How to Replace a Toilet Handle

Whether your toilet handle is broken or you want to update it for aesthetic reasons, replacing it is a simple DIY project you can complete in six steps.

Our easy how-to guide will show you how to replace a toilet handle.

How to Replace a Toilet Handle in 6 Steps


  • Wrench
  • New toilet handle (available in hardware stores for about $20*)
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Sponge or steel wool (optional)

*A note on buying a new toilet handle: If you haven’t already purchased a new toilet handle, you can buy one online or visit your local hardware store. Toilet handles are also called toilet trip levers which come with the handle and swing arm. It’s important to note that they are not one-size-fits-all. If you’re not sure of the size you need, ask an employee at the hardware store for assistance. The appropriate size is based on the brand name and model number of the toilet.


Step 1. Remove the tank lid. Start by removing the lid from the top of the toilet tank. Do this gently and set it in a safe place to avoid cracking it. At this point, if you don’t yet have the new toilet handle, make a note of the type of tank you have. You will need this information to shop for the replacement.

Step 2. Unhook the lift chain from within the toilet tank. Located inside the toilet tank is the lift chain, which is attached to a long arm attached to the handle. Locate the lift chain and unhook the clasp fastening the chain to the arm. We recommend noting which hole the chain is hooked to, to make reinstalling easier.

Step 3. Remove the old handle and throw it away. Use the wrench to remove the nut that holds the toilet handle in place inside the toilet tank. Be very gentle when doing this as too much pressure can crack the porcelain, leaving you with two plumbing projects on your hands!

It’s also important to note that some nuts contain left-handed threads. This means you may need to turn your wrench in the opposite direction than you would with a regular nut. If you’re having trouble removing the nut, we recommend spraying it with WD-40 to loosen it.

Step 4. Attach the new toilet handle. Before you attach the new toilet handle, check for mildew or rust on the porcelain around the hole where the handle goes. If mildew or rust are present, use a sponge or steel wool to remove it.

Once the surface is clean, remove the nut from the new toilet handle and insert the arm into the hole. Slide the nut over the arm and use the wrench to tighten it slightly.

Step 5. Reattach the toilet chain. Reattach the toilet chain to the old arm, attaching it to the same hole it was on originally.

Step 6. Flush the toilet. With your new toilet handle installed, it’s time to do some test flushes. Flush the toilet and make sure the mechanism opens and closes correctly. If it doesn’t, adjust the chain up or down a notch or two and test it again.

Contact Sansone for Plumbing Services in South Florida

Sometimes, it’s easier to leave the plumbing projects to the professionals. If you’re in need of quick, efficient, quality plumbing services, Sansone can help. We offer comprehensive plumbing services to the South Florida area and beyond and can quickly install your new toilet handle. Call us today for more information, or schedule an appointment online at your convenience.

Broward: (954) 800-2858
Palm Beach: (561) 701-8274
St. Lucie: (772) 879-5656

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