Asked on May 20, 2014

Jiggling the toilet handle

by KSS
What would fix a toilet that needs to have the handle jiggled once in awhile after flushing to get it to stop running?
  1 answer
  • There can be a few things that cause this issue. One issue can be is the chain or plastic connection between the handle and the flapper that seals the bowl. If it is hanging up it will prevent the flapper from dropping down. That is a simple adjustment of the chain making it just a little be shorter. The other thing that causes this, and its most likely the cause is the flapper that the chain connects to is aging and its time for a replacement. There are various types of flappers but the common element of them is they are made of a soft rubber that breaks down over time. When this happens the fail to properly seat into the round hole where the water flows. This results in the running water. Jiggling the handle reseats the flapper so the water stops running. It also can fail because the spot where the flapper rotates on sticks. In any case its time to change it out. This is a pretty simple task. Turn off the water to the toilet and flush the toilet so the water runs out. Hold the handle down so all the water except for the very bottom of the tank drains out. The flapper is held on by a few methods. One is a rubber ring that simply slides down the tube the other is there are two pins that stick out on each side of the tube that the flapper fastens on to. A photo with your phone is a great way to bring what you have to the local box store so you can match up which one it is that you have. There are several styles of these flappers in the store and they all do the same function. Some are adjustable for how long they stay open, some have large floats on the top, some are just a flapper with a small bump on the top with a hole in it. You need to match the style and mounting type that you have with what you purchase. Unless you have some strange type of toilet, everything other then the simple flapper is a waste of money. Remove the old flapper and replace the new one. Adjust the chain connector so it is just a bit loose when the flapper is closed. The links should not be hanging over themselves or they will catch and prevent the flapper from dropping, To tight and if the handle itself sticks the flapper will not close. Once fastened on turn on water let it fill and test.