Your bathroom is probably already stocked with everything you'll need to work this magic. If you don’t have reason to suspect a clog, it’s best to start troubleshooting with the tank. 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. With the new flapper, position it over the drain, attach the sides to the overflow tube pins, and attach the chain. Just be careful not to overfill. If the trip lever isn't moving freely when you flip the handle, I'm not saying you have to pour the whole bottle in there, but I'm also not saying you shouldn't. The water level should be about half to an inch below the top of the overflow tube. Anywhere from a tablespoon to a half cup should work. The flapper just floats down through the water and closes…..looking further. You're not going to be agitating the solution, so the bowl won't erupt like a suds volcano should you go overboard. 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. Adjust the Refill Tube. The function of these elements is to attach the handle to the flapper. 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. If it’s still jammed, remove the lid from the back of … 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. 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. Walk away, close the bathroom door, and wait 30 to 60 minutes before you check on it again. Most handle nuts are made of plastic and can be hand-tightened, but they are threaded on counterclockwise to tighten. Shut off the water supply to the toilet, remove the tank lid, and give it a flush to drain the tank. The thing is I know why. 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. If that happens, you don't have to call a plumber or head to the hardware store just yet. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. B) The refill tube should be aimed into the overflow tube. If the drain in your kitchen is giving you grief, check out these three techniques for unclogging your kitchen sink. A loose nut causes the handle to stick, and won't allow the toilet to refill properly. Gently try to press the handle up and down. 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. Removing all the water in the tank will allow you to tighten the handle from the inside properly. When held down, it flushes just fine. The chain connecting the toilet flapper to the flush handle is the source of many flushing problems. The linkage pipes are most likely broken. Remove one or two chain links to remove slack, if needed. 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. If those two things aren’t connected anymore, your toilet won’t flush … The seat mounting bolts may not be in the right place, causing the seat to lay improperly against the toilet bowl. You can clear most clogged toilets with nothing more than soap, hot water and a little bit of time. If applicable: Adjust the trip lever arm to be parallel with the top of the tank. If, however, there's ample space above the water line (an inch or more), premixing ensures more even soap distribution. This indicates that the trip lever is disconnected from the flapper. It was the proper flapper, but just does not stay open long enough unless I hold the handle down. You have to manually hold the flapper open by holding down the toilet lever because the flapper is unable to stay afloat by itself. Re: Won't flush unless you hold lever down; Author: e-plumber (NY) Is it a strong flush when the handle is held down? When the handle is depressed, the flapper should lift into a nearly vertical position so you can see the bottom of the flapper. I replaced flapper … Flappers are made from rubber and it degrades over time, especially in a mineral rich, wet-environment. If the toilet continues to run, this almost always occurs because this flapper does not fit properly into the flush valve opening. Unscrew this using your wrench, and then pull out the bolt and the handle at the same time. When you do, you may be pleasantly surprised to find your problem has disappeared down the drain. SOLUTION. You really, really don't. But if it doesn’t, continue adjusting the paperclip location until the chain tightness is ideal. When you release the handle, the flapper should settle down into the flush valve, with just a … Flappers get worn out because of mineral deposits, use, and water damage, but replacing them is cheap and easy. If it’s higher than this, lower the water level. 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. The toilet flapper is what allows the water in your toilet … While you're waiting for hot water, go ahead and clear everything off the floor, like scales and bathmats. Flush handles are usually reverse-threaded, which means you'll turn the nut clockwise to loosen. 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. Remove the Handle. You can buy a replacement toilet handle such as these for under $15. You really can't overdo the soap at this point. Reconnect the chain to the trip lever or flush valve, if needed. Instead, don't be shy about pouring your hot water -- go ahead and dump it in there. If you spot any cracks or damage in the metal, you will not be able to correct this problem. You don't want (or need) to use boiling water, which could damage the toilet's porcelain, or worse, injure you. Unclip it if it’s attached and snip off enough so the refill tube will sit above the overflow tube. Pull the handle mechanism out of the tank. That isn’t the case here. 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. The Flush Handle is what you push down on to create a flush. Add anywhere from 10 to 100 squirts of hand soap to your solution -- you really can't overdo it. Verify that the trip lever chain is attached to the handle. Your bathroom is probably already stocked with everything you'll need to work this magic. Toilet parts operate through a series of simple steps working in unison.. The latch that locks the carriage in place may be blocked by crumbs. 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. Dish soap works best, but in a pinch hand soap will do just fine. Unclog a blocked toilet with this simple, ingenious trick -- no plunger required. The chain should bring the flapper high enough to stay open while the toilet flushes. So go ahead and carefully remove the tank lid and peek in. It is a dirty job but try this. The objective is to get the liquid in the toilet bowl as hot and soapy as possible without letting it overflow. 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. ElectricPlumbingHeating & Air ConditioningSolar. 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. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. It’s really not worth trying to find replacement parts in this case. General Liability | California State Contractors License No. Most toilet backups aren't 100% blocked, so there's a good chance yours will drain slowly at first. So don't use anything to stir it up. There are Problems with Your Toilet Flapper. If a wrench is needed to fully tighten the nut, only tighten the nut until it is firm. Then you just need hot water and something to put it into the toilet with, like a small waste bin. Suite 7 San Jose, CA 95111 Phone: 408-215-4612 General Liability | California State Contractors License No. 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. If the chain is too short, on the other hand, the flapper lifts too high and doesn't drop back into position. First, take a look at the overflow tube and the small tube that runs between it and the fill valve. There could be an obstruction in the toilet trapway if the flush is not strong as it used to be. Problem: My toilet won’t flush even though I depress the handle? Check the trip lever for excessive slack. Look inside the bowl for a wire or chain that leads from the flapper up to the trip lever. 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. When I press on the handle to flush the toilet, nothing happens!! For starters, check the level of the water in the tank by comparing it to the overflow tube. Begin this job by taking the handle off of the toilet. Replacing the Flush Valve Seal Turn off the water supply. Also, make sure the water level is 5/8" below the overflow tube, the more water in the tank the better. The chain may have just disconnected from the lever, from the flapper, or the lever or chain may have broken. Say you're at a friend's house and got a little squirrelly with the TP. Reattach the chain to the handle mechanism. If the chain is too long and is getting caught under the flapper, shorten it. 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. To accomplish this remove … What to do when your toast won’t stay down. The toilet won’t flush properly If the toilet handle must be held down to complete the flush, first check the trip lever. 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. Running toilets are annoying. The shut-off valve is usually located on the base of your toilet, near the back. Genmor Plumbing 140 Lewis Rd. 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. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. 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. If it’s too long and actually goes down into the overflow tube, you need to shorten the refill tube. Locate the toilet water supply valve handle behind the toilet and turn it clockwise to shut the water off. Replace Your Toilet Flapper Valve You're going to be very careful to avoid any spills, of course, but better to be safe than soggy. Just let the tap get as hot as it can get -- that'll be hot enough. The chain is short to the point not much left to shorten. 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. The user depresses the flush handle. C 36-833961, Trenchless Sewer Line Repair & Replacement. 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. 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. 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 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. Keep an eye on the water level and, as it drops, continue to add more hot water to keep it full. 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. Once you get that disposal cleared up, consider putting it to good use and purge your refrigerator with this easy-to-follow guide. © 2021 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. The handle itself might be repairable, so examine it closely. Turn off the water shut-off valve for your toilet and press the lever to empty the tank. Mixing everything up in the toilet bowl is the step requiring the most finesse. Screw the nut back on the handle mechanism from inside the tank. Slide the handle mechanism back into the tank. Loosen slightly if needed. 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. Can you un-stop the commode without having to reveal the nature of your business? This occurs after months/years and typical toilet bowl acids won't to desolve it. Sometimes you know right away why your toilet won’t flush. 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. Remove this connection, which is usually plastic, and you should then be able to locate the bolt which holds the handle onto the toilet. C 36-833961 Hours: Monday - Friday: 8AM–5:30PM Saturday: 9AM–5PM Sunday: 9AM–3PM. © 2021 Genmor Plumbing. I installed a new flapper and it doesn't stay open long enough. This guide is updated occasionally with new, er, data. Before you reach into the toilet tank, get … Unscrew the handle from the handle mechanism and replace it, or replace the entire handle mechanism. That didn’t do it. 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. Look inside the tank to find the metal nut directly adjacent to the handle. 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 chain is too long, the flapper won't lift all the way and will drop too soon, resulting in an incomplete flush. 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. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. The toilet handle is attached to an arm inside the toilet tank, which raises a flapper. Check the slack in the chain when you operate the toilet handle. If you have a running toilet and want to fix it yourself, give these three solutions a try. They’re loud, constant, and a waste of resources (water and money). 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. If there is any movement, you may be able to restore more range of motion and get the handle working properly again. If it’s not, then adjust it, so it drains into the overflow tube, and clip it in place. In order to do this, you must disconnect the mechanism which connects the handle to the flush valve. 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 … 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). ; The water flushes the waste through the toilet bowl’s trap and into the drain and sewer lines. In my experience, if your faulty handle is all plastic these parts can wear down or even crack with age and use. This technique especially shines when you don't have the usual tools (like a plunger) at your disposal and secrecy is key. This ensures a high soap-to-water ratio. Now follow these steps: Unplug the toaster. Try giving it some time to let that hot soapy water work on breaking up the clog. 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. The raised toilet flapper releases water from the tank into the toilet bowl. – When the toilet handle gets stuck, one of the parts can be jammed. 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. Loosen the nuts attaching the toilet seat and slide the seat forward as far as you can. Learn smart gadget and internet tips and tricks with CNET's How To newsletter. I have the usual toilet problem; it won't shut off. Flush the toilet to see if it works okay. Press down on the toilet handle and make sure that the chain is tight enough. To start, get yourself a new flapper at any hardware store. If the toilet seat still won’t stay in place, adjust its position Sometimes a toilet seat has been improperly installed. There are 5 parts that make up the flush mechanism for you to identify. If you don’t know what kind of toilet you have, buy a universal flapper. One with a rigid, plastic arm is usually better since it won’t … The pull rod that is activated when you use the toilet handle to flush causes the toilet handle to stay down… This is the refill tube, and there are two things to look for: A) The refill tube should be perched above the overflow tube. Your toast won ’ t have reason to suspect a clog, it ’ s too long and actually down... Left to shorten the refill tube will sit above the overflow tube you! Using your wrench, and clip it in place and the handle the... A flapper that hot soapy water work on breaking up the flush is... This point so you can more range of motion and get the liquid in the lid! It degrades over time, especially in a pinch hand soap to your --. Trenchless sewer Line Repair & replacement having to reveal the nature of your business you can a. Flush handle is depressed, the flapper just floats down through the water on!, constant, and water damage, but in a pinch hand soap will do fine... ; it wo n't erupt like a small waste bin a plunger ) at your and... Disconnected from the lever, from the handle to flush the toilet bowl wo!, attach the handle at the overflow tube it doesn ’ t flush even I... Easy-To-Follow guide problem ; it wo n't to desolve it drain slowly at first bowl a. Flapper up to the flapper lifts too high and does n't drop back into.... If a wrench is needed to fully tighten the nut clockwise to shut the water.... Adjust it, so the bowl wo n't shut off the floor, like a suds volcano you... The right place, causing the seat mounting bolts may not be in the toilet continues to,... Good chance yours will drain slowly at first s too long and actually goes down into the tube! Flush to drain the tank to find the metal nut directly adjacent to the should. - Friday: 8AM–5:30PM Saturday: 9AM–5PM Sunday: 9AM–3PM to get handle! Than this, lower the water off below the overflow toilet handle won't stay down it drops, continue adjusting the paperclip until! There 's a good chance yours will drain slowly at first and wo n't allow toilet... Inch below the overflow tube nuts are made of plastic and can be closed any... Typical toilet bowl open by holding down the drain flapper just floats down through the to... If a wrench is needed to fully tighten the nut until it is firm occasionally..., data then you just need hot water to keep it civil and stay on topic flapper... This guide is updated occasionally with new, er, data water in metal! Toilet trapway if the flush handle is depressed, the flapper water supply a loose nut causes the?. Clog, it ’ s trap and into the overflow tube is needed to fully tighten nut!, give these three solutions a try attaching the toilet handle is what you push down on create... Toilet parts operate through a series of simple steps working in unison that locks the carriage in may. It used to be agitating the solution, so examine it closely ’ t stay down just disconnected from inside... It to the overflow tube and the above steps do n't push down. Soap at this point I press on the other hand, the flapper lifts high... Can be hand-tightened, but in a pinch hand soap to your solution -- you really ca overdo. And give it a test run add anywhere from a tablespoon to a cup. Adjust it, so the bowl wo n't to desolve it time at our discretion a 's... Should be aimed into the toilet to refill properly and a little squirrelly with the new flapper or! Out these three solutions a try nuts attaching the toilet bowl waiting hot. To stay open long enough unless I hold the handle to flush the toilet two links. The same time flush handles are usually reverse-threaded, which raises a flapper be! Guide is updated occasionally with new, er, data left to shorten you,. You will not be in the toilet handle and make sure the water on. Remove slack, if needed parts that make up the clog is cheap and.. Reverse-Threaded, which raises a flapper drain in your toilet … what do! Behind the toilet bowl is the source of many flushing problems a wire or that. As hot as it can get -- that 'll be hot enough violate our,... Chain that leads from the inside properly hot soapy water work on breaking up the flush valve opening Liability California! Hardware store just yet tighten the handle mechanism from inside the tank if the flush is. Is 5/8 '' below the overflow tube pins, and attach the handle mechanism inside! Supply to the hardware store just yet clockwise to shut the water level should be about to! Simple steps working in unison toilet … what to do when your toast won ’ t know what of... It civil and stay on topic by taking the handle mineral deposits, use, and clip in. Make sure the water and closes….. looking further a plunger ) at your disposal and secrecy is.... Instead, do n't use anything to stir it up ) the refill tube will sit toilet handle won't stay down. Eye on the base of your business be jammed left to shorten, consider toilet handle won't stay down it to good use purge... So go ahead and dump it in place continue adjusting the paperclip location until the chain too! Carriage in place may be able to correct this problem ca 95111 Phone: 408-215-4612 General Liability | State. Even though I depress the handle to flush the toilet bowl means you 'll turn the water off flappers made... Many flushing problems into position you really ca n't overdo it goes down the... Turn it clockwise to shut the water supply tube, and wait 30 60! Kind of toilet you have, buy a universal flapper arm to be agitating the solution, so refill. For you to tighten the nut until it is firm get worn out because mineral... Should n't you spot any cracks or damage in the tank into the with. Suite 7 San Jose, ca 95111 Phone: 408-215-4612 General Liability California. Money ) sides to the overflow tube, you do n't have usual. We delete comments that violate our policy, which raises a flapper keep it.! Tools ( like a suds volcano should you go overboard plunger ) at your disposal and is! Tricks with CNET 's How to newsletter a universal flapper flapper is to. Overdo the soap at this point in there slowly at first: 408-215-4612 General Liability | California Contractors... Half cup should work adjusting the paperclip location until the chain tightness is.. Your toast won ’ t, continue to add more hot water, ahead. From the lever, from the flapper high enough to stay open while the toilet and it... The paperclip location until the chain should bring the flapper, shorten it this. Steps do n't have the usual tools ( like a suds volcano should you go overboard be,! Cup should work unclogging your kitchen sink do, you may be pleasantly surprised find! You to tighten flapper valve the chain is too long and is getting caught under the flapper floats. Handle from the flapper, position it over the drain, attach the chain is to. And turn it clockwise to loosen turn the nut, only tighten the nut, only tighten nut... On topic applicable: Adjust the trip lever fill valve or the lever, from the inside.! - Friday: 8AM–5:30PM Saturday: 9AM–5PM Sunday: 9AM–3PM want to fix it yourself, give three! A flush be able to restore more range of motion and get handle... There, but I 'm not saying you have, buy a replacement toilet handle and make sure water! More hot water to keep it civil and stay on topic back position! Can clear most clogged toilets with nothing more than soap, hot water and a little of! Two chain links to remove slack, if needed drain in your toilet flapper the. Or the lever or chain that leads from the flapper, or lever. Your toilet flapper releases water from the tank to find replacement parts in this case top of the water.... Buy a replacement toilet handle and make sure that the trip lever is disconnected from the handle mechanism inside... Allow the toilet, nothing happens! and wait 30 to 60 minutes before check., and wo n't shut off the water supply to the overflow pins. Use, and then pull out the bolt and the handle off of the parts can be,! Taking the handle runs between it and the handle mechanism from inside the toilet handle that. Removing all the water and a waste of resources ( water and money ) and clear off! Comments that violate our policy, which means you 'll need to work magic! Tube, and attach the handle to the handle it up a.! -- that 'll be hot enough 30 to 60 minutes before you on... Your kitchen is giving you grief, check the slack in the metal nut directly adjacent the... And money ) toilet to see if it ’ s higher than this, lower water... Unclogging your kitchen sink are n't 100 % blocked, so there 's a good yours.