How To Fix A Loose/Wiggling Toilet Handle Fast!

How To Fix A Loose/Wiggling Toilet Handle Fast!

Anthony Barnes

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Having a loose toilet handle is incredibly irritating, but it can make it challenging to flush your toilet properly.

Becoming used to a loose toilet handle isn’t good enough for you, as you want to make sure that you can comfortably flush your toilet and make sure that it works properly when you do. 

When your toilet handle is loose, you might assume that you need a new one. However, this isn’t always the case.

You can fix the handle yourself if it has just become loose, but you can check to see if your toilet handle needs replacing first.

You can find out more about how to fix or change your toilet handle below. 

This article will teach you how to fix a loose toilet handle and how to replace it if it cannot be repaired.

You can find out more about how to safely restore your toilet handle in the instructions below. 

How Does A Toilet Handle Become Loose?

Toilet handles are attached to the inside of a toilet tank by a locknut, so the reason that they eventually become loose is that the locknut has loosened over time.

The locknut can become out of place as when you are pulling the handle, it can gradually become to shift the locknut and loosen it. 

When you notice that the toilet handle has become loose, you should tighten the handle straight away to avoid it worsening.

The longer that the handle is left, the locknut could become so loose that it falls out.

This could cause your handle to fall off the toilet, so to avoid having to put it back on, you should tighten it right away. 

Instructions On How To Fix Your Loose Toilet Handle

To fix your loose toilet handle, you will need disposable gloves and an adjustable wrench.

The wrench needs to be adjustable so you can comfortably grab the locknut and tighten it, as some may be bigger than others.

You should always wear gloves to prevent your hands from touching germs in the toilet. 

Turn Off The Water

How To Fix A Loose/Wiggling Toilet Handle Fast!

As the toilet tank is filled with water, you will need to turn off the water to make sure that you can get to the locknut to tighten it.

Draining the toilet tank will help you to see when you have tightened the locknut and to make sure that you are tightening it correctly. 

To turn the water off, you will need to look for a knob behind the toilet on the wall.

The knob should be shaped like an oval and easy to find. You will need to turn the knob clockwise to turn the water off.

If your toilet does not have a knob to turn off the water, you will need to locate the valve and pull it out to turn off the water. 

After you have stopped the water, you will then need to drain the water tank.

Flush the toilet until most of the water has drained from the tank.

Once the water has drained from the tank, lift off the lid to make sure that you can see inside.

Remove the lid and put it in a safe place to make sure that it doesn’t crack or become stepped on.

Do not keep it on top of the toilet seat as this could cause it to fall and break, so keep it in a safe place. 

Tighten The Handle

If there is still water inside the tank after you have flushed it, remove the toilet flapper as this will drain the water that is still in the tank.

Before you begin tightening the handle, make sure that it has become loose.

There could be a situation where the chain is caught around other parts of the tank, so make sure that this isn’t the issue first. 

If the chain is not attached to anything inside the tank, make sure that the locknut is loose by gently moving it to check.

If it easily moves, then it will need tightening. To tighten the locknut, use the adjustable wrench to turn the locknut to the right.

This will tighten the locknut and prevent the handle from loosening more than it already has. 

Instructions On How To Replace Your Toilet Handle

If you have decided to replace your toilet handle, you need to make sure that this is done correctly to make sure that your toilet flushes.

Making sure that you have the right toilet handle for your toilet is important for making sure that it fits and flushes properly. 

Universal toilet handles are popular as they are supposed to fit on all different types of toilets, but they sometimes are not suitable for certain models.

Side-mounted handles cannot all be used instead of front-mounted handles, so check what handle fits your toilet seat properly. 

How To Fix A Loose/Wiggling Toilet Handle Fast!

To make sure that you have the right handle for your toilet, you should purchase a handle from the manufacturer of your toilet.

You can also consult a professional to make sure that the handle that you purchase will fit your toilet to avoid any damage.

To find the model of your toilet, look inside the tank and the number will be in there. 

You also will need to make sure that you get the finish that you want on your toilet handle.

You can purchase toilet handles that are finished in chrome, bronze, brass, and nickel, so you must find the one that suits your bathroom interior the best!

Once you have chosen the right handle for your toilet, you can move on to making sure that you install the handle correctly.

You can find the instructions below to make sure that your toilet flushes properly and the handle is correctly attached. 

Turn Off The Water

You will need to turn the water off to make sure that the water tank does not keep filling up while you are installing the handle.

If the water tank keeps filling up, you will not be able to see what you are doing, so turn the water off to make sure that the handle is attached correctly. 

Drain the water tank by flushing the toilet and make sure that you put the toilet lid in a safe place so that it doesn’t get broken in the process.

You also need to remove the toilet flapper lift chain and keep it inside the water tank.

Loosen The Locknut

To remove the current toilet handle, you will need to loosen the locknut.

You need to turn the locknut to the left to loosen it and remove the locknut through the flush handle arm. Remove the rubber washer also. 

Remove the handle from the outside of the toilet and also make sure that the arm assembly is removed so that the new handle can be installed.

Gently pull the handle out of the toilet tank so there is room for the new handle. 

Attach The New Handle

Place the new handle in the same hole as the other handle and install the rubber washer.

You can then install the new locknut by using the arm and then begin to tighten it.

Tighten the locknut using an adjustable wrench to make sure that the handle is secure. 

Attach The Lift Chain

Make sure that the lift chain is attached to the toilet handle arm.

It will need to be slightly loose and on top of the flapper to make sure that it works properly.

If the chain is too tight, it won’t be able to flush properly, so loosen it by half an inch to make sure that it works properly. 

Turn The Water Back On

How To Fix A Loose/Wiggling Toilet Handle Fast!

After the new handle is secure, you can turn the water back on. Once the water tank has filled up like normal, you will need to flush the toilet several times.

This will make sure that the new handle is working properly and that you have installed it correctly. 

If you notice that there is something wrong with the handle that you have installed, you can either go back over the instructions or call a professional for help.

A professional can make sure that the handle is attached correctly so that you can flush your toilet properly with no concerns.

Why A Toilet Handle Shouldn’t Be Loose

If your toilet handle is loose, it can affect how well your toilet works as it will be too loose to flush.

This can also cause your toilet to become damaged if you are constantly tugging at the loose toilet handle, as the toilet could become scratched. 

Can A Toilet Handle Be Too Tight?

If the toilet handle is too tight, this can cause the flapper to shift out of place and affect how the toilet flushes.

This means that you need to be careful that the locknut is not too loose or too tight as both could cause the handle to become damaged.

It is often the case that the handle is too loose, but having it too tight can become an issue. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, if your toilet handle is too loose, you can try to fix it yourself by tightening the locknut.

You can tighten the locknut using an adjustable wrench and make sure that it is secure to hold the handle in place.

Make sure that it isn’t too tight or this could affect the quality of the flush. 

You can also replace the toilet handle if you feel like you need a new one.

This can be more complicated, but following the instructions will allow you to install it correctly. Consult a professional if you are unsure.

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By Anthony Barnes

Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age