Why Do I Have to Hold the Toilet Handle Down?

Many users complain that they must fully press down on the flush lever to flush their toilet properly. With all the advanced tech we have, why do I have to hold the handle down? Contrary to popular belief, this is not happening because the toilet handle is stuck. Why do I have to hold the toilet handle down?

hold the toilet handle down

You may have to when the connection between the lifting chain and the toilet flapper is a bit too loose. When this connection is too loose, the flapper cannot be lifted by the chain to let the water rush down via the flush valve. This means that the flush valve will close too quickly and stop the flush.

Luckily, this problem is relatively easy to fix. Read on to find out how.

Check the Toilet Flapper

To figure out why you must hold the toilet handle down, you need to first get at the root of the problem. You should start by taking off the cover of your toilet tank and examining the big opening in the tank’s bottom.

If the flush valve is working properly, pressing the toilet handle should trigger your vinyl/rubber flapper to lift from the flush valve to begin the flushing process. Afterward, the flapper should slowly return to its original position in the flush valve and close tightly after the flushing cycle is finished. This cycle should be repeating itself with every flush.

If you have to hold your handle down to flush, then this is likely because the flapper is not properly lifting away from the flush valve opening. When the toilet still works, but you have these flushing problems, this is often the result of a faulty flapper not fitting back into the flush valve. You will notice this problem if you examine the flapper during the flushing process.

Check the Toilet Flapper Chain

One reason why your toilet flapper closes too fast may be the length of the chain connecting it to the flush lever. If the chain has too much slack, then the lifting chain cannot lift the flapper high enough to let the proper amount of water flow down into the flush valve, making the toilet flapper close and stop flushing.

To tackle this issue, you should adjust the toilet flapper chain’s length to give it a ½ inch of slack. The chain should hang down too far; otherwise, it will interfere with the flapper. However, it should not also be too short because then the toilet flapper will not close at all. Now we will give you some suggestions on how you can adjust your toilet flapper chain.

How Do You Adjust the Toilet, So You Don’t Have To Hold the Handle Down?

Step 1

Turn off the water supply to the toilet. This is important since you will need to adjust the flapper in the toilet tank to fix the chain. This can be a pain if the tank is filled with water, so it will prove prudent to drain the tank.

First, you would shut off the valve connecting the water to your toilet, and after the water supply is cut off, you will flush the toilet repeatedly until all the water is drained. This process is not necessarily required, but most users scoff at the idea of putting their hands in toilet tank water.

Step 2

The next step will be to measure the length of the chain. You will see the chain connected to the flush arm/lever with a hook or a clip. You would then unhook or unclip the chain from the lever and place it down.

After the toilet lever and flapper have been placed in a downward position, you should pull the chain up and place the chain in the closest hole in the flush arm. You should remember that hole and the link below that hole by clenching the link with your fingers.

Step 3

Now you should check the slack on your flapper chain. The hook or clip should ideally have just the right amount of slack so that the flapper rests steadily on the flush valve. That being said, it should be a little tight so that when you press down on your toilet handle, you do not need to keep holding the handle to flush thoroughly.

Finally, make sure that the chain hanging from the side is not too long so that the chain is not at risk of getting stuck in the valve. If this is the case, then you will need to cut the chain properly.

Step 4

Once all of this is done, test your flush handle to see if it is working properly. Next, turn the water supply valve back on, fill the toilet tank, and then flush the toilet. If you still need to hold it down, then you should probably hook down one link in the chain and go through these steps again. If problems persist, call a professional plumber.

Lift the lid to the toilet water tank

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What type of toilet flapper do I need?

This depends on the size of your flush valve drain. For example, if the flapper is about as big as an orange of a cricket ball, you may need a 2-inch flapper.

Why does my toilet not flush unless I hold the handle down?

If this is the case, it could be a problem with your flapper and your chain. However, there may also be a clog in your toilet or a flange. You likely need a plunger to seep out the clogged waste material.

If there is a clog, this may also be caused by a problem with your toilet’s wax ring. This will likely be an issue if you are suffering from a leaky toilet.

What causes a toilet flapper to close too soon?

This is likely due to an issue with the toilet flapper chain having too much slack. This can be fixed by just adjusting the flapper chain connecting the flapper to the flush valve opening.

How do I stop my toilet flapper from closing too fast?

If you want to do this, then loosen the chain connection a little bit.

What is the float for on a toilet flapper?

A float is a part of the clapper chain that helps it close faster. If you lower the float, you are letting the flapper stay open longer. A float is used on flappers often to conserve water.

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