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.
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.
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.
Adjusting the Water Level
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,
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.
Adjusting the Toilet Seat
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.
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.
Turn off the water supply at the shutoff valve and flush the toilet.
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
Install the new flapper and adjust the chain attached to the handle lift wire
to ensure the flapper is flush with the valve seat.