Why Do I Have to Hold Down Handle to Flush Toilet
There’s Usually a Flapper Problem in a Running Toilet
Despite how annoying this issue could be, we have good news for you. Chances are that if your plumbing is not old, it will not be necessary to get basic plumbing maintenance to fix this problem with your toilet. The flapper, a simple part in your toilet, is responsible for two of the most common problems. Fortunately, both issues are solved quite easily by adjusting the same toilet part. To find out which adjustment will solve the problem, locate the flapper, and then watch what happens when you flush your toilet.
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To Diagnose the Problem, Observe the Flapper
To answer the question “Why do I have to hold down handle to flush toilet?”, you must get your toilet a diagnose. After removing your toilet tank’s cover, look down at the large opening at the tank’s bottom. When the flush valve operates normally, a vinyl or rubber flapper lifts up away from the flush valve when the toilet handle is pressed to start flushing. The flapper is supposed to settle back down into the flush valve and seal it tightly at the end of every cycle until the following flush cycle starts.
– Why do I have to hold down handle to flush toilet? If you have to hold toilet handle down to flush the toilet completely, that’s usually caused by a flapper that is not totally lifting away from the flush valve.
– In most cases when the toilet continues to run, it is due to the flapper not fitting properly into the flush valve opening. You will see the problem if you look closely at the flapper while the toilet is running. As the water keeps leaking down through the flush valve into the toilet bowl, the water level in the tank never rises high enough to shut off the water flow. You may need to replace the toilet flapper to stop the leaking.
After determining which issue you have, check the corresponding solution below.
Note: It is possible that really old toilets use a tank ball with a lift rod instead of a flapper and lift chain to seal the flush valve opening. Consider replacing the flush valve unit with a more modern kit, as these offer a single piece that includes the refill tube, flapper, and the flush valve in a single plastic unit.
Toilet Flapper Stays UpIf You Have to Hold Toilet Handle Down to Flush the ToiletIf you wonder “Why do I have to hold down handle to flush toilet?” Chances are your toilet flapper closes too fast. You should know that this is one of the most common issues when it comes to toilets. The bright side is that it is easily fixed.
When there is too much slack in the lifting chain that connects the toilet flapper valve to the flush lever, the chain will not be able to lift the flapper high enough to allow the full amount of water to flow down through the flush valve. Hence, the toilet flapper closes too soon and stops the flushing.
To fix this issue, you just have to know how to adjust toilet flapper. To do this, adjust the chain length so there is only about ½ inch of slack. Trim the length of the leftover chain if it hangs down too far and interferes with any part. Make sure the chain is not too short either, as you would end up with another issue; a toilet flapper not closing.
If the Toilet Keeps Running After Flushing
Even after the flush is completed, the water in the toilet tank will sometimes continue to flow. This could mean a tremendous waste of gallons of water if it isn’t fixed.
This problem is commonly present when your toilet flapper stays up. Water will continue to flow down into the toilet bowl when the flapper doesn’t tightly reseal against the flush valve. Water keeps entering the tank endlessly because the water level in the tank never reaches the necessary level to shut off the water supply valve (ballcock).
Toilet Flapper Not ClosingCheck the following fixes you can try:
– Verify the lift chain is not so long that it pinches between the flush valve and the flapper. You have to slightly shorten the chain so it doesn’t get pinched beneath the flapper and water stops leaking down into the toilet bowl after flushing.
– Verify the flapper is correctly aligned so it seals properly against the flush valve opening. A couple of small adjustments to the flapper might do the trick.
– A cracked or a really old flapper will not be able to seal the water flow into the tank, and if so, you’ll have to replace the flapper or the whole flush valve/flapper unit. Consider that other issues can show up with old plumbing, so keep in mind that if your house is old, it might be a good moment to get a plumbing inspection to prevent leaks and other upcoming issues.