thought of taking the slats out individually. I usually take down the whole dang blind, take it to the driveway and wash it then hang it over the fence to dry. I think your way is much easier. I'll give it a try, when it cools down of course! Love ya!


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