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Making Minor Adjustments to Your Toilet

Over time, through normal use, toilets can get out of adjustment. This guide presents some common adjustments and simple repairs you may need to perform over the life of your toilet to ensure it is operating correctly and efficiently. The adjustments below are all relatively easy and good starting points for fixing common toilet problems. If these adjustments don’t solve your problem, look at the related projects menu for other repair instructions. Replacing toilet parts, or even an entire toilet, has never been easier.



Step 1: Adjusting the Chain for Better Flushing

Adjusting the chain for better flushing 1.  If you have to hold the handle to flush all the water from the toilet tank, adjust the
     lift chain so it hangs straight from the handle lever with about 1/2 inch of slack.
     Remove any excess slack in the chain by hooking it on a different hole in the
     handle lever or by hooking it onto different links.  
2.  If your toilet has lift wires, make sure they are straight and operate smoothly
     when the handle is pushed. A sticky handle often can be fixed simply by
     straightening a bent lift wire.  

Step 2: Adjusting the Water Level

Adjusting the water level 1.  If your toilet has a float arm, use the adjustment screw on top of the fill valve to
     raise or lower the float arm. Older float arms may not have an adjustment screw
     and should probably be replaced with a newer, more modern, fill valve.  
2.  To adjust the water level on toilets with float cylinders, squeeze the float clip to
      release the float cylinder and slide up or down to adjust the water level in the
      toilet tank.  

Step 3: Adjusting the Toilet Seat

Adjusting the toilet seat 1.  To tighten the toilet seat, pry back the bolt caps, and, using a screwdriver and
     an adjustable wrench, tighten the nut from below while holding the bolt steady
     with the screwdriver. If the toilet seat is still loose, it is probably time to replace
     it with a new one.  

Step 4: Replacing a Flapper

Replacing a Flapper Minerals in your water and tank tablets containing chlorine can erode your flapper over time. If your toilet sometimes fills without being flushed, replacing the flapper may solve the problem.  
1.  Turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve and flush the toilet.  
2.  Remove the old flapper. If you don’t already know what kind of flapper you need,
     you can take your old flapper to The Home Depot and get help selecting a
3.  Install the new flapper and adjust the chain attached to the handle lift wire to
     ensure the flapper is flush with the valve seat.