How to Replace a Toilet Handle

There’s nothing quite more frustrating than a toilet handle that doesn’t work.  Maybe it still works part of the time or it just needs a good jiggle every now and again.  Those are all temporary solutions and sooner or later the entire handle will need to be replaced.  The good news for you is this is an easy fix and can be done in a snap.  This edition of our Fixt It in 15:00 video series shows you the simple steps to take if you need to know how to replace a toilet handle.

While basic in nature, there are different types of toilet handles or levers as they’re also known.  The primary difference is in where they’re mounted, whether on the front of the tank or the side.  Once you identify which type you have, then you want to consider what sort of finish you’re looking for on the handle itself.  From basic white to the more ornate like oil-rubbed bronze, not to mention various shapes to choose from – who knew there was so much variety in toilet handles!?

Once you’ve identified the replacement handle from the hardware store, it’s time to make the swap.

  1. Shut off the water supply to the toilet
  2. Remove the lid of the tank and set it aside gently
  3. Unscrew the nut on the inner side of the tank that’s holding the old handle (it’s reverse threaded so it’s not the old adage of “righty tight; lefty loosey”)
  4. If the chain is still attached to the handle, unhook it and remove the entire handle from the tank – remember, the water in the tank is clean so don’t worry about putting your hands in there
  5. Remove the nut on the new handle and insert through the hole in the tank
  6. Screw on the nut and attach the chain to the flapper
  7. Put the lid back on the tank, turn on the water supply and flush the toilet to make sure it functions

BONUS TIP: while a toilet bowl can last over a century, the components within (like the handle, flapper, etc.) might need to be replaced about every five years or so.

There’s nothing quite more frustrating than a toilet handle that doesn’t work.  Maybe it still works part of the time or it just needs a good jiggle every now and again.  Those are all temporary solutions and sooner or later the entire handle will need to be replaced.  The good news for you is this is an easy fix and can be done in a snap.  This edition of our Fixt It in 15:00 video series shows you the simple steps to take if you need to know how to replace a toilet handle.

While basic in nature, there are different types of toilet handles or levers as they’re also known.  The primary difference is in where they’re mounted, whether on the front of the tank or the side.  Once you identify which type you have, then you want to consider what sort of finish you’re looking for on the handle itself.  From basic white to the more ornate like oil-rubbed bronze, not to mention various shapes to choose from – who knew there was so much variety in toilet handles!?

Once you’ve identified the replacement handle from the hardware store, it’s time to make the swap.

  1. Shut off the water supply to the toilet
  2. Remove the lid of the tank and set it aside gently
  3. Unscrew the nut on the inner side of the tank that’s holding the old handle (it’s reverse threaded so it’s not the old adage of “righty tight; lefty loosey”)
  4. If the chain is still attached to the handle, unhook it and remove the entire handle from the tank – remember, the water in the tank is clean so don’t worry about putting your hands in there
  5. Remove the nut on the new handle and insert through the hole in the tank
  6. Screw on the nut and attach the chain to the flapper
  7. Put the lid back on the tank, turn on the water supply and flush the toilet to make sure it functions

BONUS TIP: while a toilet bowl can last over a century, the components within (like the handle, flapper, etc.) might need to be replaced about every five years or so.